Rx Trials Institute Drug Pipeline Alert

8/30/2007 web-based article staff FDANews (fdanews.com) Merck’s Gardasil for Boys: How Will Those Ads Play? (CNBC’s Pharma’s Market) In his blog, Mike Huckman writes about Merck testing Gardasil, its cervical cancer vaccine, on young men. The company said it expects data from clinical trials next year and hopes to win approval for both males and females. Merck hopes to have the shot approved as a treatment for oropharyngeal cancer, a type of oral cancer that occurs as a result of HPV-16/18. Huckman cites an article in the medical journal Cancer written by doctors at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center that backs the use of the vaccine in young men: “‘Although the cervical cancer...prevention policy of the HPV-16/18 (another leading cancer-causing strain) vaccination of young women and adolescent females are commended, we fear that vaccination programs limited to females will only delay the potential benefit in prevention of HPV-16/18-associated [oropharyngeal] cancers, which typically occur in men. We encourage the rapid study of the efficacy and safety of these vaccines in males and, if successful, the recommendation of vaccination in young adult and adolescent males.’”

2009-04-15T16:49:16-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

Avocados Prove Fruitful in Fighting Oral Cancer

8/30/2007 web-based article staff MediaSource (www.mediasourcetv.com) The next time you reach for the guacamole and chips, you’ll be doing something good for your body. Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat,* and now researchers say they might also help your body fight off cancer. Renee Bean always tries to make fresh fruits and vegetables a part of her recipes. As a chef, she says they can make her dishes taste better. As an oral cancer survivor, she believes they might actually help her feel better. “I try to eat things that are supposed to keep you from getting any recurrences. Lots of berries and broccoli,” says Bean. And now there’s a new fruit Renee may want to add to her diet – the avocado. The green meat inside is rich in more than 20 vitamins and minerals, and it may offer much more than that. For the first time, researchers at Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered that certain compounds in avocados have the ability to find and destroy oral cancer cells, even before they do any damage. “It’s significant in that the compounds that we’re interested in will only target the pre-cancerous cells and potentially the cancerous cells and not affect the normal cells,” says Steven D’Ambrosio, PhD at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Researchers still aren’t sure exactly how the avocados do it, but they think it has something to do with phytonutrients and their ability to help regulate the signals that your body sends to [...]

2009-04-15T16:48:49-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

Smoking Linked to Head and Neck Cancer in Women

8/30/2007 Memphis, TN staff CancerConsultants.com According to an article recently published in the journal Cancer, women have a higher risk than men that smoking will increase their risk of developing head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancer refers to several types of cancers including, but not limited to, cancer of the tongue, gums, oral cavity, nasal cavity, voice box, and back of the throat. Although men have a higher rate of head and neck cancer than women, incidence of head and neck cancer in women has been increasing significantly throughout the world. Once head and neck cancer has spread from its site of origin, survival rates decrease dramatically. As well, treatment for more advanced head and neck cancer is often associated with significant declines in quality of life, as surgery often disfigures patients and/or severely impairs their ability to perform basic functions such as chew, swallow, or speak. Radiation that includes the salivary glands may also cause extremely dry mouth or sores in the mouth. Smoking has already been established as a risk factor for developing head and neck cancer. However, data is limited about female smokers and their particular risk of head and neck cancer. Researchers affiliated with the National Cancer Institute recently conducted a clinical study to explore the association between cigarette smoking and head and neck cancer in women. This study included over 476,000 men and women, aged 50–71 years. From 1995 through 2000, 584 men and 175 women were diagnosed with cancer. * Overall, men [...]

2009-04-15T16:48:02-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

Smoking Increases Risks For Head And Neck Cancers For Men And Women

8/27/2007 web-based article press release ScienceDaily.com Smoking significantly increases the risk for head and neck cancers for both men and women, regardless of the anatomic site. Published in the journal Cancer, a large, prospective study confirmed strong associations between current and past cigarette smoking and malignancies of the head and neck in both genders. Cancers of the head and neck include cancers of the larynx, nasal passages/nose, oral cavity, and pharynx. Worldwide, more than 500,000 people are diagnosed with these cancers every year. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), men are more than three times more likely than women to be diagnosed with head and neck cancer and almost twice as likely to die from their disease. While tobacco use has long been identified as an important risk factor for head and neck cancers, the new study finds that smoking plays a greater role in the development of head and neck cancer in women than men. Dr. Neal Freedman from the NCI and co-investigators analyzed data from 476,211 men and women prospectively followed from 1995 to 2000 to assess gender differences in risk for cancer in specific head and neck sites. Analysis showed that the risk of smoking leading to any type of head and neck cancer was significantly greater in women than in men. While 45 percent of these cancers could be attributed to smoking in men, 75 percent could be attributed to smoking in women. "Incidence rates of head and neck cancer were higher in men than [...]

2009-04-15T16:47:34-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

Virus Linked To Throat Cancer Trend

8/27/2007 New York, NY Salynn Boyles CBS News (www.cbsnews.com)Unlike most head and neck cancers, throat cancer rates in the United States have not dropped in recent years, and infection with the sexually transmitted infection human papilloma virus (HPV) may be the cause. HPV is a virus that causes genital warts and most cervical cancers, but its transmission through oral sex has only recently been identified as a potential cause of throat cancer. In a newly published analysis of head and neck cancer rates in the U.S., researchers from Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found the incidence of throat cancer to be stagnant and even rising in some populations, defying a downward trend in other head and neck cancers linked more closely with smoking. The findings underscore the importance of research aimed at determining if the newly available HPV vaccine is effective in males, researcher Erich Sturgis, M.D., MPH, tells WebMD. "The vaccine has been shown to be almost 100% effective for preventing cervical infection," he says. "We would encourage the medical community and [vaccine] industry to study its role in preventing this oral cancer." Tobacco use and drinking alcohol are by far the biggest risk factors for head and neck cancers. About 90% of patients with these malignancies either smoke or chew tobacco or have done so in the past, and up to 80% of oral cancer patients also drink a lot of alcohol, according to the American Cancer Society. In their newly published analysis of head and neck cancer [...]

2009-04-15T16:46:06-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

Dry mouth? Here’s how you can lick it

8/23/2007 United Kingdom Roger Dobson Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk) An electrical saliva 'stimulator' is being used for patients who suffer from a chronically dry mouth. The battery-powered device is embedded in a mouthguard that fits over the teeth and is operated by a handheld remote control. It sends out mild pulses of electricity, not felt by the patient, to stimulate the nerves that control the release of saliva. Dry mouth and lack of saliva is a common problem that affects around one in ten adults at some time. It occurs when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly, and there are several possible reasons for this. More than 400 medicines, including some over-the-counter formulations, can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva, or to change its composition so it doesn't work properly. Some chemotherapy cancer treatments make saliva thicker, so less lubricating, and injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that activate the salivary glands. According to the journal Advances In Clinical Neuroscience And Rehabilitation, there are up to 10 million people with dry mouth in the UK. Other symptoms can include bad breath, a sore throat, a burning mouth and an altered sense of taste. These symptoms have an effect on digestion and dental health because the low levels of saliva mean people with dry mouth lack the enzymes that help break down food. A number of other compounds contained in saliva fight the bacteria that form dental plaque and cause [...]

2009-04-15T16:45:08-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

Microfluidic Lab-on-a-Chip Detects Oral Cancer Marker in Minutes

8/23/2007 Sydney, Australia staff Azonano.com Using a microfluidic device designed to capture and enrich cells from biological samples, a research team at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a test that can detect an important early marker for oral squamous cell carcinoma, which accounts for more than 90 percent of oral cancers. Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and is difficult to detect early enough to treat successfully. John McDevitt, Ph.D., led the research team that developed this microfluidic cell capture and interrogate device. The research appears in the journal Lab on a Chip. The device is simple in design and use. The key component is an etched membrane that gently captures cells in biological fluids, such as saliva, flowing through microfluidic channels. Once captured on the membrane, the cells are exposed to a solution containing fluorescently labeled antibodies that bind specifically to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a protein found on the surface of tumors removed from 90 percent of oral cell carcinoma patients. Labeled cells, that is, those with EGFR, are readily visible using a standard fluoresence microscope. The entire assay takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Research by other investigators has demonstrated that EGFR is present on cells during the early stages of tumor development. In addition, an EGFR-targeted antibody has been approved to treat oral squamous cell carcinoma, although the drug is not used widely to treat this form of cancer because of the difficulty in determining which patients would [...]

2009-04-15T16:44:30-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

Combined 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and computed tomography as a primary screening method for detecting second primary cancers and distant metastases in patients with head and neck cancer

8/23/2007 South Korea SY Kim et al. Annals of Oncology, doi:10.1093/annonc/mdm270 Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) to detect second primary cancers and distant metastases in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC). Patients and methods: Patients with previous untreated HNC, between 2004 and 2005, underwent head and neck CT and whole-body FDG-PET/CT, before and at fixed intervals after therapy, for staging and detection of second primary cancers and distant metastases. Patients with malignant or equivocal findings on FDG-PET/CT underwent further imaging, endoscopy and/or biopsy. Results: Of the 349 eligible patients (267 men and 82 women), 14 (4.0%) had second primary cancers and 26 (7.4%) had distant metastases at initial staging or during mean follow-up of 15 months after treatment. FDG-PET/CT correctly identified second cancers or distant metastases in 39 of these 40 patients; there was one false negative and 23 false positive FDG-PET/CT results. Therefore, FDG-PET/CT had a sensitivity of 97.5%, a specificity of 92.6%, a positive predictive value of 62.9% and a negative predictive value of 99.7% in detecting second primary cancers and distant metastases. Conclusion: Combined FDG-PET/CT is useful as a primary method for detecting second cancers and distant metastases in patients with HNC. Authors: SY Kim1, J-L Roh1,*, N-K Yeo1, JS Kim2, JH Lee3, S-H Choi1 and SY Nam1 Authors' affiliations: 1 Department of Otolaryngology 2 Department of Nuclear Medicine 3 Department of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic [...]

2009-04-15T16:44:07-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

UCSF Scientists Aim to Use Saliva to Detect Oral Cancers

8/23/2007 San Francisco, CA Rachel Tompa UCSFToday (pub.ucsf.edu/today) Could scrutiny of spit save your life? Cancer researchers may soon know the answer. More than 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the US alone, many when it’s too late to prevent death. Dentists and hygienists find oral cancers during exams, but researchers at UCSF now are developing ways to detect cancers earlier — before tumors become visible to the naked eye.To do so they are examining telltale proteins in saliva. Saliva, besides helping your digestion, reflects the state of your body. It contains the same proteins found in your blood, but at much lower levels. Cancers produce proteins abnormally. Cancer researchers have wondered if these abnormalities are reflected in a measurable way in the molecular contents of saliva as well as blood. A few researchers who study oral cancer also have been intrigued by the possibility that relatively high levels of proteins and other molecules from oral cancer cells might end up in saliva. Current methods for oral cancer detection are visual.The dentist and hygienist examine the mouth. Suspicious looking bumps or patches are sampled, so that on the microscopic scale a pathologist can look for cancerous cells. These biopsies are a useful screening tool, but they are time consuming. Furthermore, cutting out tissue can be painful for the patient. Disease screening in saliva might prove to be faster, less invasive, and potentially less expensive than blood tests or biopsies, according to UCSF oral and maxillofacial [...]

2009-04-15T16:43:30-07:00August, 2007|Archive|

‘I’m sorry, said the doctor. I’m going to have to cut your throat’

8/22/2007 Derbyshire, United Kingdom Angela Brooks DailyMail (www.dailymail.co.uk) About 2,200 people a year are diagnosed with cancer of the voice-box, or larynx. In conventional surgery, the voice-box is removed, leaving patients unable to speak. But a new technique leaves it intact. The Patient - Roger Stone My work involves travelling around the world. In February 2001, I was in Nigeria when I couldn't shake off a sore throat. When I got back home five months later, my GP prescribed antibiotics, but the sore throat continued over the summer when I went to work in Mozambique. By the time I went back to see my GP four months later, swallowing had become painful. He noticed the lymph nodes in my neck were swollen and referred me to a specialist at Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. Mr Sean Mortimore, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, examined my throat and said I needed a biopsy, where pieces of tissue are removed under a general anaesthetic for laboratory testing. When he asked if I could come in for it the next day, alarm bells started ringing. As soon as I came round, I asked Mr Mortimore straight out whether he had found a malignancy on my larynx. He told me they wouldn't know for certain until they got the results back from the laboratory a couple of weeks later. My results came back on Christmas Eve and I had an appointment with Mr Mortimore the same day. He introduced the Macmillan cancer nurse specialist to me [...]

2009-04-15T16:42:59-07:00August, 2007|Archive|
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