Oral Cancer in Swedish Snuff Dippers

Source: Anticancer Research


Over recent decades there has been debate over whether or not Swedish snuff is carcinogenic in humans. Animal studies and molecular biological and experimental studies have shown the carcinogenic potential of Swedish snuff, but this has not been proved in prospective randomized studies. We present a case series of patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas diagnosed at the sites where the patients had used Swedish snuff for several years. Sixteen male patients were referred to and treated at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Departments and Ear, Nose and Throat clinics at seven different hospitals in Sweden. The mean age of the patients at the time of diagnosis was 72.9 years and the mean time of snuff use prior to cancer diagnosis was 42.9 years. This case series shows that Swedish snuff may not be a harmless alternative to smoking.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

July, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

New Study Indicates Tobacco Industry Was Aware of Their Own Products Dangers

Source: USA Today

A new study says tobacco companies knew for decades that cigarette smoke was radioactive and potentially carcinogenic.

Tobacco companies knew for decades that cigarette smoke was radioactive and potentially carcinogenic but kept that information from the public, according to a new study.

The tobacco industry began investigations into the possible effects of these radioactive particles, identified as polonium-210, on smokers as early as the 1960s, says the study by UCLA researchers who analyzed dozens of previously unexamined industry documents.

“I’ve not seen a document before that’s specifically cited the industry’s own internal research finding that sufficient levels of polonium-210 can cause cancer,” says Matt Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He says the study reinforces the need for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to scrutinize tobacco products. This week, the FDA began requiring tobacco companies to disclose detailed information about new products and changes to existing ones. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, suggests the FDA make removal of the radioative particles from tobacco products a top priority. “We used to think that only the chemicals in the cigarettes were causing lung cancer,” said Hrayr S. Karagueuzian, lead author of the study. Now, Karagueuzian said, the industry’s own research shows that polonium-210, absorbed by tobacco leaves and inhaled by smokers, is dangerous. He said UCLA researchers found that the radioactivity could cause 120 to 138 deaths for every 1,000 regular smokers over a 25-year period. Karagueuzian said tobacco companies have declined techniques that could help eliminate polonium-210 from tobacco because of concern that smokers might lose the “instant nicotine rush” that fuels their addiction. David Sutton, spokesman for Philip Morris USA, the largest U.S. tobacco manufacturer, said the company does not add polonium-210 to its products. He said it’s a “naturally occurring element in the air” and has been widely discussed by the public health community for years. Industry critic Greg Connolly, who directs Harvard University’s Center for Global Tobacco Control, agrees that polonium-210’s risks have long been known. He said the study, however, reinforces the need for the FDA to regulate tobacco companies, adding, “The $64,000 question is: have they changed?”

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

September, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Curcumin may inhibit nicotine-induced activation of head and neck cancers

Author: staff

Curcumin, the compound that gives curry powder its yellow/orange color, may inhibit the adverse effects of nicotine in patients with head and neck cancer who continue to smoke.

In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers examined the effects of curcumin on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) growths. The study used an in vitro model of a variety of head and neck cancer cell lines. To mimic the clinical situation, HNSCC cells were pre-treated with curcumin and then nicotine was introduced. The results of the studies showed that the curcumin was able to block the nicotine from activating cancer causing cells.

Annually there are approximately 40,000 new cases of head and neck cancers and 13,000 deaths in the U.S. and 500,000 new cases worldwide. Recurrence of these cancers are high because many patients continue to smoke after successful treatment. Also, former smokers often use nicotine replacement therapy as an aid for successful tobacco cessation.

Although nicotine itself has not been shown to be carcinogenic, it has been shown to encourage the cancer-forming process. The researchers sought a safe, bioactive food compound that could be used not only as a chemopreventive agent but could also block the harmful effects of nicotine.

The results may help to discover additional therapies for cancer prevention and treatment.

1. Adapted from materials provided by American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

October, 2009|Oral Cancer News|