China Approves World’s First Oncolytic Virus Therapy For Cancer Treatment

2/28/2006 Bethesda, MD Ken Garber Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 98, No. 5, 298-300, March 1, 2006 Oncolytic virus research got a welcome boost last November when Chinese regulators approved the world's first oncolytic viral therapy for cancer, Shanghai Sunway Biotech's genetically modified adenovirus H101. "It's fantastic for the field," said John Bell, Ph.D., of the Ottawa Health Research Institute in Canada. "We needed to have something that was a success, and so I think this is a good first start." Oncolytic viruses are live viruses that selectively kill cancer cells. Shanghai Sunway Biotech expects to begin marketing H101 in July for treating head and neck cancer. The company is also testing the virus in lung cancer and has bought the rights to Onyx-15, an almost identical virus that Onyx Pharmaceuticals took into phase III trials in 2000 but later dropped after its marketing partner bailed out. Now the Chinese effort has breathed new life into the Onyx virus. Sunway's next step, says company president Hu Fang, M.D., is to compare it with H101 in a Chinese trial. The company will then apply to test one of the viruses in Europe and the United States. "The first choice is Onyx-15, but we can't exclude the H101," Hu said. Virus Interruptus The Chinese resurrection of Onyx-15 gives it a second chance after the aborted U.S. run that began in 1996. That year, Onyx biochemist Frank McCormick, Ph.D.—now the director of the University of California, San Francisco, Comprehensive Cancer Center—had [...]

2009-04-10T16:16:23-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

Multiagent Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy for Locoregionally Advanced Squamous Cell Head and Neck Cancer: Mature Results From a Single Institution

2/28/2006 Cleveland, OH David J. Adelstein et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 24, No 7 (March 1), 2006: pp. 1064-1071 Purpose: A retrospective review with long-term follow-up is reported from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation studying radiation and concurrent multiagent chemotherapy in patients with locoregionally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer. Patients and methods: Between 1989 and 2002, 222 patients were treated with 4-day continuous infusions of fluorouracil (1,000 mg/m2/d) and cisplatin (20 mg/m2/d) during weeks 1 and 4 of either once daily or twice daily radiation therapy. Primary site resection was reserved for patients with residual or recurrent primary site disease after chemoradiotherapy. Neck dissection was considered for patients with N2 or greater disease, irrespective of clinical response, and for patients with residual or recurrent neck disease. Results: With a median follow-up of 73 months, the Kaplan-Meier 5-year projected overall survival rate is 65.7%, freedom from recurrence rate is 74.0%, local control without the need for surgical resection rate is 86.7%, and overall survival rate with organ preservation is 62.2%. Including patients undergoing primary site resection as salvage therapy, the overall local control rate is 92.4%. Regional control rate at 5 years is 92.4%. Among patients with N2-3 disease, regional control was significantly better if a planned neck dissection was performed. Distant control at 5 years was achieved in 85.4% of patients and was significantly worse in patients with hypopharyngeal primary sites and patients with poorly differentiated tumors. Conclusion: Concurrent multiagent chemoradiotherapy can result in organ preservation and [...]

2009-04-10T16:15:54-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

Treatment of Advanced Head and Neck Cancer: What Lessons Have We Learned?

2/27/2006 East Lansing, MI Barbara A. Conley Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 24, No 7 (March 1), 2006: pp. 1023-1025 Treatment of advanced squamous cell cancers of the head and neck (HNSCC) can be a frustrating endeavor. Early diagnosis may be missed by delay on the part of patients or their physicians and dentists. Patients are often elderly and have multiple medical or social comorbidities. HNSCC is an interdisciplinary disease, with optimum management requiring the input of the medical, radiation, and surgical oncologist, as well as pathologist, dentist, speech pathologist, social worker, and a dedicated home caregiver. The necessary specialists for optimum management may not be present near the patient's home, necessitating ad hoc clinical teams or further delay and dislocation of the patient and caregiver for an extended treatment period. Numerous phase II and phase III studies have been performed with the hope of improving survival and preserving organ function in locally advanced disease. We now know that survival is improved by radiation administered concurrent with chemotherapy, but there are added toxicities.1 We also know that radiation with chemotherapy can result in survival that approximates the survival obtained by radical surgery followed by radiation therapy, especially if surgical salvage is performed at early signs of residual or recurrent disease.2,3 We know less about what the optimal radiation regimen or chemotherapy regimen should be for an individual patient. Currently, standard therapy for locally advanced HNSCC could be radiation administered daily, twice daily, or in a concomitant boost regimen, with or [...]

2009-04-10T16:15:02-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

Many patients survive cancer but still suffer from the cures

2/27/2007 Norfolk, VA Nancy Young Freddie Cano had cancer. He doesn't anymore. In 1998, he noticed a lump on his neck. It turned out to be a tumor at the base of his tongue that wrapped all the way around his left carotid artery. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and success followed. The cancer was killed. But the treatment that vanquished the cancer also destroyed Cano's salivary glands, so he constantly drinks water to keep his mouth from getting dry. It takes longer to eat, because of scar tissue in his throat that must periodically be thinned. For a time after the treatment, one foot "dropped" when he walked. "The chemo was short-circuiting the brain waves to my feet." The dream, Cano said, is "the treatments end and everything is fine again. It doesn't happen." Like many cancer survivors, he's not complaining about the side effects. The Norfolk resident is just happy about the main effect: He's alive and making the most of it. He recently celebrated his 60th birthday by getting his first tattoo, a Navy anchor, on his left biceps. But whether they complain or not, there's growing concern that cancer survivors are not getting the care they need to live the fullest lives possible. In the past few years, national organizations including the Institute of Medicine and the Lance Armstrong Foundation have called for more systematic long-term follow-up for adult cancer survivors. In the United States, men have a nearly 50-50 chance of developing cancer in their lifetimes, [...]

2009-04-14T11:40:58-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

Silibinin Inhibits Invasion of Oral Cancer Cells by Suppressing the MAPK Pathway

2/25/2006 Taiwan P.N. Chen et al. This Article Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common malignancy of the oral cavity. Here, we provide molecular evidence associated with the anti-metastatic effect of silibinin by showing a marked inhibition of the invasion and motility of SCC-4 tongue cancer cells, with 89% and 66.4% of inhibition, respectively, by 100 µM of silibinin. This effect was associated with a reduced expression of MMP-2 and u-PA, together with an enhanced expression of TIMP-2 and PAI-1. Silibinin also exerted an inhibitory effect on the phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Additionally, pre-treatment of SCC-4 cancer cells with 10 and 20 µM of U0126, a specific MEK inhibitor, resulted in a reduced expression of MMP-2 (18.7 and 51.4%) and u-PA (19.2 and 48.9%) concomitantly with a marked inhibition of cell invasion (13.7 and 45.7%). Finally, silibinin was evidenced by its inhibition of the metastasis of Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells in vivo. These results suggested that silibinin can reduce the invasion and metastasis of tumor cells, and such a characteristic may be of great value in the development of a potential cancer therapy. Authors: P.-N. Chen1,2, Y.-S. Hsieh1,a, C.-L. Chiang2, H.-L. Chiou3, S.-F. Yang1, and S.-C. Chu2,a Authors' affiliations: 1 Institute of Biochemistry, 2 Department of Food Science, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No. 11 Pu-tzu Lane, Pu-tzu Road, Taichung 406, Taiwan 3 School of Medical Technology, Chung Shan Medical University, No. 110, Section 1, Chien Kuo N. Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan; and

2009-04-10T16:14:28-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

ImClone Systems Issues Statement Regarding Positive Opinion from CHMP for Use of ERBITUX(R) in Head and Neck Cancer

2/23/2006 Larchmont, NY press release Genetic Engineering News ( ImClone Systems Incorporated today issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the scientific committee of the EMEA (European Medicines Agency), for its application to extend the use of ERBITUX(Cetuximab), an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, to the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN): "We are pleased that our partners, Merck KGaA, may soon be able to offer ERBITUX to head and neck cancer patients in the European Union. This is the first new modality of treatment for this disease state since chemoradiation began use over thirty years ago," stated Eric K. Rowinsky, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of ImClone Systems. The CHMP opinion recommends marketing authorization by the European Commission for the use ERBITUX in combination with radiation in patients with locoregionally advanced SCCHN. The license application is based on the results from a randomized, international phase III trial (IMCL-9815), conducted by ImClone Systems and Merck KGaA, which examined the impact of combining ERBITUX with radiation on locoregional control and overall survival in 424 patients with locally or regionally advanced SCCHN. About Head and Neck Cancer In Europe alone, around 100,800 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer and almost 40,000 die from the disease every year.(1) Head and neck cancer is the sixth most frequently occurring cancer worldwide.(2) Head and neck cancer includes cancers of the tongue, [...]

2009-04-10T16:13:53-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

No pills to swallow with this treatment

2/23/2006 Tampa Bay, FL Christine R. Vaughn Largo Leader ( For the estimated 15 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with dysphagia, the act of swallowing is a tremendous challenge. Taking a bite of a juicy steak or savoring the taste of a warm chocolate chip cookie is an unattainable pleasure of the past for such patients. It was a tedious recovery for Phyllis Hamel, a former patient at East Bay Nursing Center. After respiratory failure, Hamel required a tracheotomy, which affected her ability to swallow. She could not eat or drink without choking. Most of her nutrition was given through a feeding tube inserted in her stomach. At the nursing center, Hamel was treated with VitalStim Therapy, which is used in the treatment of swallowing disorders. Her muscles were re-educated to help her swallow properly. “I noticed a difference after just a few sessions,” she said. At the end of 15 sessions, Hamel was able to return home, where she is eating all her favorite foods again and has a nearly complete return of her muscle function. The treatment was developed by Marcy Freed, a speech-language pathologist. The procedure utilizes electrodes placed on the neck, similar to those used during an EKG. The device sends a low-current electrical impulse that stimulates the nerve supply to the oropharyngeal muscles. Patients receive up to one hour of therapy each day until their swallowing function is restored to an acceptable level. It is the only such method cleared by the FDA to [...]

2009-04-10T16:13:19-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

Multikine Treatment Increases Survival in Cancer Patients

2/22/2006 Vienna, VA press release PRNewswire ( CEL-SCI Corporation announces positive results from a long-term follow-up study of head & neck cancer patients treated with its drug Multikine(R) in a Phase II clinical trial. The follow-up study indicated that Multikine treatment resulted in a substantial increase in the survival of patients. In addition, Multikine treatment also improved local regional control of the patients' tumors. Improved local regional control of the tumor is considered by many surgeons and oncologists to be an important measurement of the success of a head & neck cancer drug. Both survival and local regional control of the tumor are stated endpoints in CEL-SCI's planned Phase III clinical trial. The Phase II study, which used the same Multikine treatment protocol as proposed for the Phase III trial, included advanced primary head & neck cancer patients who were scheduled for their first cancer treatment. The Multikine treatment was administered for 3 weeks prior to the standard treatment for head & neck cancer, surgery or surgery plus radiation/chemotherapy. Results from this study were published in a leading cancer publication, the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Timar et al, JCO, 23(15): May 2005) The median follow-up period for the patients was 3.2 years. The results of the Phase II trial follow-up study showed that the Multikine-treated patients had substantially increased survival rates and achieved a higher rate of 2-year local regional control as compared to the survival and the 2-year local regional control rates published in the scientific literature (39 clinical [...]

2009-04-10T16:11:08-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

The sentinel node in cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx

2/21/2006 Poland D Mielcarek-Kuchta et al. Otolaryngol Pol, January 1, 2005; 59(5): 683-8 Aim of the Study: The evaluation of the importance of the prognostic of sentinel node biopsy in head and neck cancer with N0 neck. Material and Methods: Prospective study included 19 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx without enlarged lymph nodes in ultrasound examination (N0). The study was carried out in ENT Department of Medical University in Pozna between 2001-2004. Each patient underwent lymphoscintigraphy after administration of radionuclide Technetium 99m (Nanocol). In case of detection of sentinel node, blue dye was injected into the tumour bed and dyed lymph nodes were removed. The specimens were evaluated histologically and immunohistochemically. The patients are still followed up. Results: So far 19 patients were included in our study. The tumours were classified from T1 to T4. In each case sentinel nodes were located. Metastases in removed lymphnodes were found in 5 patients. In one of them regional recidive was observed after 5 month. In the other patients no changes were found in follow up examination. In 14 cases in histological examination no metastases were found in sentinel nodes. In this group in one case local recurrence was observed and in another two lymph nodes metastases were confirmed. In patients with positive sentinel node elective neck dissection was performed. So far immunohistochemical examination has not provided us with any vital information. In no case with negative sentinel node we found micrometastases with the use of [...]

2009-04-10T16:10:37-07:00February, 2006|Archive|

Spit Hides Clues to Disease

2/19/2006 St. Louis, MO Dan Ferber ScienceNow Daily News ( Human saliva contains telltale markers of breast cancer, diabetes, and an autoimmune disease, according to new results presented here today at annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW). If the findings are validated in clinical trials, spit tests could make up a new non-invasive way to quickly diagnose these diseases. To form saliva, the salivary gland uses the soluble component of blood, known as serum, as its starting material. Physicians have dreamed for years of using saliva-based tests instead of blood tests. Among other conveniences, such a shift would remove the need for needles. Last year, oral biologist David Wong of the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues reported progress toward one saliva test, showing that levels of four of the 3000 messenger RNA molecules typically found in human saliva were consistently elevated in oral cancer patients, but not in healthy patients. Recently, the UCLA team had an accuracy of 94% when attempting to diagnose oral cancer in 320 patients using these 4 RNAs as markers. But oral cancer was just the beginning. At the meeting yesterday, Wong reported that his team has also examined the saliva from groups of 10 people with either type II diabetes, breast cancer, or Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that afflicts mostly women and destroys the salivary gland and pancreas. By using a gene chip to compare the salivary RNA of people in each disease [...]

2009-04-10T16:10:09-07:00February, 2006|Archive|
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