Induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiotherapy increased time-to-treatment failure compared to chemoradiotherapy alone in patients with unresectable locally advanced head & neck cancer

Source: Author: press release The Spanish Head and Neck Cancer Cooperative Group (TTCC) announced today that Induction Chemotherapy (IC) delivered prior to standard ChemoRadiotherapy (CRT), a treatment paradigm defined as sequential therapy, compared to upfront CRT alone, significantly prolonged Time-to-Treatment Failure (TTF) for patients with unresectable Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer (LAHNC). The endpoint of Time-to-Treatment Failure was defined as a composite of time-to-disease progression, -to-surgery or other cancer-related treatments, -to-drop-out due to an adverse event, and to death from any cause. Final results (abstract #6009) from the Phase 3 randomized study were presented by Prof. Ricardo Hitt, of the University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, in an oral presentation at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The results of this study have also been selected for inclusion in the Best of ASCO(R) program. The Best of ASCO(R) is an educational initiative that condenses highlights from ASCO's Annual Meeting, with the objective of increasing global access to cutting-edge science that is relevant and significant in oncology today. This study enrolled 439 patients with Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer with good performance status, who were randomly assigned to receive standard CRT (cisplatin and fractionated radiation) versus the same treatment preceded by IC, which consisted of cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) with or without Taxotere(R) (docetaxel) Injection Concentrate. The study was designed to compare the results of those patients who received IC prior to CRT (sequential therapy) and patients who received CRT alone. The [...]

New treatment combination proves safe for head and neck cancer patients

Source: Author: press release Patients undergoing treatment for advanced head and neck cancers may respond well to the addition of gefinitib to chemotherapy, according to a study sponsored by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and chaired by Ethan Argiris, M.D., associate professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and co-leader of the Head and Neck Cancer Program of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). The results will be disclosed at the 45th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on May 30 in Orlando, Fla. "We found that adding gefinitib to standard chemotherapy was well-tolerated by patients who had already received chemotherapy or were frail," said Dr. Argiris. "We had hoped this study would improve the survival rate of patients, but while gefinitib did postpone spread of the disease, it did not increase survival rates. The finding that the addition of gefinitib to chemotherapy can delay the growth of head and neck cancer suggests a potential beneficial effect from combination therapy." One group of 136 patients in the placebo-controlled study received docetaxel alone, a standard treatment for head and neck cancer. A second group of 134 patients received gefinitib in addition to docetaxel. This was the first phase III randomized trial to examine the addition of gefinitib to chemotherapy for patients with head and neck cancer. Gefinitib, which also is known by the trade name Iressa, is a targeted therapy against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with fewer side effects than traditional [...]

Jeg Coughlin Sr. Chair filled by OSU’s Gillison

Source: Author: News Staff   Leading human papilloma virus (HPV) expert Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, was officially named to the Jeg Coughlin Sr. Chair in Cancer Research during a special ceremony Wednesday night at the Longaberger Alumni House at The Ohio State University.   "This is a dream come true for all of us," said Coughlin, who was surrounded by his four sons and many members of the extended Coughlin family. "This Chair represents a legacy that will continue forever. Cancer research takes commitment from a financial aspect and more importantly from a research and development side. Dr. Gillison has accomplished so many things already and we truly feel the best is yet to come."  Gillison recently joined OSU's staff after a successful stint as associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., where she was a member of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. She now serves as professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at OSU and is a member of the Cancer Control and Viral Oncology Programs at the Comprehensive Cancer Center.   "Unfortunately, like so many other families, the Coughlins have been touched by cancer," Gillison said. "Now, they are a family on a mission. They put the same enthusiasm they bring to racing into cancer research. The Coughlin family has made it possible for me to take my research into a much broader direction and to really think outside of the box."   Focusing on the role that [...]

2009-05-29T09:37:54-07:00May, 2009|Oral Cancer News|

R. J. Reynolds introducing ‘dissolvable’ tobacco

Source: KSPR News Author: News Staff   Tobacco companies are facing new criticism, accused of targeting your kids. Not with ads, but with new types of tobacco products. Like Camel Snus, tea-bags filled with mint-flavored tobacco. R.J. Reynolds says Snus have become so popular, they're taking the next step -- totally dissolvable tobacco The company says it will solve all kinds of problems for traditional smokers. "They don't have second hand smoke. They don't have a litter problem. The product actually dissolves in your mouth as opposed to having to spit or extract something like a patch from your mouth like other smokeless products," says Tommy Payne of R. J. Reynolds. The company will soon test three new products: Camel Sticks that dissolve when you suck them, Minty Tobacco Strips that look like breath strips, and Orbs, flavored dissolvable tablets that some say look and taste like candy. Critics say R. J. Reynolds is doing what it did with Joe Camel -- marketing not to adult smokers, but smoker wanna-bes. "Really what you're doing with kids actually, it's kind of like a gateway drug. You're getting them addicted to nicotine, which then leads them to possibly wanting to do other things," says Dan Smith of the American Cancer Society. The Indiana Poison Control Center says just one Camel dissolvable delivers up to 300 percent of the nicotine found in just one cigarette. Take too many, and nicotine poisoning might set in, and you could develop oral cancer. R. J. Reynolds says [...]

2009-06-02T20:51:19-07:00May, 2009|Oral Cancer News|

U.S. cancer death rates continue to fall

Source: Author: staff Some 650,000 people are alive today who wouldn't be were it not for advances in cancer prevention, detection and treatment over the past 15 years, new statistics show. The American Cancer Society's Cancer Statistics 2009 report finds an encouraging 19.2 percent drop in cancer death rates among men from 1990 to 2005, as well as an 11.4 percent drop in women's cancer death rates during the same time period. Overall, cancer death rates fell 2 percent per year from 2001 to 2005 in men and 1.6 percent per year from 2002 to 2005 in women. By comparison, between 1993 and 2001, overall death rates in men declined 1.5 percent per year and, between 1994 and 2002, 0.8 percent in women. "We continue to see a decrease in death rates from cancer in both men and women and this is mainly because of prevention - mostly a reduction in smoking rates; detection which includes screening for colorectal cancer, for breast cancer and for cervical cancer; and also improved treatment," said report author Ahmedin Jemal, strategic director for cancer surveillance at the American Cancer Society. "To put this in perspective, the number of lives saved is more than the population of Washington, D.C.," said Dr. Louis M. Weiner, director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. "In my mind, that's a cause for some celebration. However, there are some sobering trends that we have to be aware of. The death rate for cardiovascular disease has dropped [...]

Majors to chew it over as big-league tobacco policy isn’t up to snuff

Source: Author: Filip Bondy Derek Jeter steps to the plate again, his jaw churning ferociously on some foreign, sticky substance. It’s just gum, and Jeter will prove that to the world now and then by blowing a giant bubble. But until the silly pink ball emerges, who knows? It might be gum, yet it also could be a pouch of smokeless or dip tobacco — that stubborn, traditional chew of choice for baseball players throughout history. And this is exactly what drives Jimmie Lee Solomon crazy, because sometimes he just can’t win. There are enough bad examples in his world. The executive VP of baseball operations for MLB worries that kids will get the wrong idea, and that baseball will be hurled back into the Nicotine Age. "It’s gum a lot of the time, not tobacco,"says Solomon, who has worked for 16 years to eliminate chewing tobacco and dip from the big-league culture. "Unfortunately, it can have the same, impressionable effect.” You know the most dangerous of all drugs in baseball? It isn’t steroids, and it isn’t human growth hormone. Those performance enhancers are health terrors in their own right, impacting the very bones of the game. But legal, smokeless tobacco in its multiple chewable forms still provides the addictive poisons linked most conclusively to illness and fatal disease. The Mayo Clinic identifies an assortment of horrors associated with chewing tobacco, whether it is packaged in the form of leaves, paste or twists: Tooth decay, gum disease, high blood [...]

Cancer patient held at US airport for missing fingerprint

Source: Author: Tan Ee Lyn A Singapore cancer patient was held for four hours by immigration officials in the United States when they could not detect his fingerprints -- which had apparently disappeared because of a drug he was taking. The incident, highlighted in the Annals of Oncology, was reported by the patient's doctor, Tan Eng Huat, who advised cancer patients taking this drug to carry a doctor's letter when traveling to the United States. The drug, capecitabine, is commonly used to treat cancers in the head and neck, breast, stomach and colorectum. One side-effect is chronic inflammation of the palms or soles of the feet and the skin can peel, bleed and develop ulcers or blisters -- or what is known as hand-foot syndrome. "This can give rise to eradication of fingerprints with time," explained Tan, senior consultant in the medical oncology department at Singapore's National Cancer Centre. The patient, a 62-year-old man, had head and neck cancer that had spread but responded well to chemotherapy. To prevent the cancer from recurring, he was put on capecitabine. "In December 2008, after more than three years of capecitabine, he went to the United States to visit his relatives," Tan wrote. "He was detained at the airport customs for four hours because the immigration officers could not detect his fingerprints. He was allowed to enter after the custom officers were satisfied that he was not a security threat." Tan said the loss of fingerprints is not described in the packaging [...]

New model suggests role of low vitamin D in cancer development

Source: Author: Staff In studying the preventive effects of vitamin D, researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, have proposed a new model of cancer development that hinges on a loss of cancer cells' ability to stick together. The model, dubbed DINOMIT, differs substantially from the current model of cancer development, which suggests genetic mutations as the earliest driving forces behind cancer. "The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels," said epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, who led the work. "In this new model, we propose that this loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over." Reporting online May 22, 2009 in the Annals of Epidemiology, Garland suggests that such cellular disruption could account for the earliest stages of many cancers. He said that previous theories linking vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies. "Competition and natural selection among disjoined cells within a tissue compartment, such as might occur in the breast's terminal ductal lobular unit, for example, are the engine of cancer," Garland said. "The DINOMIT model provides new avenues for preventing and improving the [...]

2009-06-02T20:52:32-07:00May, 2009|Oral Cancer News|

Taiwan researchers discover blood marker for metastatic cancer

Source: Author: staff A Taiwan hospital announced Wednesday it has discovered a blood marker for detecting cancer metastatic cancer. 'Foreign doctors have discovered blood marker for cancer before, but this is the first time a blood marker has been found for metastatic cancer, or cancers that can spread to other parts of the body,' Dr Chiang Ming-chung, a member of the research team, told German Press Agency dpa by phone. 'Currently, hospitals use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound scan, X-ray and other equipment to check for cancer. Such equipment is expensive. In some backward countries, hospitals cannot afford (such equipment), so this new testing method using the blood marker will be very helpful,' he said. Researchers at the Tung's hospital discovered the blood marker - described only as 'a serological cancer metastatic marker' - while doing research on a cancer-related gene. They found there was more secretion of the serological cancer metastatic marker in the sera of patients with metastatic cancer than in the sera of patients with primary cancer. So they did further study by collecting serum samples from 164 patients with various types of cancer, ultimately concluding that the blood marker is a secretory protein linked to metastatic cancer. Chiang said the blood marker they found can help screen a dozen types of cancer - including breast cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer and colon cancer - to see if they have spread to other parts of the body. The Tung's hospital, in Taichung County, west Taiwan, has [...]

BioVex to report phase I/II clinical trial results for the front line treatment of head and neck cancer

Source: Author: staff BioVex Inc, a company developing next generation biologics for the treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious disease, announced that the results from a Phase I/II combination study in previously untreated patients with head and neck cancer will be presented at the 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, which will take place May 29, 2009 - June 2, 2009 in Orlando, FL. The results are to be presented in an abstract (number 6018) entitled, "Phase I/II dose escalation study of OncoVEX GM-CSF and chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in untreated stage III/IV squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (SCCHN)," at a poster session on Friday, May 29, 2009 from 2:00pm - 6:00pm EDT on Level 2, West Hall F3 of the conference. A poster discussion will take place from 5:00pm - 6:00pm EDT. Study Rationale Patients with head and neck cancer often present with bulky disease that is too large or too close to vital organs for surgical removal. These patients typically undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatment prior to surgery. Patients who present with tumor containing lymph nodes are particularly difficult to treat and approximately half of these patients relapse within two years. In this study, OncoVEX GM-CSF was administered by direct injection, at three dose levels, into tumor containing lymph nodes in combination with standard first line chemo radiotherapy every three weeks for four cycles. All patients then went for surgery. Of the 17 Stage III/IVA (N1-3) patients treated, 16 had N2 or [...]

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