Coming between cowboys and chew

12/30/2004 Ken Carlson The Modesto Bee ( Health agency out to get Oakdale Rodeo to sever ties with maker of snuff A campaign backed by the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency is trying to buck a tobacco company's sponsorship of the Oakdale Rodeo. And since the Oakdale Saddle Club, which puts on the rodeo every April, so far has refused to cut ties with the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., the Health Services Agency plans another tack: a billboard due to go up next week along Highway 108 between Riverbank and Oak-dale. The message: "Don't let spit tobacco stain our rodeo." "Spit tobacco" is smokeless tobacco, such as Copenhagen and Skoal, two of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco's products. The company is the leading producer of brand-name smokeless tobacco, also called chew and snuff. The Buck Tobacco Sponsorship campaign is targeting rodeos in Stanislaus, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and San Diego counties. Campaign officials said rodeos are family events where cancer-causing products, such as tobacco, should not be promoted. Michael Wagner, an Oakdale Saddle Club board member who oversees sponsorships, said he has talked with Buck Tobacco campaign officials for several months. As of now, the club has no intention of ending its relationship with U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, he said. But, he added, the club will ensure that the smokeless tobacco sampling tent at 2005's rodeo will be nowhere near concessions that attract youngsters. "We want to work with them, as best we can, so we can retain the benefits of [...]

2009-03-25T18:19:31-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

COX-2 expression correlates with VEGF-C and lymph node metastases in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

12/29/2004 Panayiotis A Kyzas1, Dimitrios Stefanou1 and Niki J Agnantis1 Modern Pathology (2005) 18, 153-160, advance online publication, 23 July 2004 Recent observations suggest an implication of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in tumor lymphangiogenesis through an upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-C expression. It is unknown whether this mechanism also acts in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region. We performed a retrospective study of 70 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in order to investigate whether COX-2 immunohistochemical expression correlates with vascular endothelial growth factor-C expression. We also examined the association of the expression of these molecules with clinicopathologic parameters (especially lymph node status) and outcome for these patients. We performed immunostaining on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections by the routine streptavidin-biotin peroxidase labeled procedure. Increased cyclooxygenase-2 expression was observed in 30 of the 68 tumor samples (44%), while high vascular endothelial growth factor-C expression occurred in 26 of the 68 tumor samples (38%). High expression of the two proteins was correlated with the presence of lymph node metastasis at the time of diagnosis, and the observed association was even stronger when there was overexpression for both the antibodies (P<0.001). High expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-C, but not of COX-2 was correlated with increased mortality in patients with oral-larynx squamous cell carcinoma. When multivariate Cox regression model was applied, the presence of lymph node metastasis at the time of diagnosis, combined with overexpression of both the antibodies, was the only independent prognostic factor for mortality of [...]

2009-03-25T18:04:06-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

Ex-smoker uses voice he has left as warning

12/29/2004 no attribution The Tennessean ( Hugh Hankins talks into a small electronic microphone held to the hole in his throat. If you've made a New Year's resolution to quit smoking, you might want to listen to what he has to say about what cigarettes did for him. ''In 1978, I had 28 grand mal brain seizures,'' Hankins told me, his voice sounding like those anonymous hidden sources you see on the television news. To speak, he presses the button on his microphone. His mouth moves, but the only sound that comes out is from the hole. ''I was in a coma for a week. In 1984, I developed throat cancer. I had 28 radiation treatments. Back then, they shot you in both sides of your throat — just burned you up. About six months after, they did a total laryngectomy. They cut you straight across the throat. I have no voice at all. I have no smell at all.'' Hankins' tale is hard to listen to, both because he is difficult at times to understand and because it's full of so many painful experiences. He has had a collapsed esophagus, a brain tumor, prostate cancer and is now on total disability. Now and then, he has to have the hole in his throat enlarged when it starts closing up. His doctors believe the majority of his health problems were caused from his long history of smoking. Still, he said, ''I'm not complaining.'' He's happy just to be alive. See [...]

2009-03-25T18:03:31-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

Alcohol May Fuel Cancer Tumor Growth

12/27/2004 Kelli Miller Stacy ( Researchers say they have discovered a new clue as to how alcohol may speed up cancer progression. Since the early 1900s, alcohol consumption has been linked to cancer, particularly of the esophagus, stomach, liver, and even the breast. Doctor's know that the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk, but the exact role alcohol plays in cancer progression has remained a mystery. Now scientists say they've unraveled the clues behind this alcohol-cancer connection. A preliminary study, published in the Jan. 15, 2005 issue of the journal CANCER, shows, for the first time, that alcohol fuels the production of a growth factor that helps create new blood vessels inside a tumor, a process called angiogenesis. Production of these new blood vessels helps feed tumor cells. Jian-Wei Gu, MD, and colleagues from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, injected chick embryos, which contained cancer cells, with either salt water or alcohol for nine days. The alcohol content injected into the embryos was equivalent to what the researchers say is chronic alcohol administration. Based on their previous studies they say that light to moderate amounts of alcohol can induce new blood vessel growth. Embryos exposed to the alcohol had more than eight times the amount of cancer cells in their blood vessels than the saline-exposed embryos. The researchers also noted significant increases in tumor size and tumor blood vessel density, and higher levels of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) -- a protein involved in the [...]

2009-03-25T18:02:56-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

Knife boon for cancer

12/24/2004 Calcutta, India SANJAY MANDAL The Telegraph S.K. Ladla was having difficulty in swallowing and his voice had become hoarse. The doctors diagnosed the 65-year-old to be suffering from laryngo pharynx cancer — the most common variety of cancer among males in the city. In the past, such patients had no option but to go in for radiotherapy, as surgery was not possible. But not any more. Doctors at Advanced Research and Medicare Institute removed Ladla’s larynx and pharynx, and reconstructed his foodpipe with a free flap from the forearm. Indirect laryngoscopic examinations had earlier revealed a large growth involving the larynx, pharynx, respiratory pipe and the foodpipe. The cancer was detected after direct laryngoscopic biopsy, and a CT scan found that it was locally advanced, affecting both pipes. “Since the cancer was locally advanced, we had to remove both the pipes. Through micro-vascular reconstruction, pharynx was repaired and the patient is doing well,” said oncologist Subhankar Deb, who along with a team of other doctors, performed the 10-hour surgery. The carotid artery and internal jugular vein of the neck was rejoined with the vein and artery of the flap, thus maintaining nutrition and blood supply to it. “Had there not been such a reconstruction, the flap would not have survived,” Deb said. Tracheotomy was done to enable the patient to breathe. “We had planned to reconstruct the pharynx with a flap from the intestine. Since a wall of the pharynx could be retained, the flap was taken from the [...]

2009-03-25T18:02:26-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

Throat cancer treatment saves voices

12/24/2004 Ivanhoe Newswire The Triangle and Fayetteville A promising new option for people with throat cancer is combining surgery and laser treatment to save patients' voices. The benefactors are people like Dolly Sigel, who used to be a speech therapist. Ironically, she was recently faced with the possibility of losing her voice. "I was devastated," Sigel said, recalling the diagnosis of a cancerous tumor on her right vocal chord. "I couldn't believe that this was happening to me." One treatment option was seven weeks of radiation, but Dolly was afraid it might affect her voice. Luckily, she came across a doctor who sought a superior remedy. "Dr. Strome was doing a new procedure that would eliminate radiation, and there was a very good chance that voice quality would be retained," Sigel said. In the new procedure, Otolaryngologist Marshall Strome, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, uses a laser to remove the tumor and then uses cryosurgery to freeze any remaining tissue. "What the freezing does, at least to our knowledge at this point in time, is enables that scar tissue to be less dense, more pliable and gives us a better voice quality," he said. Strome explained that key to removing a tumor is to leave as much normal tissue as possible. He says cryosurgery does just that. After Sigel's treatment, her voice returned almost immediately. "I'm very optimistic," she said. "I just think it's terrific. Without a doubt, with no question, this has been a blessing." And it is [...]

2009-03-25T18:01:49-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Gene expression profile of invasive tumors characterized

12/24/2004 staff Genomics & Genetics Weekly, Dec. 17, 2004 Gene expression patterns associated with invasive oral squamous cell tumors have been identified. "There are limited studies attempting to correlate the expression changes in oral squamous cell carcinoma with clinically relevant variables," scientists in the United States noted. In their study, G.A. Toruner and coauthors at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey "determined the gene expression profile of 16 tumor and 4 normal tissues from 16 patients by means of Affymetrix Hu133A GeneChips." "The hybridized RNA was isolated from cells obtained with laser capture microdissection, then was amplified and labeled using T7 polymerase-based in vitro transcription," the investigators explained. "The expression of 53 genes was found to differ significantly (33 upregulated, 20 downregulated) in normal versus tumor tissues under two independent statistical methods." "The expression changes in four selected genes (LGALS1, MMP1, LAGY and KRT4) were confirmed with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction," according to the report. "Two-dimensional hierarchical clustering of the 53 genes resulted in the samples clustering according to the extent of tumor infiltration: normal epithelial tissue, tumors less than or equal to4 cm in dimension, and tumors more than 4 cm in dimension (p=0.0014)." "The same pattern of clustering was also observed for the 20 downregulated genes. We did not observe any associations with lymph node metastasis (p=0.097)," the researchers concluded.

2009-03-25T18:01:14-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

New Forays in Head and Neck Cancer Management

12/24/2004 Avraham Eisbruch, MD Medscape ( The superiority of radiation concurrent with chemotherapy in local/regional tumor control and disease-free survival, compared with radiation alone, has been established in several randomized studies and meta-analyses.[1] The combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is characterized by increased toxicity, notably acute mucositis and late dysphagia, which limit the intensity of therapy and further improvement of the therapeutic results. A new and exciting radiosensitizing strategy which has emerged in recent years for head and neck cancer is the blockage of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is overexpressed in the majority of head and neck carcinoma cells. Such blockage can be done by antibodies to EGFR (C225, or cetuximab), or by inhibitors of tyrosine kinase, the enzyme that is activated when EGFR is expressed. Encouraging results of phase 1/2 studies suggesting radiosensitization of head and neck cancer by cetuximab were presented several years ago. Radiotherapy in Tandem With Cetuximab In a special session devoted to the topic of innovations in head and neck cancer management at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), J.A. Bonner, MD, University of Alabama, Birmingham, and colleagues[2] presented initial results of a phase 3 study of radiotherapy with and without cetuximab for locally advanced head and neck cancer. This group of investigators randomized 424 patients with stage III or IV cancer, the majority having larynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx cancer. The 2 treatment arms were well balanced and several radiation regimens were used, including [...]

2009-03-25T18:00:40-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

Healthy Mouths

12/22/2004 Jennifer Barrett Ozols Newsweek Health ( New screening tools could help dentists save lives through the early detection of oral cancer. Should insurance companies be paying for the tests? A couple weeks before he was scheduled to have his teeth cleaned, Gerald Zember felt a slight pain in the back of his mouth. The retired lawyer figured he had burnt his tongue sipping hot soup or developed an ulcer from one too many spicy meals. And at first glance, Zember’s Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., dentist, William Balanoff, didn't notice anything unusual during a routine examination—until he pulled out a new oral-cancer screening tool called ViziLite. After Zember rinsed with a raspberry-flavored acetic solution, Balanoff inserted a ViziLite light stick into his patient’s mouth. Suddenly, a tiny white lesion became visible on the side of Zember's tongue. "It was tiny, but I couldn't explain it away," says Balanoff, since Zember had no history of canker sores that could have left such a mark. Zember, 78, did have a history of smoking, though, which put him at higher risk for oral cancer. So Balanoff referred him to an oral surgeon to have the lesion checked out. A biopsy revealed the cells were cancerous. "It was so tiny, I might not have noticed it until a year or a year and a half later [once it had grown]," says Balanoff. "By then, it would have been a stage-three cancer, and his chances wouldn't have been that good." About 30,000 Americans will be diagnosed [...]

2009-03-25T17:59:51-07:00December, 2004|Archive|

Health-related Quality of Life Outcome for Oral Cancer Survivors after Surgery and Postoperative Radiotherapy

12/21/2004 Fu-Min Fang et al. Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology 2004 34(11):641-646 Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQL) data are becoming an important supplement to information pertaining to treatment outcome for cancer patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the HRQL outcome for oral cancer survivors after surgery plus postoperative radiotherapy (RT) and to investigate the variables associated with their HRQL. Methods: Sixty-six oral cancer patients with cancer-free survival after surgery plus postoperative RT of >2 years were enrolled. The Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire in the Taiwan Chinese version was self-reported by all participants at the clinics. The linear regression model was used to analyze the socio-demographic and medical-related variables correlated with the physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) in SF-36. Results: The mean scores of the eight functional domains in the SF-36 were markedly lower for oral cancer survivors compared with the Taiwanese and US norms. Those with older age, lower annual family income, more advanced cancer stage and flap reconstruction had significantly worse PCS, and those with lower annual family income, unemployment and more advanced cancer stage reported significantly worse MCS. This model accounts for 63% of variance in PCS, and 51% in MCS. Conclusions: These results provided patient-reported evidence that oral cancer survivors lived with a worse HRQL compared with the general Taiwanese population. Socio-economic factors and cancer stage were important factors correlated with their HRQL. Authors: Fu-Min Fang(1), Wen-Ling Tsai(2), Chih-Yen Chien(3), Herng-Chia Chiu(4) and Chong-Jong Wang(1) Authors' Affiliation: (1) Department [...]

2009-03-25T17:59:12-07:00December, 2004|Archive|
Go to Top