Israeli project develops novel solution to dry mouth

2/28/2005 David Brinn Israel21c ( Most of us may suffer dry mouth from time to time. But for 80 million people in the developed world who suffer from the condition - technically known as xerostomia - it is a permanent condition caused by a lack of lubrication in the mouth Now an Israeli undertaking - under the project name Saliwell - has developed a removable device called the GenNarino that stimulate saliva production through electro-stimulation. "Our devices apply a low energy level of electricity to the right nerves that lead to a higher level of saliva secretion," explained Dr Andy Wolff, Saliwell project coordinator at Assuta Medical Centers in Israel. Xerostomia is defined as the subjective feeling of dry mouth and is frequently associated with a reduction in salivary glands function.. It's a chronic and mostly irreversible condition induced as a side effect by over 500 types of medication used to treat chronic diseases (like hypertension, depression, etc.), and by radiation therapy for head & neck cancer patients. Xerostomia also is a typical symptom of some auto-immune diseases (Sjögren?s syndrome is the most prominent) and other conditions. According to Wolff, salivary glands malfunction in the mouth for a number of reasons. These include diseases such as autoimmune diseases and diabetes, treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy or from the side effects of medication. Those who are afflicted have the condition for life. They endure the many unpleasant aspects of xerostomia. "It disturbs their speech, their swallowing, tasting," explains Wolff. "It wakes [...]

2009-03-25T20:21:11-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Smokeless tobacco use among professional baseball players: survey results, 1998 to 2003

2/28/2005 H H Severson et al. Tobacco Control 2005;14:31-36 Objective: The use of smokeless tobacco (ST) (snuff and chewing tobacco) has long been associated with baseball in the USA. This article reviews six years of survey data from major and minor league baseball players to evaluate trends in tobacco use and quitting patterns over time in order to gain insight into the effects of past interventions and to document continued intervention needs. Method: Surveys were distributed by athletic trainers to major and minor league professional baseball players during spring training session in the six years from 1998 to 2003. The surveys were anonymous and identified only by team, level of league, and other self reported demographic data. Results: ST use among professional baseball players remains much higher than among young males in the general population, and use is most prevalent among white non-Hispanic players. There was a significant decrease in ST use among minor league players from 1998 to 2003, with seven day self reported use declining from 31.7% in 1998 to 24.8% in 2003. No significant year to year changes were observed for major league players. Major league players’ self reported past week use rates, estimated at 35.9% in 1998 and at 36% in 2003, were consistently higher than those of minor league players. Self reported prevalence of past month cigarette and cigar smoking was much lower than ST use for both major and minor league players. Conclusions: Six years of survey data confirm a continuing high use of [...]

2009-03-25T20:20:38-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Human Papillomavirus Types in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas Worldwide: A Systematic Review

2/28/2005 Aimee R. Kreimer et al. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Vol. 14, 467-475, February 2005 Mucosal human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the cause of cervical cancer and likely a subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC), yet the global prevalence and type distribution of HPV in HNSCC remains unclear. We systematically reviewed published studies of HNSCC biopsies that employed PCR-based methods to detect and genotype HPV to describe the prevalence and type distribution of HPV by anatomic cancer site. Geographic location and study size were investigated as possible sources of variability. In the 5,046 HNSCC cancer specimens from 60 studies, the overall HPV prevalence was 25.9% [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 24.7-27.2]. HPV prevalence was significantly higher in oropharyngeal SCCs (35.6% of 969; 95% CI, 32.6-38.7) than oral SCCs (23.5% of 2,642; 95% CI, 21.9-25.1) or laryngeal SCCs (24.0% of 1,435; 95% CI, 21.8-26.3). HPV16 accounted for a larger majority of HPV-positive oropharyngeal SCCs (86.7%; 95% CI, 82.6-90.1) compared with HPV-positive oral SCCs (68.2%; 95% CI, 64.4-71.9) and laryngeal SCCs (69.2%; 95% CI, 64.0-74.0). Conversely, HPV18 was rare in HPV-positive oropharyngeal SCCs (2.8%; 95% CI, 1.3-5.3) compared with other head and neck sites [34.1% (95% CI, 30.4-38.0) of oral SCCs and 17.0% (95% CI, 13.0-21.6) of laryngeal SCCs]. Aside from HPV16 and HPV18, other oncogenic HPVs were rarely detected in HNSCC. Tumor site–specific HPV prevalence was higher among studies from North America compared with Europe and Asia. The high HPV16 prevalence and the lack of HPV18 in oropharyngeal [...]

2009-03-25T20:20:00-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Human papilloma virus in oral squamous cell carcinoma in a Mexican population

2/25/2005 BR Ibieta et al. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod, March 1, 2005; 99(3): 311-5 Objective: To determine the human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in oral cancer and its association with smoking and drinking habits. Study design: A cross-sectional study was performed; samples were collected from 51 patients with histological diagnosis of squamous-cell carcinoma were collected at the Instituto Nacional de Cancerologa in Mexico City. HPV infection was detected by polymerase chain reaction, and the clinical characteristics of this population were analyzed. Results: Fifty samples out of 51 were positive for beta-globin; 21 (42%) cases were HPV-positive, and 14/21 were positive for HPV-16. We found more samples positive in men than in women (71% vs 29%). No differences were observed between HPV-positive and -negative patients in relation to smoking and drinking habits (81% vs 79%). Conclusions: HPV infection was present in 42% of patients with oral squamous-cell carcinoma (OSCC); HPV-16 was the most frequent type, identified in 66.6%. Other cofactors participate in the development of OSCC, independent of HPV infection. Authors: BR Ibieta, M Lizano, M Fras-Mendivil, JL Barrera, A Carrillo, L Ma Ruz-Godoy, and A Mohar

2009-03-25T20:19:17-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Cancer Therapy Dropped in U.S. Is Revived in China

2/25/2005 Andrew Pollack New York Times ( Chinese biotechnology companies have long copied American drugs for use in their home markets. But one Chinese imitator may now save a novel cancer treatment from oblivion after it was abandoned by its American developer. Shanghai Sunway Biotech, a biotechnology company in Shanghai, has licensed worldwide rights to the therapy from Onyx Pharmaceuticals, based in Emeryville, Calif., people at both companies said. It is a sign that China is plowing ahead in certain areas of medicine that are regarded more cautiously in the United States. The therapy uses a virus that has been genetically modified to attack cancer cells but avoid normal cells. The treatment, called Onyx-015, elicited great interest among cancer researchers a few years ago when it showed the ability to shrink tumors in midstage clinical trials. But there were challenges delivering the therapy to tumors because the immune system attacks the virus. Some scientists also considered the treatment a form of gene therapy, a technique that fell into disfavor after the death of a teenager in a gene therapy trial at the University of Pennsylvania. Onyx stopped work on the virus treatment in 2003 to devote its money to a more conventional cancer drug that is now in late stage trials with Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company. Onyx could not find a partner willing to pay for further development of the virus therapy. Unbeknownst to Onyx, however, Sunway researchers duplicated its approach after reading a paper published by Onyx scientists [...]

2009-03-25T20:18:51-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Cigarette ads target women

2/24/2005 Bowling Green, OH Laura Collins Bowling Green State University News ( University graduate student Michelle Grindstaff presented "Women, Smoking and Advertising: Have We Come a Long Way, Baby?" yesterday to students and faculty members in Hanna Hall. The presentation, a part of the Women's Center's Brown Bag Lunch series, discussed strategies tobacco companies use in their advertisements to entice female consumers. The pressure to be thin and womens want for gender equality are two of the issues that cigarette advertisements focus on when selling their product to women, Grindstaff said. The media also plays a large role in creating so-called beauty and gender norms that unrealistically portray women's bodies in society, she said. For example, the average model is 5-foot-11-inch and 117 pounds, while the average woman is 5-foot-4-inch and 140 pounds. Tobacco companies use the fact that many women are looking for ways to lose weight, by healthy and unhealthy means, as a marketing tool, she said. "Smoking is one example of the destructive behaviors encouraged in the media to achieve unrealistic standards of beauty for women," she said. The other common theme that appears in cigarette ads is that smoking promotes gender equality. It sends that message that if you smoke, you'll be one of the guys, Grindstaff said. She also discussed ads that target women by using the phrase "find your voice." Since it has often been a metaphor for speaking out, it looks like it promotes gender equality, she said. "You can get throat cancer [...]

2009-03-25T20:16:40-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Cancer study seeks clues to minorities’ high morbidity rates

2/24/2005 Angela Stewart The Star Ledger ( A newly awarded $1.2 million federal grant will help researchers unlock the mysteries behind why minorities in New Jersey suffer worse cancer outcomes than whites, with interventions developed to alleviate those causes, officials announced yesterday at a Jersey City news conference. The three-year grant, awarded by the National Institutes of Health, will establish a Center for Excellence in Health Disparities, to be led by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. The university will collaborate with two other institutions -- the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick and New Jersey City University in Jersey City-- on7 the project that will, among other things, seek to find the underlying causes of cancer disparities. "New Jersey is the most racially and ethnically diverse state in the nation and is consistently ranked among the top 10 states in the nation with the highest cancer morbidity and mortality among minority populations," said Rep. Robert Menendez (D-13th Dist. ), who helped secure the funding, along with Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) and Rep. Steven Rothman (D-9th Dist.). African-American men in New Jersey are more than twice as likely as white men to die from prostate cancer, said Diane Brown, who heads UMDNJ's Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, founded in 2001. The new program, initially targeting its outreach in Newark and Jersey City, will build upon the efforts already underway at UMDNJ, where a cancer center is set to open on the [...]

2009-03-25T20:16:02-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Submandibular Gland Transfer for Prevention of Xerostomia After Radiation Therapy

2/24/2005 Jana Rieger et al. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131:140-145 Objective: To assess swallowing outcomes in patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma in relation to the Seikaly-Jha procedure for submandibular gland transfer (SJP). The SJP has recently been described as beneficial in the prevention of xerostomia induced by radiation therapy in patients with head and neck cancer. Design: Inception cohort. Setting: University-affiliated primary care center. Patients: A phase 2 clinical trial was conducted from February 1, 1999, through February 28, 2002, to evaluate SJP in patients with head and neck cancer. During that period, a consecutive sample of 51 patients who underwent surgical resection and reconstruction with a radial forearm free flap for oropharyngeal carcinoma were referred for functional assessment of swallowing after completion of adjuvant radiation therapy. At 6 months after surgery, swallowing assessments for 24 patients were available. Intervention: The cohort of 24 patients included 13 who had preservation of 1 submandibular gland (SJP group) and 11 who did not (control group). Main Outcome Measures: Quantitative and qualitative aspects of swallowing were obtained to determine whether patients in the SJP group performed more optimally than those in the control group. Results: Baseline and stimulated salivary flow rates were significantly different between groups. Patients in the SJP group were able to move the bolus through the oral cavity and into the pharynx faster than those in the control group. In addition, patients in the SJP group swallowed less often per bolus than patients in the control group. The complete swallowing [...]

2009-03-25T20:15:05-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

New devices for people who suffer dry mouth or lack of saliva

2/23/2005 For dry mouth sufferers Saliwell’s innovative patented devices brings welcome relief by restoring natural saliva production through electro-stimulation. Most of us may suffer dry mouth from time to time. But for 80 million people in the developed world it is a permanent condition caused by a lack of lubrication in the mouth. With IST programme funding Saliwell has developed devices that stimulate saliva production. “Our devices apply a low energy level of electricity to the right nerves that lead to a higher level of saliva secretion,” says Dr Andy Wolff, Saliwell project coordinator at Assuta Medical Centers in Israel. Their removable device, GenNarino, is custom made which sufferers wear whenever they need it. Dentists make an impression of the patient’s mouth and send it to the manufacturer, which in turn embeds the circuitry between two sheets of dental material and returns the device to the dentist. The patient recharges the battery through the year using the Saliwell tester and recharger, and returns the GenNarino once a year to the manufacturer to fabricate a new one or install fresh batteries, offering a kind of permanent service. There are no side affects to the electricity and they are now conducting double blind placebo controlled clinical trials. After about 200 experiments they have found a significant increase in saliva secretion and relief to the patients. Alongside the clinical trials there have been questionnaires. The findings are positive with no complaints, despite it being a prosthetic that fits in the mouth, says [...]

2009-03-25T20:14:34-07:00February, 2005|Archive|

Is There Still a Role for Induction Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer?

2/18/2005 Houston, TX Adam S. Garden Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 23, No 6 (February 20), 2005: pp. 1059-1060 Nasopharynx cancer is a disease known for chemosensitivity compared with its counterparts in the head and neck, and is also notorious for a greater incidence of systemic spread compared with squamous cancers arising from other head and neck sites. Thus, the appeal of systemic therapies to treat this disease is great. In the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chua et al1 report a form of meta-analysis evaluating cisplatin-based induction therapy for nasopharynx cancer. By pooling the data from the two largest trials exploring the role of induction chemotherapy, it was hoped that the combination of two independently negative trials would gain sufficient statistical power to result in a positive result. Alas, with respect to overall survival, the overall trial results remain negative. The current analysis adds to the growing database of neoadjuvant chemotherapy trials in head and neck cancer that have not demonstrated a survival advantage for the use of induction therapy. These results are consistent with the Meta-Analysis of Chemotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer Collaborative Group's finding, which revealed no significant survival benefit associated with the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy.2 In the 1990s, induction chemotherapy was a critical component in the management of patients when organ preservation was the goal. Often, survival equivalence was a satisfactory end point. The Veterans Affairs and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer larynx preservation studies demonstrated that not [...]

2009-03-25T20:14:02-07:00February, 2005|Archive|
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