Self-Hypnosis may cut stress, Boost Immune System

7/24/2002 New York Rueters Health A number of studies have suggested stress can hinder the body's immune system defenses. Now researchers say people may be able to fight back with the stress-relieving techniques of self-hypnosis. In a study of medical students under exam-time stress, investigators found that those who received "hypnotic-relaxation training" did not show the same reduction in key immune system components that their untrained counterparts did. Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues at Ohio State University in Columbus reported the findings recently in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. The researchers looked at 33 medical and dental students during relatively low-stress periods and around the time of the first major exam of the term. Half of the students attended sessions where they learned to relax through self-hypnosis. Kiecolt-Glaser's team took blood samples from all students at the start of the study and just before exams. They exposed the samples to foreign substances in order to observe the activity of T cells and other immune system defenses. The investigators found that during exam time, the self-hypnosis students launched stronger immune responses compared with students who did not learn the technique. And the more often students practiced the relaxation strategy, the stronger their immune response. In previous studies, Kiecolt-Glaser and her colleagues have found that stressful times may impair the body's wound-healing process and response to vaccination. They and other researchers have also found that relaxation techniques may combat these effects by relieving stress and boosting the immune system. "The [...]

2009-03-22T11:23:55-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Tongue cancer rates are increasing

3/19/2002 New York Drs. Stimson P. Schantz and Guo-Pei Yu Rueters Health The incidence of tongue cancer, increased 60 percent over the last three decades in U.S. adults under age 40, according to a new report. "Because incidence rates of overall head and neck cancer have remained stable and have even shown a very small declining trend since the 1970s, the increase in the number of young adult patients (with tongue cancer) is concerning," write co-authors Drs. Stimson P. Schantz and Guo-Pei Yu of New York Medical College in Manhattan. While factors responsible for the increase remain unknown, the authors suggest increasing use of marijuana as well as smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco among this population group may be to blame. Another possible cause may be infections with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), the report indicates. HPV has been under suspicion as a cause of head and neck cancer, since DNA of the virus has been detected in head and neck tumors. But studies of the relationship have provided mixed results. Schantz and Yu identified a total of 63,409 patients with head and neck cancer between 1973 and 1997 from a cancer surveillance database established by the National Cancer Institute. Within this group, 3,339 patients were younger than 40 years of age. The incidence of head and neck cancers remained stable for people over age 40, but tongue cancer in younger adults increased approximately 60 percent during the same time period, the investigators found. "The present study exhibits [...]

2009-03-22T11:05:43-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Goals to Lower Smoking in the U.S. Not Being Met

3/17/2002 Atlanta, GA Emma Hitt, PhD Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report The percentage of US adults who smoke ranges from about 13% in Utah to about 30% in Kentucky, and only three states have meet federal goals for reducing the number of residents who smoke, according to researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Two reports in the December 14th issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describe state-based statistics for adult smokers and, for the first time, smoking patterns in major metropolitan areas. In their "Healthy People 2010'' guidelines, federal officials have set the goal of reducing cigarette smoking among adults to 12% by the year 2010. The CDC points out that the average number of people who smoked in 2000 was similar to that reported for the preceding 5 years; however, the number of smokers varied from state to state. For the year 2000, the goal was to reduce cigarette smoking among adults to 15% in every state, but only three states, Puerto Rico, Utah and California, were able to meet that goal. The 12 states with the highest number of smokers were Kentucky, Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Alabama, Arkansas and Alaska, the researchers report. The CDC also investigated the percentages of smokers in 99 metropolitan areas across the US. Similarly to the state-based figures, they ranged from 13% to 31%. Toledo, Ohio had the highest percentage of adult smokers and Orange County, California had the [...]

2009-03-22T11:04:48-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Acupuncture may aid cancer patients’ dry mouth

3/10/2002 New York Amy Norton Rueters Health Acupuncture may help some cancer patients who have severe dry mouth as a side effect of treatment, California researchers report. Their study, which included mainly patients with head and neck cancers treated with radiation, showed that acupuncture to the ear and index finger improved dry mouth in a majority of patients. An ancient therapy that arose in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture involves placing fine needles in specific points on the body's surface. Traditional theory holds that these points connect with energy pathways that run through the body, and acupuncture helps keep this natural energy flow running smoothly. Modern science as well has suggested that acupuncture can help ease a range of conditions, from arthritis pain and migraine to morning sickness. But researchers are still trying to understand why it works. "When we try to explain the relief of (dry mouth) using ear acupuncture, we presume it is a function of a subtle activation of the autonomous nervous system," the new study's lead author, Dr. Peter A. S. Johnstone of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, told Reuters Health. The autonomic nervous system regulates bodily functions that are not under conscious control, including activity in the glands. In the study, Johnstone's team followed 50 patients undergoing acupuncture. Most had received radiation for head and neck cancers and had dry mouth that did not respond to treatment with the saliva-inducing compound pilocarpine. One patient had dry mouth after chemotherapy, and two [...]

2009-03-22T10:59:53-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Cuban cancer drug shows promise

3/8/2002 Havana, Cuba Mary Murray Nbc News Cuban researchers this week reported early, but notable success with a biotech drug that attacks advanced cancer of the head and neck regions. In preliminary trials, the novel agent, called Theracim h-R3, enhanced conventional radiation therapy to radically shrink and even completely eradicate tumors. Researchers at Havana's Center of Molecular Immunology administered radiation plus Theracim h-R3 to 70 patients whose head and neck cancers had failed to respond to conventional therapy. Tumors completely disappeared in 60 percent. In contrast, only 30 percent to 40 percent of advanced patients given radiation alone in Cuba would expect to see their tumors eliminated, said the Center's Normando Iznaga-Escobar. To date, patients given the one-two punch from radiation and Theracim h-R3 have remained tumor-free for as many as 28 months, he added. Additionally, another 20 percent of patients saw their tumors shrink by at least half, said Dr. Rolando Perez, head of the Center's research and development division. "Few therapies have demonstrated such an overall response rate and survival benefit of this disease," said study author Dr. Tania Crombet, also of the Center. To develop Theracim h-R3, the researchers took advantage of the fact that the growth of some tumors is fueled by substances known as epidermal growth factors. And, on their outside shell, some tumors have chemical docking stations known as receptors to these growth factors. Scientists figured out that when they stimulate these receptors, tumors grow faster than ever. So, they reasoned that if they [...]

2009-03-22T10:59:06-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Protein Associated with lung cancer linked for the first time to head and neck cancer

3/6/2002 Pittsburgh, PA University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) are the first to find that a protein appearing on lung cancer cells in people with extensive smoking histories also is present in head and neck cancers. The results, published in the March 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggest that the protein gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR), known to be associated with lung cancer, is linked to the growth and proliferation of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). "Previous research from our group has indicated that when stimulated by its hormone, gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), GRPR triggers lung cancer cells to grow," said Jennifer R. Grandis, M.D., associate professor, departments of otolaryngology and pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Since tobacco exposure is a well-known risk factor for both lung cancer and SCCHN, the investigators decided to examine the expression of GRPR in the cells of patients with head and neck cancer. "We found that GRPR was expressed in the cells of patients with head and neck cancer and that increased GRPR expression occurs early on in the formation of SCCHN tumors," added Jill M. Siegfried, Ph.D., co-author of the study and co-leader of UPCI's lung cancer program. In the study, Dr. Grandis and her colleagues compared that expression of GRPR in 25 people with SCCHN and six people without cancer. They found a fivefold increase in the level of GRPR in the tissues of people [...]

2009-03-22T10:57:48-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Tongue cancer patient finds hope in new radiation treatment

3/4/2002 New York, NY St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center New SmartBeam IMRT technology from Varian Medical Systems zeroes in on tumors while sparing healthy tissue. When the CFO of a New York company was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at the base of his tongue last March, he learned that conventional radiation therapy could potentially cure him, but might also cause serious side effects. The tumor was near his salivary glands and his brain stem. If not targeted precisely, radiation could affect one or both. He and his wife had been going over their treatment options with his doctor at St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center here when his wife asked about intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, a new and more precise radiation therapy technique that enables doctors to escalate the radiation dose to tumor cells while protecting nearby healthy tissues. By coincidence, St. Vincent's had just commissioned a SmartBeam® IMRT system from Varian Medical Systems, and after reviewing the case, doctors decided that the man was an ideal candidate to be their first IMRT patient. "In cases like this, conventional radiotherapy can damage one or both parotid glands, causing xerostomia, a severe, chronic, and irreversible dry mouth condition that makes it difficult for patients to chew, swallow, or speak," said Dr. Anthony Berson, Chief Radiation Oncologist at St. Vincent's. "With IMRT we increase the chances of eradicating the cancer while preventing dry mouth and other serious side effects. IMRT enables us to concentrate more of the dose on the [...]

2009-03-22T10:56:23-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Oral and tongue cancer rates rise among young Americans

3/3/2002 Palm Desert American Head and Neck Society A new research study asserts that even though the overall incidence of head and neck cancers has remained stable, young Americans are being diagnosed with higher rates of oral and tongue cancer. The goal of the research was to update and confirm the changes in incidence of young adult oral tongue cancer, as well as other head and neck cancers, using a large cancer surveillance database in the United States. A unique feature of the analysis was to describe incidence trends by use of a new statistical methodology, joinpoint regression, and to establish the statistical significance of changes in disease rate. Methodology: Data for the analysis were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program Public-Use CD-ROM (1973-1997), National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Cancer Surveillance Research Program, Cancer Statistics Branch, released April 2000. Information was obtained on all cancers occurring in residents from nine population-based registries, i.e., five states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, and Utah) and four standard metropolitan statistical areas (Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco-Oakland, and Seattle-Puget Sound). The studied cities encompass 10 percent of the U.S. population. The SEER Program used the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology to code site, histology, and behavior for all cancers. The study only included invasive tongue cancer cases Incidence rates were tabulated as per 100,000 population and age-adjusted by the direct method to the 1970 U.S. standard population. Rates for three age groups (<40 years, 40-64 years, and >=65 years) age-adjusted within these [...]

2009-03-22T10:53:12-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Platinol plus radiation increases survival of patients with head and neck cancer

3/2/2002 American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology According to data recently published by the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, a treatment program consisting of Platinol® and radiation therapy following surgery appears to significantly increase cancer-free survival and overall survival of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer. These results are consistent with previous clinical trials and have prompted European health-care providers to adopt this treatment approach as their new standard of care for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer. The term head and neck cancer refers to any number of cancers that may occur in the head and/or neck region. These may include cancers of the tongue, mouth, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, sinus and other sites located in the head and neck area. If the cancer is locally advanced (has spread to nearby tissue or lymph nodes), surgery alone may not be curative. Nonetheless, the patient may elect surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Following surgery, the patient then undergoes radiation therapy in an attempt to destroy remaining cancer cells. Despite this treatment, most individuals will experience disease progression. New research from Japanese and European studies indicates that the use of chemotherapy in addition to radiation therapy following surgery (adjuvant therapy) may increase the length of time a patient is cancer-free and overall survival time. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer recruited 334 patients diagnosed with locally advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity, oropharynx (middle part [...]

2009-03-22T10:50:53-07:00March, 2002|Archive|

Smokeless tobacco can cause Researchers find more education needed for young users in West Virginia

3/1/2002 West Virginia Fran Berger HealthScout Reporter A pinch between the cheek and gum can cause oral cancer, experts know. But researchers in West Virginia have found the kids who stick a wad in their mouth don't know the dangers. A recent survey of 808 public school students in the Mountaineer State found that use of chewing tobacco increased with age, with more than a third using smokeless tobacco monthly or daily by 11th grade -- and many didn't realize the substance could lead to disease. "West Virginia is usually No. 1 in the U.S. when it comes to use of smokeless tobacco," says Dr. Lynne J. Goebel, the study's lead author. "We've heard from doctors in rural areas that some people are using smokeless tobacco to help ease teething pain, rubbing it on babies' gums, and parents are giving it to kids as a reward for good grades," she says. Smokeless tobacco is "highly addictive. People who use smokeless tobacco have sustained nicotine levels," she says, explaining that with smoking, you're exposed for five minutes. But you have "a chew in your mouth for up to 30 minutes. Some sleep with it in their mouth." Goebel and her team compared 648 non-users with 160 male users of smokeless tobacco in the fifth, eighth and 11th grades in West Virginia public schools. Women were excluded, based on the small percentage who indulge. Seven percent of the fifth graders said they used smokeless tobacco. That rose to 22 percent in eighth [...]

2009-03-22T10:42:03-07:00March, 2002|Archive|
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