Public Lacks Important Knowledge about Oral, Head and Neck Cancer

8/30/2004 Washington, DC News release from AHNS American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) Most adult Americans know how to light a cigarette and order a drink, but a great number of them are clueless about the consequence of these two destructive habits – oral and head and neck cancer. Oral and head and neck cancer (OHNC) is the term used for the group of cancers found in head and neck region, including the oral cavity (mouth, floor of mouth, lips, teeth, gums, lining of lips and cheeks), oropharynx (the back one-third of the tongue), the nasopharynx (area behind the nose), hypopharynx (lower part of the throat), and larynx (voice box). It is estimated that nearly 40,000 new cases of oral, head, and neck cancer were diagnosed in 2003; approximately 85 percent of them attributable to tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption. The five year survival rate for OHNC is only 56 percent, a rate that has remained unchanged over several decades. Considering that most adults who smoke today started using tobacco before the age of 18 and adolescent tobacco users are three times more likely to drink alcohol than non-tobacco users, the Federal Government has included improved survival and early detection of oral and head and neck cancer as two of the nation’s health objectives. Experts believe that increased efforts to educate the public about OHNC will lead to early detection and treatment of these cancers, increasing survival. The current study endeavors to document the public’s belief about OHNC in [...]

2009-03-23T09:29:05-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

Cetuximab, radiation almost doubles head and neck cancer survival

8/30/2004 NEW ORLEANS, LA James A. Bonner, MD 40th ASCO Annual Meeting By blocking the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cetuximab (Erbitux, ImClone and Bristol-Myers Squibb) may be a valuable treatment option for patients with head and neck cancer. In several studies presented here at the 40th ASCO Annual Meeting, cetuximab produced results as a single agent or in combination with other drugs or radiation in patients with locoregionally advanced and recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Adding cetuximab to radiation therapy nearly doubled survival for patients with locoregionally advanced SCCHN in a phase-3 international trial. “The use of cetuximab and radiation therapy may become an excellent choice of therapy for this group of patients,” said James A. Bonner, MD, the chairman and Merle M. Salter Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Most SCCHN cells overexpress the EGFR, which is associated with aggressive tumor behavior and poor clinical outcome. Bonner and his colleagues hypothesized that treating patients with EGFR-blocking drugs, like cetuximab, could potentially make these cancers more sensitive to radiation. The researchers compared survival between 211 patients who received high-dose radiation therapy plus cetuximab and 213 patients who received radiation therapy alone. Median survival was nearly twice as great in the cetuximab group: 54 months versus 28 months. At one year, 69% of patients in the cetuximab-radiation arm had achieved locoregional control, compared with 59% of patients in the radiation-alone arm. More of the cetuximab patients were alive [...]

2009-03-23T09:26:09-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

Doctors grow new jaw in man’s back

8/27/2004 LONDON, England Reported by a release to the Associated Press Lancet A German who had his lower jaw cut out because of cancer has enjoyed his first meal in nine years -- a bratwurst sandwich -- after surgeons grew a new jaw bone in his back muscle and transplanted it to his mouth in what experts call an "ambitious'' experiment. According to this week's issue of The Lancet medical journal, the German doctors used a mesh cage, a growth chemical and the patient's own bone marrow, containing stem cells, to create a new jaw bone that fit exactly into the gap left by the cancer surgery. Tests have not been done yet to verify whether the bone was created by the blank-slate stem cells and it is too early to tell whether the jaw will function normally in the long term. But the operation is the first published report of a whole bone being engineered and incubated inside a patient's body and transplanted. Stem cells are the master cells of the body that go on to become every tissue in the body. They are a hot area of research with scientists trying to find ways to prompt them to make desired tissues, and perhaps organs. But while researchers debate whether the technique resulted in a scientific advance involving stem cells, the operation has achieved its purpose and changed a life, said Stan Gronthos, a stem cell expert at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Adelaide, Australia. "A [...]

2009-03-23T09:25:32-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

Gates Contributes to Stem Cell Campaign

8/25/2004 Reported on Associated Press Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates contributed $400,000 to the campaign backing a California ballot measure that would make billions of dollars available for human embryonic stem cell research and cloning projects in the state, according to campaign records. Gates is the latest billionaire to contribute to a campaign that has amassed more than $12 million in support of Proposition 71, which would have the state borrow $3 billion to fund the controversial research over 10 years. Cloning projects solely for research would be funded, but cloning programs to create babies would be barred. Only two California measures on the Nov. 2 ballot, each related to gambling, have attracted more campaign contributions. EBay Inc. founder Omar Omidyar and his wife have contributed $1 million in support of Proposition 71, as have billionaire savings and loan executives Marion and Herbert Sandler. Venture capitalists, Hollywood celebrities and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have also made big contributions to the campaign. "Bill believes in the promise of science and research and development to create new ways to improve health and well being around the world," said Joe Cerrell, a Gates' family spokesman. The Yes on 71 campaign declines as a matter of policy to discuss individual campaign contributions. The $27 billion Gates Foundation is one of the world's largest philanthropic organizations dedicated to curing diseases. The campaign to defeat Proposition 71 has garnered just $15,000 in contributions. Human embryonic stem cells are created in the first days after [...]

2009-03-23T09:24:21-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

Long-term Outcomes of Submandibular Gland Transfer for Prevention of Postradiation Xerostomia

8/24/2004 See below for authors Journal of Otolaryngology & Head Neck Surgery Background: Xerostomia is a permanent and devastating sequela of head and neck irradiation, and its numerous consequences affect most aspects of the patient's life. A new method of preserving and protecting a single submandibular gland from radiation damage through the Seikaly-Jha procedure (SJP) has recently been described. Objective: To report the long-term outcomes of the SJP. Design: Inception cohort. Patients: The trial was conducted between February 1, 1999, and February 1, 2002. All patients were followed up through the head and neck cancer clinic at the Cross Cancer Institute. All data were collected by a dedicated research nurse. Salivary function was evaluated at regular intervals with salivary flow studies and questionnaires. Results: Ninety-six patients were enrolled in the study, and 38 had a minimum of 2 years' follow-up. The cohort of 38 patients was composed of 2 groups: 26 patients had preservation of one submandibular gland through the SJP, while the remaining 12 did not. Salivary flow was preserved in the SJP group, in which 83% of patients reported normal amounts of saliva 2 years after radiotherapy, compared with none in the SJP group. There were no disease recurrences on the side of the transferred gland or in the submental space. There were no surgical complications attributed to the transfer procedure. Conclusions: The SJP prevented xerostomia in 83% of the study patients. The approach appears to be oncologically sound and safe. From the Divisions of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck [...]

2009-03-23T09:16:32-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

Turkmen Leader Orders People to Stop Chewing Chicken Crap

8/23/2004 Moscow, Russia The Moscow News The president on Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, has issued a decree banning his people to chew nas in common places, Russia’s news agency Interfax reported on Friday. Nas or naswai is the country’s staple drug, made of tobacco, slacked lime and chicken excrement. People chew nas for its mild narcotic and stimulating qualities. According to medical reports, about 80 percent of Central Asian people diagnosed with throat cancer chew nas in their life. Niyazov’s decree, published on Friday, forbids to consume nas in ministries and public institutions, at all enterprises and organizations, in military units and border guard posts in educational and children’s establishments, in theaters, in public and private transport, in parks and shops. The list of the places gives the rough impression of how spread the habit is. The decree also banned selling nas everywhere except for specially assigned places — usually cattle markets. Those who violate the decree will face fine of two minimum wages — 500 thousand manat ($85). Illegal nas traders will be fined $170. OCF Note: We don't make this stuff up folks (like the title of this authentic news article), we just report and post the news as we find it........

2009-03-23T09:15:53-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

A Saliva Test for oral cancer

8/19/2004 Baltimore, MD Johns Hopkins news release New Saliva Test Helps Detect Head and Neck Cancer in Early Stages A new noninvasive DNA test has been developed that simply swabs the mouth to diagnose head and neck cancer. The test could improve early detection of head and neck cancer, which would improve patient's survival and reduce the need for radiation therapy, chemotherapy and extensive surgery. "The test has been developed to detect head and neck cancer at an early stage," said David Sidransky, MD, director of head and neck cancer research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, one of the researchers studying the new test. "If you look at oral cancer, about half of them are diagnosed at very advanced stages, so clearly, they're not being diagnosed at an early stage." The test works by first swabbing the entire area of the inside of the cheeks and the back of the tongue. Then the patient rinses with a solution and spits it out. Then the swab and the rinse are mixed together so as many cells as possible are obtained, he added. "The more cells we have, the better the genetic test is," Dr. Sidransky explained. First Phases of Testing In the first phase of the study, Dr. Sidransky and colleagues tested cells from the saliva of 21 patients who already had head and neck cancer and 22 cancer-free patients. They found genetic "clonal markers" in the cells of 71 percent of cancer patients compared to none of the cancer-free [...]

2009-03-23T09:14:49-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

New Vaccine May Protect Against Cervical Cancer

8/17/2004 See end of article for authors American Society for Microbiology Researchers from Maryland have developed a new DNA vaccine that targets proteins expressed in cervical cancer cells. Their findings appear in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Virology. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in more than 99 % of cervical cancer cases, which is the second leading cause of cancer death among women throughout the world. Consistently identified in HPV cancer cells, proteins E6 and E7 are the determined cause of malignant transformation. In the study mice were immunized with a DNA vaccine encoding CRT (a binding protein with many cellular functions) and linked to E6 targeting HPV-associated lesions. Results showed a significant T-cell immune response specific to E6, indicating that a CRT/E6 DNA vaccine could also protect against E6 expressing tumors. "We have shown that DNA vaccines encoding E6 can generate strong E6-specific CD8+ T-cell immunity and can control the growth of E6-expressing tumor cells," say the researchers. "Therefore, E6 vaccines, and perhaps E6 and E7 vaccines in combination, may represent an important approach to controlling HPV-associated cancers." (S. Peng, H. Ji, C. Trimble, L. He, Y. Tsai, J. Yeatermeyer, D.A.K. Boyd, C. Hung, T.-C. Wu. 2004. Development of a DNA vaccine targeting human papillomavirus type 16 oncoprotein E6. Journal of Virology, 78. 16: 8468-8476.) OCF Note: As we have mentioned in previous reports on the development of this area of exploration, these vaccines have enormous ramifications for oral cancers, many of which are associated with [...]

2009-03-23T09:14:11-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

Charlie Watts’ Throat Cancer An Eye Opener

8/16/2004 Canada When high-profile Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts decided to go public with his battle against throat cancer, it did much more than shock us, it raised the awareness of this deadly disease. Sadly, there was a time when celebrities like Watts would keep their health issues secret, out of the public eye. However, those days appear to be behind us and we owe Charlie Watts a big "thank you", for his decision. It isn't easy telling the world you're ill. Charlie Watts has opened our eyes, it's now up to us to ensure the continued funding of cancer research to find a cure for this devastating disease. Watts, 63, was diagnosed with throat cancer in June, after he discovered a lump in this throat. He has been undergoing radiotherapy for about four weeks and is expected to make a full recovery.

2009-03-23T09:13:04-07:00August, 2004|Archive|

Actor Jack Klugman Lends His Voice to Oral Cancer Prevention

Three-time Emmy winner and cancer survivor, actor Jack Klugman couldn't speak for more than three years after his cancer treatments. Now that he has regained his voice, he's lending it to the Oral Cancer Foundation's effort to educate the public through television PSAs about the need for an annual screening to catch oral cancers in their early, most survivable stages. The public service announcements began airing September 15th, and will continue to air in several hundred markets in the US through the end of the year. Klugman, who is most famous for his television roles portraying compulsive slob Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple," and medical examiner Quincy in "Quincy, M.E.," recently made his return to television with an appearance as a medical examiner on "Crossing Jordan" and in live theater to rave reviews in the production of "An Evening with Jack Klugman." Klugman returns to the stage again this month at the Falcon Theatre in "Golf With Alan Shepard," directed by Skip Greer; and in the spring will play a movie director in "The Value of Names," to be staged at New York's Queens Theatre in the Park. Klugman credits early detection for his survival of cancer and his subsequent return to stage and screen. "When I contacted Jack about doing the PSA for the Oral Cancer Foundation, he responded immediately," said Brian Hill, foundation executive director. "He said, 'I'm your perfect candidate--I'm here today only because my doctors found it and treated it early... let's do it!'" But [...]

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