8/30/2005 April Karys US Newswire When Dan Roth's lifelong friend and fellow musician called with an idea to do a benefit music concert-and told Roth he could pick the cause-the decision came naturally: Roth, a two-time oral cancer survivor, chose oral cancer awareness. “It was kind of a no-brainer for me because of how much the Oral Cancer Foundation has helped me,” Roth said. “I use their Web site a whole lot.” Roth, 36, is a resident of Sea Cliff, Long Island. But he grew up about six miles away, in Williston Park, going to school and playing drums with his friend, guitarist Greg Schochet, now a professional musician in Boulder, Colorado. “We grew up playing music in the basement,” said Roth, a drummer. When the boys were in seventh grade, Schochet's father played the music of folk legend Bob Dylan for them. From then on, the boys were diehard Dylan fans. So it's no surprise that when Schochet decided years later to pull the musicians of Boulder together for a themed evening of music, it should be a tribute to Dylan, held on the famed musician's birthday. “I was out there for a visit about a year before that,” said Roth. “And one day we sat around playing Dylan songs for hours and hours. He said 'Next time you come out, let's play a gig.' Then he called up a few weeks later and said 'I have a better idea. Why don't we make it a benefit, and you [...]
8/30/2005 Downers Grove, IL press release U.S. Newswire (releases.usnewswire.com) Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital's Cancer Care Center is offering the only Tomotherapy Unit in the Chicago/Metropolitan Area. This cutting edge technology is the most precise radiation therapy available for cancer patients and is currently available at only one other site in Northern Illinois (Zion, Ill.) Tomotherapy is a way to create precision with radiation by combining imaging for patient positioning with advanced intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). What does this mean to each patient? More accurate treatment, fewer side effects and decreased time commitments for patients. "Tomotherapy marries a CT (computerized tomography) scan with a radiation treatment machine, advancing accuracy of treatment", explains Michael Stutz, M.D. "Because we are imaging the tumor prior to each radiation treatment, we can ensure that our treatments are on target every day." William Hartsell, M.D. explains: "Tomotherapy is ideal to treat tumors that are next to important normal structures that should be spared from the radiation--such as treating prostate cancer to spare the rectum and bladder; head and neck cancer to spare the salivary glands; and brain cancer to spare as much normal brain as possible." The media is invited to a press conference on September 6, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. William Hartsell, M.D., Michael Stutz, M.D., Director of the Cancer Care Center, Paula Timmerman, a radiology technician and possibly a patient about to undergo treatment will be available for questions and comments. Media will also be able to view the new equipment.
8/30/2005 staff CancerConsultants (cancerconsultants.com) A recent phase III trial indicates that the addition of the targeted agent Erbitux (cetuximab) to radiation therapy improves survival in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. Approximately 40,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with head and neck cancer every year. Cancers of the head and neck comprise several types of cancer; these include the nasal cavity and sinuses, oral cavity, nasopharynx, oropharynx and other sites throughout the head and neck area. According to the American Cancer Society, 11,000 people died from head and neck cancer in 2004. Standard treatment for head and neck cancer is largely determined by the stage, or extent to which the cancer has spread, as well as the specific locations within the head or neck area where the cancer has spread. The patient’s overall medical condition is also a deciding factor. Treatment typically consists of radiation therapy, chemotherapy with surgery or surgery alone. Once head and neck cancer has spread from its site of origin, long-term outcomes are generally suboptimal. In addition, treatment for head and neck cancer often results in a compromised quality of life. Research and development of newl therapeutic approaches that will improve long-term outcomes and quality of life for patients with this disease continues. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway is involved in this research. This biologic pathway plays a role in cellular replication and is often over expressed in cancer. Erbitux, a monoclonal antibody (or protein), has been produced in a laboratory [...]
8/30/2005 staff CancerConsultants (cancerconsultants.com) According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, patients with head and neck cancers are more likely to benefit from accelerated radiation therapy if a high proportion of their cancer cells have receptors for epidermal growth factor, a growth factor that plays a role in cell proliferation and survival. Approximately 40,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with head and neck cancer every year. Cancers of the head and neck include cancers of the nasal cavity and sinuses, mouth, and throat. According to the American Cancer Society, 11,000 people died from head and neck cancer in 2004. Standard treatment for head and neck cancer is largely determined by the stage (extent to which the cancer has spread) and by the specific locations within the head or neck area where the cancer has spread. Among head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, one reason for treatment failure is the accelerated regrowth of cancer cells that can occur during fractionated radiation therapy (radiation therapy that is split into smaller doses and administered over the course of several days). To overcome this problem, researchers have investigated accelerated radiation therapy schedules. According to these schedules, higher daily doses of radiation are given over fewer days. Some patients may be more likely than others to benefit from these accelerated schedules. One factor that may influence patient response to different radiation therapy approaches is the presence of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) on cancer cells. Epidermal growth [...]
8/30/2005 Frankfurt, Germany press release Bloomberg News (bloomberg.com) Merck KGaA, which owns non-U.S. rights to ImClone Systems Inc.'s Erbitux cancer treatment, submitted to regulators new data on the drug's ability to treat head-and-neck cancers, aimed at boosting its sales in Europe. It submitted its application to the European Medicines Agency and the Swiss regulator Swissmedic, the Darmstadt, Germany-based drugmaker said today in an e-mailed statement. ImClone and its marketing partner Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. have applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to extend the drug's use in the U.S. Merck KGaA Chief Executive Bernhard Scheuble, who negotiated European rights to the drug from ImClone in 1998 for $60 million, aims to widen its use beyond colon cancer, for which it's approved in Europe and the U.S. Merck's sales from Erbitux came to 94 million euros ($115.5 million) during the first half of the year, compared with the 77 million euros it generated in all of 2004, its first year on the market. Erbitux is approved for patients whose bowel cancer has spread and who aren't benefiting from other treatments. The drug was approved in Europe and the U.S. on the basis of phase II clinical data that showed its ability to shrink tumors. Three phases of studies are generally required for regulatory approval. Difficult to Treat The additional sales potential from head-and-neck cancers, which are notoriously difficult to treat, is lower than for other cancer types, Groschke said in an Aug. 29 telephone interview. ``This indication is significantly smaller [...]
8/29/2005 Denmark staff The Lancet Oncology, August, 2005 reported by Newswise.com Danish scientists have identified which head and neck cancer patients will benefit from additional drug treatment during radiotherapy, in a paper published online today by The Lancet Oncology. Tumours that have low concentrations of oxygen (hypoxia) are resistant to radiotherapy. A drug called nimorazole (a hypoxia radiosensitiser) can improve the outcome of radiotherapy for patients with these types of tumours. However, at the moment there is no way to identify people with tumours that lack oxygen, who need this additional drug treatment, from those that only need radiotherapy. Researchers knew that the concentration of a protein called osteopontin was associated with tumours that lacked oxygen. Jens Overgaard (Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark) and colleagues assessed whether blood concentration of osteopontin could predict patients’ responses to nimorazole. The investigators measured the concentration of osteopontin in 320patients on a trial comparing nimorazole and radiotherapy with placebo and radiotherapy. Patients were grouped into high, intermediate, and low concentrations of osteopontin and the team recorded their outcome. They found that patients with high concentrations of the protein assigned placebo had a poorer prognosis than those with high concentrations on nimorazole. Professor Overgaard states: “. . . high plasma concentration of osteopontin predicted clinically relevant, modifiable hypoxia-induced resistance to radiotherapy, and this finding might help to identify patients who will benefit from treatment with a hypoxia modifier such as nimorazole during radiotherapy. By contrast, use of nimorazole was not effective in patients with low or [...]
8/29/2005 editorial Heraldnet (www.heraldnet.com) Perhaps country singer Gretchen Wilson is confused by her status as a role model; it doesn't mean she should model how to roll a wad of chewing tobacco into her lower lip. For her recent tobacco promotion, the country singer is now joining an ever-expanding group of not-so-worthy pop idols. Wilson, 32, a role model among teenage females who frequent her concerts, has been flashing a can of chewing tobacco to the crowd during her recent performances of new song "Skoal Ring," a song simply about the wonders of chew. Glamorizing chewing tobacco to an audience of impressionable young fans goes a long way to undermine every anti-tobacco campaign created to convince youths to avoid the cancer-causing habit. On stage, Wilson's gestures with her small can of tobacco may seem innocent and playful, but they can be detrimental. The female population has been a growing victim of lung cancer for decades. About 21 percent of U.S. females are smokers, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, far from the U.S. goal of cutting the number of smokers to 12.5 percent by 2010. Lung cancer rates increased 600 percent among women in the second half of the 20th century, and deaths from lung cancer now significantly outnumbers deaths from breast cancer. Smokeless tobacco, a more glamorized, if shocking, form of ingesting tobacco, will only continue this trend. This stiff-lower-lip form of tobacco ingestion dramatically increases a person's chance of getting oral cancer. Unfortunately, Wilson isn't [...]
8/26/2005 Detroit, MI Sharon Terlep Detroit News (www.detnews.com) A test done with a device that's essentially a toothbrush can help fight oral cancer -- one of the stealthiest, deadliest and costliest cancers plaguing minorities in Metro Detroit. The simple test, called a brush biopsy, can detect oral cancer long before it takes hold, saving patients' lives and sparing them costly medical bills. Oral health care experts hope the test will become as prevalent as mammograms, which have become a key to early detection of breast cancer. Many of those most at risk for oral cancer don't know an exam exists, however. Delta Dental Plans of Michigan and the Detroit Oral Cancer Prevention Project have teamed up on a regional campaign to encourage people, especially African-American men, who are at the highest risk for the disease, to get oral cancer tests. "It's a stealth problem that no one talks about," said Amid Ismail, director of the Detroit Oral Cancer Prevention Project and University of Michigan professor of dentistry. "It is unacceptable that the problem of oral cancer is not publicly known in Detroit." Oral cancer kills about 30,000 Americans a year and is especially prevalent in Detroit. The city each year ranks among the top five metropolitan areas for oral cancer rates. Smoking, drinking alcohol and exposure to ultraviolet rays are all risk factors for oral cancer. Donald Jones worried for weeks because his tongue was changing color. The 66-year-old Detroiter decided to get a test, which was negative, after seeing [...]
8/26/2005 England C. Scully British Dental Journal (2005); 199, 203-207 The incidence of oral cancer amongst young adults is increasing in many European and high incidence countries. Most oral cancer is aetiologically linked to the use of tobacco and/or alcohol but nearly two decades ago, we produced the first evidence for the presence of viral nucleic acids in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) tissues, hypothesising that there may be a viral involvement in at least some OSCC. Subsequently, human papilloma viruses (HPV) in particular have been implicated in OSCC. Antibody responses to HPV are seen and HPV-DNA detected in tumours by us and many others, the virus being mainly HPV-16, the genotype associated with ano-genital cancer. Recent studies have indicated that HPV may be aetiologically important particularly in some types of oropharyngeal cancer, at least in tonsillar carcinogenesis, and may represent an alternative pathway in carcinogenesis to the established factors of tobacco and alcohol. Studies of patients with OSCC have suggested possible sexual transmission of HPV. Author's affiliation: Dean, Director of Studies and Research, Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, University of London, 256 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8LD OCF Note: Welcome to the 21st century doctors....OCF reported peer reviewed articles with this conclusion more than a year ago.
8/26/2005 Hampshire, England Fleur Pijpers, Richard Faint & Nish Saini Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 4, 623-624 (2005); Unmet needs across the oncology market remain high, with most traditional therapies representing a trade-off between levels of specificity, efficacy and toxicity. The development of therapeutic cancer vaccines, designed to confer active, specific immunotherapy directed against tumour-associated antigens (TAAs), could be the ideal solution for the successful eradication of some cancers. Cancer vaccines offer the prospect of high specificity, low toxicity and prolonged activity. However, although there is a solid technical and scientific rationale behind the development of vaccines, this theory has yet to be consistently translated into clinical practice and, to date, most cancer vaccines have been associated with high rates of clinical failure. Beyond scientific hurdles, the relative immaturity and lack of precedence in the cancer vaccine market has also brought to light an entirely new spectrum of clinical, regulatory and strategic challenges. Challenges in an unprecedented market From a clinical perspective, cancer vaccines are most likely to complement current oncology therapies rather than serve as replacements. However, some cytotoxics have known immunosuppressive properties, and therefore the optimal scheduling of chemotherapy administration needs to be defined in order to avoid compromising the activity of therapeutic cancer vaccines. The design of clinical trials for cancer vaccines and the regulatory assessment of vaccine technologies raise additional issues: as a result of their mode of action and hypothetical prolonged antitumour activity, the optimal assessment of cancer vaccines might require a shift away from the [...]