Cervical cancer vaccine called safe

Source: www.washingtonpost.com Author: staff Gardasil, the two-year-old vaccine that's designed to prevent cervical cancer, is safe, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Immunization Safety Office said a study of 370,000 doses given to girls and young women over the past two years found no evidence that the vaccine causes an increased risk of blood clots or other serious conditions, Bloomberg News reported. The CDC, which recommends the vaccine for girls starting at ages 11 and 12, based its findings on statistics from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which uses medical data to test hypotheses about vaccine safety, the news service said. "There were no associations found that suggested an elevated risk," said John Iskander, acting director for the Immunization Safety Office, toldBloomberg. Critics of the vaccine, including some groups that worry that the inoculation could promote promiscuity, have contended that Gardasil may not be safe and could give women a false sense of security about sexually transmitted diseases. Gardasil protects against four types of genital human papillomavirus, HPV, which is spread through sexual contact and can cause cervical cancer in women. The U.S. study covered 190,000 girls and young women who received at least one dose of the vaccine's three-shot regimen. The CDC researchers compared medical data on those girls who got the vaccine with data for girls and young women who received other vaccines or none. "The results are really reassuring," said Dr. Paul Offit, chief of the infectious diseases division at Children's Hospital [...]

Altria prices offset cigarette volume declines

Source: Associated Press (ap.google.com) Author: Vinnee Tong Altria Group demonstrated its pricing power as interest in cigarettes dropped off further, and its CEO said Thursday that its buyout of smokeless tobacco maker UST positions it for long-term growth amid the widespread financial turmoil. The company's third-quarter profit fell 67 percent from a year ago, when results included the Philip Morris International business. But the maker of Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims said earnings from continuing operations rose 15 percent and it confirmed its full-year profit forecast. "Because of the economic uncertainties we all face, Altria is taking steps now to continue adding value to shareholders over the long term," Chief Executive Michael Szymanczyk said. One of the ways Altria — owner of No. 1 U.S. cigarette maker Philip Morris USA — will expand is acquiring UST Inc., maker of Copenhagen and Skoal. But because of difficulties in the credit market, Szymanczyk said it had become more expensive to finance the acquisition. The deal passed antitrust review last month, and the company plans to schedule a special meeting in December to let shareholders vote on it. Szymanczyk expects the deal to close no later than the first week of January. Altria also reported net income of $867 million, or 42 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That compares to $2.63 billion, or $1.24 per share, a year earlier. Richmond, Va.-based Altria, which spun off the international business in March, said revenue rose 5 percent to $5.24 billion. [...]

Top award for mouth cancer guru

Source: www.dentistry.co.uk Author: staff A doctor who says he has a ‘mission to raise awareness' of mouth cancer has won a top award in recognition of his work. Dr Vinod Joshi – founder of the UK's leading mouth cancer charity, the Mouth Cancer Foundation – earned it for Best Patient Support Initiative at the Pfizer Oncology Awards. Dr Chris Nutting, President of the British Oncological Association (BOA), presented him with his award – and a £1,500 research grant. Dr Joshi achieved outstanding success through the restorative dentistry oncology clinic initiative to create a patient website and patient support charity. In January 2002, he launched the UK website to cater for the unmet needs of his patients and similar patients across the nation, focusing on mouth cancer awareness, early Detection and patient information and support. The unique feature of the members' forum and message board added in 2003 enables patients and carers to offer each other support, advice and encouragement. The Pfizer Oncology Awards are designed to recognise and reward teams as well as individuals who stand out from their peers – whatever their speciality, level of expertise or position. Dr Chris Nutting says: ‘As President of the BOA, I am delighted to have chaired the awards again this year. It has been a genuine pleasure for me to review this year's entries. They have all demonstrated a wide range of impressive achievements in oncology care.' BOA provides a multidisciplinary forum for the presentation and discussion of cancer research and development. [...]

Favourable impact of intensity-modulated radiation therapy on chronic dysphagia in patients with head and neck cancer

Source: British Journal of Radiology (2008) 81, 865-871 Authors: A. K. Anand, MD et al. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) on the incidence and severity of chronic dysphagia in patients with head and neck cancer. 62 evaluable patients with head and neck cancer who were treated with IMRT with or without concurrent chemotherapy were analysed. The majority of the patients (77.4%) had advanced locoregional disease. 45 patients underwent definitive IMRT and 17 received post-operative IMRT. Concurrent chemotherapy was given to 29 of the 45 patients treated with definitive IMRT. The average prescribed dose to clinical target volume (CTV)1 was 66–70 Gy (definitive IMRT) and 56–62 Gy (post-operative IMRT); 60 Gy to CTV2; 54 Gy to CTV3; and 50–52 Gy to the supraclavicular area. At a median follow-up of 19 months, 2-year actuarial locoregional control and survival was 77% and 74%, respectively. At 6 months after IMRT, chronic dysphagia was Grade 0 in 77.1% of patients, Grade 1 in 10.5% and Grade 2 in 12.3%. Acute mucositis showed no correlation with long-term dysphagia. The percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy or nasogastric tube was removed in all of the patients within 8 weeks of completion of treatment. Xerostomia was Grade 0 in 61.4% of patients, Grade 1 in 31.5% and Grade 2 in 7% of patients. In conclusion, IMRT conferred a major favourable impact on chronic dysphagia in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancers, with satisfactory locoregional control. Authors: A. K. Anand, [...]

GlaxoSmithKline to acquire the leading dry mouth brand, Biotene

Source: www.marketwatch.com Author: press release GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare announced today that it has reached an agreement with Laclede, a privately held company, to purchase the leading Dry Mouth brand Biotene(R) for $170 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory review by competition authorities in the United States and Europe, and is expected to complete by early 2009. "The acquisition of Biotene extends our portfolio in therapeutic oral healthcare to include a proven treatment for Dry Mouth," said John Clarke, President, GSK Consumer Healthcare. "This opportunity leverages our global capability with dental and medical professionals and is a further step towards our goal in GSK of building and growing a diversified healthcare business." Biotene is the world's number one dentist and hygienist-recommended Dry Mouth product for the growing population that suffers from this condition. Biotene is a brand in strong growth, with global sales in 2007 of around $50 million up 17%. Approximately 65% of the brand's current sales are in the United States. Dry Mouth, a condition known as Xerostomia, is a significant health issue associated with chronic medical conditions that include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome and Parkinson's disease. Additionally, cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment, as well as any of more than 400 medications that, as a side-effect, can cause Dry Mouth. Globally, Dry Mouth is as prevalent as dental sensitivity, affecting around one-in-five adults. Biotene joins a world-class portfolio of Oral Healthcare Brands, including: - Aquafresh(R), Odol-med(R), Binaca(R), a leading range of toothpastes, toothbrushes, mouthwashes and whitening products [...]

Incidence and impact of comorbidity diagnosed after the onset of head and neck cancer

Source: Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(10):1045-1049 Authors: Katherine C. Yung, MD; Jay F. Piccirillo, MD Objective: To investigate the incidence and prognostic impact of comorbidities diagnosed after the onset of head and neck cancer. Design: Retrospective review of medical records. Patients: One hundred eighty-three patients diagnosed as having head and neck cancer at Washington University School of Medicine from January 1, 1997, through December 31, 1998. Main Outcome Measures: We reviewed medical records for demographic, tumor, treatment, and comorbidity data. Comorbid ailments at diagnosis and last follow-up or death were coded using the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation–27. Results: Of the 183 patients, 53 (29.0%) were found to have a baseline comorbidity score of none; 58 (32.0%) of mild; 53 (29.0%) of moderate; and 19 (10.4%) of severe. At last follow-up or death, scores were none for 30 patients (16.4%), mild for 52 (28.4%), moderate for 43 (23.5%), and severe for 58 (31.7%). Comorbidity scores at baseline (P = .002) and last follow-up (P = .001) were associated with 5-year survival. The prognostic impact of comorbidity scores at baseline and last follow-up were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards analysis. Individual comorbid ailments after diagnosis included myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease/angina, solid tumor, psychiatric disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and alcohol abuse. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with previous research demonstrating that comorbidity at diagnosis is strongly correlated with prognosis. This study also showed that the burden of comorbidity changes after diagnosis. There appeared to be a prognostic gradient based on [...]

Characteristics associated with swallowing changes after concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer

Source: Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(10):1060-1065 Authors: Joseph K. Salama, MD et al. Objective: To define factors that acutely influenced swallowing function prior to and during concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Design: A summary score from 1 to 7 (the swallowing performance status scale [SPS]) of oral and pharyngeal impairment, aspiration, and diet, was assigned to each patient study by a single senior speech and swallow pathologist, with higher scores indicating worse swallowing. Generalized linear regression models were formulated to asses the effects of patient factors (performance status, smoking intensity, amount of alcohol ingestion, and age), tumor factors (primary site, T stage, and N stage), and treatment-related factors (radiation dose, use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy, response to induction chemotherapy, post-chemoradiotherapy neck dissection, and pre-protocol surgery) on the differences between SPS score before and after treatment. Setting: University hospital tertiary care referral center. Patients: The study included 95 patients treated under a multiple institution, phase 2 protocol who underwent a videofluorographic oropharyngeal motility (OPM) study to assess swallowing function prior to and within 1 to 2 months after the completion of concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Main Outcome Measures: Factors associated with swallowing changes after chemoradiotherapy. Results: The mean pretreatment and posttreatment OPM scores were 3.09 and 3.77, respectively. Patients with T3 or T4 tumors (odds ratio [OR], 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.15-0.95; P = .04) and a performance status of 1 or 2 (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.15-0.91; P = .03) were less likely to have worsening of swallowing after [...]

Foreign docs bring home message on cancer

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com Author: staff A group of seven leading specialists who have been globe-trotting with a special message -- to spread the word on preventing head and neck cancer -- stopped by in Mumbai on Monday. The busy doctors, well-known names in the medical world, planned the stopover in the city in October as it coincides with the month in which the Centre's ban on smoking in public places comes into force. "If we can prevent people from tobacco use, it will be a bigger advance in the field of head and neck cancer than molecular biology,'' said Dr Jatin Shah of the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) who is spearheading the world tour. The doctors who have taken five weeks off from work, have already visited seven cities including London, Barcelona, Rome and Moscow and will spend three days in Mumbai during which they will interact with cancer specialists, doctors and medical students. The focus was on exchanging latest treatment modalities and research in the field of head and neck cancer. "There has been significant medical and technological advances in the field. If we could successfully treat two in every four patients of head and neck cancer in the seventies, we can cure three out of four today,'' said Dr Shah. Earlier the diagnosis, better is the chance of treatment, pointed out Dr A K D'cruz of Tata Memorial Hospital. "People should look out for warning signs and consult a doctor within four weeks if [...]

Chest scans may help monitor spread of head and neck cancer in high-risk patients

Source: www.sciencedaily.com Author: staff Among high-risk patients with head and neck cancer, chest computed tomography (CT) may help detect disease progression involving the lungs, according to a new report. Developing a second, distant cancer (a metastasis or a new primary cancer) is an important factor affecting survival of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, which accounts for most head and neck cancers, according to background information in the article. The most common site at which such patients develop new metastases is the lungs, with an incidence of 8 percent to 15 percent. Chest X-rays are the most commonly used screening tool for detecting these malignancies but do not always identify early abnormalities. Yen-Bin Hsu, M.D., of Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, and colleagues evaluated 270 screening chest CT scans performed over 42 months in 192 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The scans were categorized as new cases, follow-up cases or recurrent cases, and results classified as normal or abnormal. Of the 270 scans, 79 (29.3 percent) were considered abnormal, including 54 (20 percent) that identified a malignant neoplasm of the lung and 25 (9.3 percent) showing indeterminate abnormalities. "The rate of an abnormal scan was significantly higher in the follow-up case group (44.2 percent) than in the new case group (14.2 percent)," the authors write. Patients whose cancer was classified as stage N2 or N3 (indicating some degree of lymph node involvement), who had stage IV disease (in which the cancer has spread to another [...]

The benefits of exercise for cancer patients

Source: www.latimes.com Author: Jeannine Stein Strength-training programs and cardiovascular workouts may lessen fatigue, improve muscle function and quality of life for current or former cancer patients, studies show. * A regular weight-training program can improve quality of life among breast cancer survivors. In a study published in the journal Cancer in 2006, 86 breast cancer survivors were put into a weight-training program or a control group; at the end of the program, those women with increased upper body strength and lean mass were generally found to have higher quality-of-life scores. * Aerobic training can boost physical performance in cancer patients who have just finished a high-dose chemotherapy program. In a study published in the journal Cancer in 1997, 16 patients completed a seven-week treadmill rehab program and 16 served as a control group. By the end of the study, the exercise group showed improvements in maximum physical performance and hemoglobin concentration. Also, none of them reported fatigue or limitations in their daily activities due to low physical performance; one quarter of the patients in the control group did. * Men with prostate cancer appear to have less fatigue after participating in a resistance training program. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2003, 155 men who were scheduled to receive androgen deprivation therapy for at least three months were assigned to a thrice-weekly, 12-week exercise program or a control group. Those in the exercise group suffered less fatigue during daily activities and had a higher quality [...]

Go to Top