Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection

5/31/2008 New York, NY staff 7th Space Interactive ( New data from a randomized, controlled trial found that acupuncture provided significant reductions in pain, dysfunction, and dry mouth in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection. The study was led by David Pfister, MD, Chief of the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Service, and Barrie Cassileth, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Dr. Pfister presented the findings today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology. Neck dissection is a common procedure for treatment of head and neck cancer. There are different types of neck dissection, which vary based on which structures are removed and the anticipated side effects. One type – the radical neck dissection – involves complete removal of lymph nodes from one side of the neck, the muscle that helps turn the head, a major vein, and a nerve that is critical to full range of motion for the arm and shoulder. "Chronic pain and shoulder mobility problems are common after such surgery, adversely affecting quality of life as well as employability for certain occupations," said Dr. Pfister. Nerve-sparing and other modified radical techniques that preserve certain structures without compromising disease control reduce the incidence of these problems but do not eliminate them entirely. Dr. Pfister adds, "Unfortunately, available conventional methods of treatment for pain and dysfunction following neck surgery often have limited benefits, leaving much room for improvement." Seventy patients participated in the study and [...]

2009-04-16T13:11:30-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

GenVec Announces Results Of Phase I Clinical Trial Of Head, Neck Cancer Treatment

5/31/2008 Williamsville, NY staff RTT News ( Saturday, GenVec, Inc. announced the results of a Phase I clinical trial of TNFerade in patients with head and neck cancer, reporting 9 out of 10 evaluable patients in the trial achieved an objective response to treatment. The company also said that 4 out of the 9 patients achieved complete clinical response by response evaluation criteria in solid tumors or RECIST criteria.

2009-04-16T13:10:59-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

UCSF Stem Cell and Cancer Symposium

5/30/2008 San Francisco, CA Jeffrey Norris UCSFToday ( A new chapter in the saga of the war on cancer is being written. The subject is cancer stem cells. If more patients are to survive, then these cells must die. But many targeted treatments might be missing them. Communication between cancer experts and stem cell experts is at an exciting, pioneering stage. An important moment in the evolution of this convergence happened last Thursday and Friday at the UCSF Mission Bay campus – a "Stem Cells and Cancer" symposium presented by the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, in association with the UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine. The symposium brought together research leaders from around the world. Clearly, cancers sometimes grow back even after treatment appears to have eliminated any trace of disease. But only in recent years has a critical mass of researchers begun to explore the roles of cells within cancers that appear to be stem cells, or that act like stem cells. Forever Young, and Sometimes Deadly Stem cells are eternally youthful, immature cells that have infinite capacity to spin off new cells. In this way, they maintain and repair tissue. In contrast, their progeny cells normally mature and grow old. The progeny assume specialized tasks, and they have little or no capability to regenerate themselves. The persistence of abnormal cancer stem cells may be the key to why many cancers come back and resist further treatment. Most experts believe these cancer stem cells represent a very [...]

2009-04-16T13:10:37-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

ADVEXIN Improves Survival in Recurrent, Refractory Head and Neck Cancer Patients

5/30/2008 Austin, TX press release Introgen Therapeutics Inc. ( Highlights: - First Phase III Gene Therapy Cancer Trial in the US to Successfully Meet Study Objectives - Primary and Secondary Efficacy Endpoints Successfully Met, Study Objective Achieved - p53 Predictive Biomarkers Demonstrate ADVEXIN and Methotrexate Efficacy in Different and Complementary Patients - Clinical Utility of ADVEXIN in Comparison to Methotrexate Demonstrated Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that ADVEXIN® (p53 tumor suppressor therapy) significantly increased survival in end-stage head and neck cancer patients with prospectively identified p53 favorable profiles (7.2 vs. 2.7 months; p<0.0001). In the intent-to-treat (ITT) population, including patients with p53 favorable and unfavorable p53 profiles, ADVEXIN and methotrexate had similar overall survival while ADVEXIN had a superior safety profile. ADVEXIN is designed to restore p53 tumor suppression blocked in the majority of tumors. The compound works differently than other cancer therapies by restoring the effectiveness of p53 proteins to trigger natural tumor suppression mechanisms in cancer, without harming normal cells. “The increase in survival and tumor response, among the p53 favorable profile patients, highlights the value of developing ‘targeted’ therapy for patients with recurrent, refractory head and neck cancer,” said Jack A. Roth, MD, inventor of ADVEXIN and Professor and Bud Johnson Clinical Distinguished Chair, Department of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery, Section Chief, Thoracic Molecular Oncology, and Director, W.M. Keck Cancer Center for Innovative Cancer Therapies, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. “ADVEXIN is an outstanding example of ‘targeted’ therapy” directed at a specific molecular abnormality in cancer [...]

2009-04-16T13:10:14-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

Chemo- and radiotherapy especially effective in HPV-linked oropharyngeal tumors

5/28/2008 Ann Arbor, MI staff HemOncToday ( Induction chemotherapy as a selection method for concurrent chemoradiotherapy was found to be an effective treatment method for advanced oropharyngeal cancer, and better response to the treatment was associated with the presence of human papilloma virus. Previous research into the increasing incidence of oral/oropharyngeal tumors has indicated HPV as an etiologic factor. Although some reports suggest that HPV-positive individuals with these tumors have better outcomes, the reports have not been unanimous. Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor tested the efficacy of induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy or surgery/radiotherapy and assessed the effect of HPV on response and outcome. Study design The study included 66 patients (51 men) with stage III to IV squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx. Patients were treated with one cycle of cisplatin (100 mg/m2) or carboplatin (AUC 6) as well as 5-fluorouracil (1,000 mg/m2 per day for five days). This regimen was used as a selection method for those eligible for chemoradiotherapy: patients who achieved a greater than 50% response at the primary tumor received chemoradiotherapy. Patients with a complete histologic response were given adjuvant paclitaxel. Pretreatment biopsies of 42 patients were tested for high-risk HPV. Fifty-four of the 66 patients (81%) achieved the 50% response rate and 53 of these patients received chemoradiotherapy. Among those 53 patients, 49 (92%) achieved a complete histologic response with a 73.4% rate of organ preservation. The four-year overall survival rate was 70.4% with a disease-specific [...]

2009-04-16T13:09:46-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

Gene Therapy Increases Survival for End-Stage Head and Neck Cancer

5/28/2008 Houston, TX staff A gene therapy invented at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is the first to succeed in a U.S. phase III clinical trial for cancer, as announced today at the American Society of Gene Therapy annual meeting in Boston. Introgen Therapeutics, Inc., reported results of its phase III trial of Advexin®, a modified adenovirus that expresses the tumor-suppressing gene p53, for end-stage head and neck cancer. "Cells become cancerous because p53 no longer functions. Restoring p53 works unlike any current cancer treatment because it treats the cancer genome," said Jack Roth, M.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery, who invented the drug and co-founded Introgen. He remains a shareholder and paid consultant to Introgen, and the University of Texas System is also a shareholder in Introgen. The p53 gene is inactivated in many types of cancer. Its normal role is to halt the division of a defective cell and then force the cell to kill itself. The trial showed that p53 expression in the patient's tumor before treatment is a reliable biomarker for how to treat head and neck cancer. Patients with a favorable p53 profile who received Advexin® had a median survival of 7.2 months, compared with 2.7 months for those whose tumor expressed high levels of mutant p53 before treatment. Patients with this unfavorable profile were better off taking the chemotherapy drug methotrexate, resulting in median survival of 5.9 months. "The important finding is that [...]

2009-04-16T13:09:21-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

Photodynamic therapy for head and neck cancer

5/26/2008 Tokyo, Japan T Yoshida et al Diagn Ther Endosc, January 1, 1996; 3(1): 41-51 Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a recently developed treatment involving the use of a photosensitizer and low power light, usually from a laser, to selectively destroy tumor cells. At present, we perform PDT for head and neck cancer using argon or excimer dye lasers with hematoporphyrin derivative as a photosensitizer. This study attempted to assess the utility and safety of PDT and to investigate the long-term outcome. All 24 patients had squamous cell carcinoma: 15 with laryngeal, 5 with lingual or oral, and 4 with pharyngeal cancer and were treated by PDT. Data were obtained from records from February 1988 through April 1995. After PDT, 12 of 15 laryngeal cancer patients were classified as having a complete remission (CR), as were 2 of the 5 lingual or oral and one of the 4 pharyngeal cancer patients. The patients were followed for 8 to 153 months. The longest duration of CR in patients treated by PDT alone was 148 months. Photosensitivity was experienced by all patients, but required no treatment. Liver, kidneys, and bone marrow showed no abnormal values. There were no clinically relevant adverse reactions, and patients with severe complications due to other types of treatment and elderly patients were also treated safely with this therapy. Authors: T Yoshida, H Kato, T Okunaka, T Saeki, S Ohashi, T Okudaira, AM Lee, H Yoshida, H Maruoka, H Ito, and S Funasaka Authors' affiliation: Department of Otolaryngology, Head [...]

2009-04-16T13:08:45-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of citalopram for the prevention of major depression during treatment for head and neck cancer

5/26/2008 Omaha, NE WM Lydiatt et al. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, May 1, 2008; 134(5): 528-35 Objective: To determine whether prophylactic treatment with the antidepressant citalopram hydrobromide, compared with placebo, could prevent major depressive disorder in patients undergoing therapy for head and neck cancer (HNC). Design: Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Setting: Academic medical center. Patients: Thirty-six subjects were randomized, and 23 completed the study. Interventions: Subjects were randomized to receive 40 mg of citalopram hydrobromide or matching placebo (herein after, citalopram group and placebo group, respectively) for 12 weeks with a final visit at 16 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, psychiatric interview, and the University of Washington Quality of Life (UW-QOL) and Clinician Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scales. Results: The numbers of subjects who met predefined cutoff criteria for depression during the 12 weeks of active study were 5 of 10 (50%) taking placebo and 2 of 12 (17%) taking citalopram (Fisher exact test, P = .17). No patients in the citalopram group became suicidal, compared with 2 in the placebo group. Global mood state at the conclusion of the study as measured by the CGI-S scale was rated as at least mildly ill in 15% of those receiving citalopram compared with 60% in the placebo group (Fisher exact test, P = .04). Quality of life, measured by the UW-QOL, deteriorated in both groups from baseline but less so in the citalopram group. Conclusions: This study reports data from the first depression prevention trial in HNC [...]

2009-04-16T13:08:22-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

Alcohol gene linked to mouth cancer

5/26/2008 Aberdeen, Scotland staff The Press Association ( Scientists have discovered a link between mouth cancer and the genes which break down alcohol, it was revealed. A major international study found people's risk of developing oral cancer was related to genes which regulate how fast or slowly alcohol was metabolised by the body. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen spent five years studying hundreds of patients with cancers of the mouth, larynx and oesophagus at centres throughout Europe and Central and South America. They also studied patients who were free of the disease. The study focused on two genes involved in metabolising alcohol - a substance which is already known to be a risk factor for oral cancer. The academics found those with a variant in the genes appeared to be less susceptible to the cancers because alcohol was broken down more quickly. Dr Tatiana Macfarlane, senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen's department of general practice and primary care, said: "The study showed that your risk of getting oral cancers is linked to genetics as well as lifestyle. "We found that, in particular, the risk depends on how fast your body metabolises alcohol. "The results suggest that the faster you metabolise it, the lower your risk. "These results provided the strongest evidence yet that alcohol consumption is strongly linked to oral cancers. The risk is particularly high if you also smoke or rarely eat fruit and vegetables."

2009-04-16T13:07:45-07:00May, 2008|Archive|

Medical Researchers Urged to Speed Up Vaccine’s Safety Investigations

The Oral Cancer Foundation is urging medical researchers to speed up investigations on the safety of a vaccine for a sexually transmitted virus that it said causes cancer of the mouth. The foundation’s statement comes shortly after studies published this month in the medical journal “Cancer” and the New England Journal of Medicine, which suggest a link between human papillomavirus (HPV) and oral cancer. Currently, the vaccine—which protects against four strains of the virus—is administered to girls and adolescent females to protect against cervical cancer, the foundation said. Deaths from cervical cancer, which number about 3,700 per year nationally, have declined due to improved methods of early detection and the public’s greater awareness of the importance of annual screenings, the foundation said. The foundation also said men can benefit if given the same vaccine and urged the FDA to approve such a use once scientific due diligence has been accomplished. “The study affirms what we have long believed, namely that the vaccine can reduce oral cancer rates if given to both males and females,” said Brian Hill, founder and executive director of the Oral Cancer foundation. Oral cancer can be detected early through simple visual and hand examinations, the foundation said. But no public awareness campaign exists nationally to promote detection, it said. Every day in the United States, 93 people develop oral cancer—and one person dies from it every hour, more than twice the death rate of cervical cancers and higher than many of the more commonly known cancers, [...]

2008-07-08T22:06:08-07:00May, 2008|OCF In The News|
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