Monthly Archives: July 2010

HPV testing following excisional therapy for cervical neoplasia can identify high-risk patients: presented at IPC

Author: Louise Gagnon

About one-quarter of women continue to have high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) after excisional therapy for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2/3, a study presented here at the 26th International Papillomavirus Conference (IPC) has found.

Women with CIN are at increased risk for developing invasive cervical cancer, and persistent infection of high-risk HPV is a main risk factor for treatment failure, said Wendy Mei, BSc, MLT, the study’s presenting investigator and clinical trials coordinator at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia.

HPV testing and Pap smear together are more sensitive than using Pap smear alone, noted Mei.

“We wanted to evaluate the impact of implementing ASCCP [American Society for Colposcopy and Clinical Pathology] guidelines in British Columbia,” Mei told attendees here at an oral presentation on July 7. “We also wanted to determine the genotype distribution of women with higher risk HPV to gain insight on vaccine and diagnostics evaluation.”

Researchers used ThinPrep to collect cervical brushings, instead of conventional Pap smear, to permit an aliquot to be tested to determine if the HPV types were high-risk using a DNA test.

Mei and colleagues collected 1,007 specimens and found 25.4% (n = 256) were positive for high-risk HPV. They found HPV 16 in 29.7% of specimens and HPV 18 in 5.5% of specimens.

“HPV 18 was lower than expected, but the treatment options are more effective for HPV 18,” said Mei in an interview.

Investigators found single and multiple high-risk HPV genotypes were identified in 50.8% of specimens and 31.3% of specimens, respectively. As many as 9 genotypes were detected in 1 sample.

“Multiple infections were quite common, and there might be synergistic or competitive relationships where if you have a certain combination of genotypes, it might make the disease worse or prevent another genotype,” said Mei.

Detecting women who carry high-risk HPV genotypes can allow clinicians to streamline their energies to those women who are at greatest threat of developing cervical cancer, Mei explained.

“If we can identify those cases, we can focus our efforts on those at highest risk of developing cervical carcinoma,” said Dr. Mei, noting that women with high-risk HPV can be included in an intense screening program.

Both Digene and F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. supplied materials for investigators to conduct the study.

1. Presentation title: HPV Testing of Women in British Columbia Following Excisional Therapy for CIN 2/3. Abstract 414

Researchers study relationship of oral cancers and periodontal disease

Author: staff

During the 88th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, in Barcelona, Spain, author J. Meyle, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany, presented an abstract titled “P. gingivalis Infection and Immune Evasion of Oral Carcinomas.”

Meyle and his team are investigating the relationship of oral cancers and periodontal disease. They achieved results by infecting cell carcinoma cells SCC-25 with Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.) W83. After 48h the cells were stained with antibodies against human B7-H1, B7-DC and TLR4 and analysed by flow cytometry. RNA was extracted after 24h and gene expression of B7-H1, B7DC, TLR4, IFN-γ and IL-10 was quantified by real time PCR and analysed by the (2 triangles)CT method.

Up-regulation of B7-H1 in host cells may contribute to the chronicity of inflammatory disorders which frequently precede the development of human cancers. B7-H1 expression was detected in the majority of human cancers and leads to anergy and apoptosis of activated T cells, which might enable tumors to evade the immune response. TLR4 signalling has been shown to induce B7-H1 in bladder cancer cells.

P.g., a putative periodontal pathogen, is an etiologic agent of periodontitis and expresses a variety of virulence factors. In this study the expression of B7-H1 and B7-DC receptors and TLR4 on squamous cell carcinoma cells SCC-25 was analysed after infection with P.g. in vitro.

The research concludes that P.g. is able to induce the expression of the immune regulating receptors B7-H1 and B7-DC in squamous cell carcinoma which may facilitate immune evasion of oral cancers in patients with periodontal infections.

This is a summary of abstract #230, “P. gingivalis Infection and Immune Evasion of oral Carcinomas” presented by J. Meyle at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona, Spain during the 88th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research.

Source: Ingrid L. Thomas, International & American Association for Dental Research

Compound discovery may lead to earlier oral cancer detection

Author: staff

A biomarker found in the mouth may help dental care specialists diagnose patients with cancer of the mouth and gums at earlier stages, according to a study published in the web-based journal, PLoS ONE.

One of the first signs of oral cancer is the development of white or red sores on the inside of the mouth, which commonly go untested because they are typically cancer-free. However, if cancerous lesions go untreated, the disease can progress to later stages.

In an effort to improve oral cancer detection, a team of researchers conducted a series of tests, and discovered the hBD-3 biomarker, which improves immune system health in the mouth. The location of the compound is what has made these results important, as they were found in the lining of the mouth where cancerous cells begin to grow.

Because they were able to discover where the hBD-3 biomarker develops, the investigators concluded that these findings could lead to the development of diagnostic equipment that could detect oral cancer sooner.

“Using the biomarker to detect oral cancer holds potential for saving lives when the cancer is most curable. Annually some 10,000 people die from this cancer,” said Ge Jin, assistant professor of biological sciences at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

Which new tobacco products are scoring?

Source: CSP
Author: Mitch Morrison

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Camel Snus continues to ride a wave of loyal national support as R.J. Reynolds extends its marketing focus to oral tobacco consumption. In an exclusive CSP-UBS tobacco survey, retailers praised Camel’s Snus product as well as Camel Crush, the company’s customizable cigarette that contains a small blue menthol capsule within the filter.

“Camel Snus—extremely aggressive and the first to market in this new and growing category,” a Virginia retailer said of the smokeless, spitless product. “‘Fill the Fridge’ is a good concept.”

Added a retailer from Iowa: “Snus continues to be a growth driver. Camel did a really good job out of the chute with its initial launch and now Marlboro has gotten into the game as well.”

Indeed, more than half of the 50-plus respondents cited the snus segment as a strong nascent player that is slowly gaining recognition and consumer acceptance.

Another winner was Marlboro, which scored well with its Marlboro 72, Marlboro Special Blend and Copenhagen Wintergreen smokeless tobacco. “Marlboro Special Blend and 72s have done exceptionally well in our area with an attractive price,” an Arkansas operator said.

Others receiving praise included Liggett’s private-label lines, Star Scientific’s Stonewall spitless, Reynold’s Natural American Spirit and the broader smokeless tobacco category.

“Camel is doing a great job in building awareness for the Snus category,” said UBS tobacco analyst Nik Modi. “PM USA had great traction with its Marlboro Special Blend, but we wonder how the brand will respond to a pull back in promotional support.”

Faring Poorer

Of course, there is the flip side. That does not mean these products will not succeed or find their niche, but at this time, they are not yielding the gains retailers had hoped. Likewise, some products that generally scored favorably, like Camel Snus or Marlboro Special Blend, also garnered a few detractors.

The most cited on scoring poor traction was Marlboro Snus, Altria’s foray to extend the dominant cigarette brand into the oral, spitless tobacco line.

“Marlboro Snus followed the footsteps of RJR and Camel Snus,” said an East Coast merchant. It “has the brand name, but not the quality or perceived freshness (like Camel Snus) to back it up and help grow sales.”

Another retailer praised the performance of Marlboro’s Special Blend, but, like UBS’s Modi, feared some of the sales were attributed to discount pricing. “When on deal it sells but off deal the customer leaves the product behind,” said a Connecticut operator. “I am concerned that PM’s line extensions on Marlboro have the consumer confused. I worry about ‘opening Pandora’s box.’ When the deep-discount deals end on a new Marlboro facing I find that customer, for the first time, is willing to look at other ‘deals’ that may not be Marlboro deals.”

A few respondents said the whole line of spitless is underperforming, a couple dismissed Camel Snus and one dismissed the entire notion of electronic cigarettes. And another retailer dismissed virtually all new products, lamenting, “most all new innovation has seemed to be anemic.”

July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Congress approves bill curbing internet tobacco sales in victory for kids and taxpayers

Source: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Author: Matthew L. Myers

Voting 387 to 25, the U.S. House of Representatives today gave final congressional approval to the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, legislation to curtail the growing sales of tax-evading, low-cost cigarettes and other tobacco products over the Internet and through the mail.  Passage of this legislation is a milestone in the fight to keep kids from smoking and prevent tax evasion that costs state and federal taxpayers billions each year.

We applaud Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), the chief House sponsor, and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), the Senate sponsor, for their leadership and persistence in pursuing this legislation and winning its approval. The Senate unanimously approved the bill onMarch 11.  We look forward to President Obama continuing his strong leadership on tobacco control by signing the PACT Act into law.

Internet sales of tobacco products are a serious and growing problem that keeps prices down and smoking levels up.  Such sales make it easier and cheaper for kids to buy cigarettes, facilitate tax evasion and cost federal and state governments billions in revenue.  Many vendors that sell cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products over the Internet or through other mail-order sales do not pay applicable tobacco taxes and do not have sufficient safeguards to prevent sales to children, such as effective policies to verify a purchaser’s age.

The PACT Act will:

  • Require Internet sellers to pay all federal, state, local or Tribal tobacco taxes and affix tax stamps before delivery to any customer;
  • Mandate that the age and identification of purchasers be checked at purchase and at delivery;
  • Require Internet vendors to comply with state and local laws as if they were located in the same state as their customers;
  • Provide federal and state enforcement officials with new tools to block delivery of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products that evade federal or state laws; and
  • Ban the delivery of tobacco products through the U.S. mail.

Summary of the PACT Act:

More on Internet tobacco sales:

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

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July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Trends in the incidence rates of tonsil and base of tongue cancer in England, 1985-2006

Source: Ann Royal Coll Surgery Engl. 2010 Jul 7
Authors: Reddy V, Cundall-Curry D, Bridger M.

INTRODUCTION The aim of this study was to investigate whether incidence rates of tonsil and base of tongue cancer in England are increasing using data from the UK cancer registry.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS Cancer registrations for oral cavity and oropharynx cancer from 1985-2006 in England were obtained from the National Cancer Information Service. Population estimates were obtained from the Office for National Statistics. Age-adjusted incidence rates and age-specific incidence rates were calculated. The sexes were considered separately as incidence rates are known to differ significantly between men and women. Linear regression was performed to establish whether there was a relationship between incidence rates and time.

RESULTS There has been an increase in all oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer in the study period. Linear regression analysis suggests that approximately 90% of the variance in age-adjusted incidence rates for men and women for tonsil, base of tongue and other oral cavity cancer is explained by the passage of time. For other oropharyngeal cancer, the variance is 62% and 46% in men and women, respectively. The estimated annual percentage change from 1985 to 2006 in age-adjusted incidence rates for tonsil and base of tongue cancer is 5.7% and 6.7% for men, and 4.3% and 6.5% for women, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS This study confirms a wide-spread clinical impression that there has been an increase in age-adjusted incidence rates, between 1985 and 2006, in all oral cavity cancer in England. The age range 40-69 years has seen the biggest increases in age-specific incidence rates for tonsil and base of tongue cancer. This reflects the findings of similar studies in other countries

July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Man wins £18k on tv game show after tongue cancer op

Author: staff

For a man who had to learn how to talk again, there can be few greater tests than speaking on a TV game show beamed across the nation. But Maurice Paulson passed with flying colours – and won £18,000 and praise from Noel Edmonds in the process. The 81-year-old appeared on Channel 4’s hit show Deal or No Deal having been taught how to speak again following an operation on his cancer-ridden tongue.

Maurice said the show was great fun and that his appearance was a reward for the hard work Derby’s doctors and nurses had put in to help him recover. Although he speaks with a rasp, every word is intelligible as long as he speaks slowly and enunciates.

He said: “Noel said I was very brave for coming on. I didn’t think so at the time – if people don’t understand me now there’s nothing I can do about it. The crowd were brilliant though. I won £18,000 and they all came down from their seats and hugged and congratulated me.”

Maurice, of Stenson Fields, was stunned when he was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2004.

He said: “I had gone for a check-up because my neck kept swelling up and then going back to normal again. It’s not the sort of thing you imagine would be cancer.

“They asked me if I drank or smoked. But I gave up smoking decades before and, despite being a landlord for three pubs in my time, I’d never drank either.”

Maurice was immediately taken for surgery at the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. It proved to be a lengthy but successful operation, lasting 12-and-a-half hours and involving cutting away a third of his tongue.

That was replaced by part of his arm, which in turn was replaced by part of his stomach. But for Maurice, it was just the beginning of a difficult road to recovery.

He said: “At first I could barely speak at all. I was used to speaking fairly quickly and people couldn’t understand me. So I had to go to speech therapy at the hospital for about half-an-hour three times a week. They got me to record what I was saying so I could hear what I sounded like. I learnt to speak slowly and clearly enunciate all the sounds.

“All the doctors and nurses were brilliant. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

The speech therapy lasted for three months and Maurice has been constantly developing his abilities since.

Three months ago his wife, Jane, 56, suggested he go on Deal or No Deal.

The show involves 22 boxes with sums of money written on the inside of their lids. Players choose a box to knock an amount of money off the board. They then do a deal with the show’s banker. Maurice said the cash he won on the show had come in useful as his wife had just been made redundant.

He said: “I went in there aiming to pay the mortgage so £18,000 was the target. Now our house is ours so we don’t need to worry about that.”

A tough one to chew on: smokeless tobacco and teens

Source: Medscape Today
Author: Mary E. Muscari, PhD, CPNP, APRN-BC, CFNS


One would think that the mere image of a bulgy cheek spewing brown, foul-smelling goo would be more than enough to turn anyone, especially appearance-conscious teens, off of using smokeless tobacco (ST). But then, these media-savvy adolescents probably have discovered snus, a smoke- and spit-free tobacco. According to a recent article in Reuters,[1] the use of ST is on the rise among US teens, reversing a downward trend in tobacco product use by adolescents. The Reuters article cites comments made by Terry Pechacek, PhD, Associate Director for Science, Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a report to a US Congressional Panel. Among his comments is the suggestion that ST-using Major League Baseball® (MLB) players may be influencing young men to take up the cancer-causing habit. In his report, Dr. Pechacek noted that “the recent increases in ST use by adolescent boys and young adult men and the increasing dual use of cigarettes and ST products may portend a leveling off or even a reversal in the decline in smoking, the perpetuation of nicotine dependence, and continuing high levels of tobacco-related disease and death in the country.”[2] Given this grim outlook, healthcare professionals need to kick up their fight against teen tobacco use by increasing their focus on smokeless forms of tobacco.

Smokeless Tobacco

ST (also known as spit, plug dip, chaw, rack, spits, grizz, and tasties) comes in 2 forms: chew and snuff. Chewing tobacco is available in loose-leaf, twist, and plug forms, whereas snuff comes in moist, dry, and sachet forms.[2,3]

  1. Snuff: Available in dry or moist forms, snuff isfinely ground or shredded tobacco leaves that are packaged in tins or teabag-like pouches. A pinch of snuff is placed between the lower lip and gum or cheek and gum. Users typically spit out the tobacco juices, but those who swallow the juices become more addicted. Dry forms of snuff can be sniffed into the nose; using snuff is also called dipping.[2,3]
  2. Chew (chaw): A wad of chewing tobacco is placed inside the cheek and held there, sometimes for hours, and users spit out the tobacco juices. Chew is made fromloose tobacco leaves that are sweetened and packaged in pouches.
  3. Plug: Chewing tobacco is pressed into a brick, usually with the help of molasses or another sweet syrup. Users cut off or bite off a piece of the plug and hold it between the cheek and gum, spitting out the tobacco juices.
  4. Twist: Twist is flavored chew, braided and twisted into rope-like strands. It is held between the cheek and gum, and users spit out the tobacco juices.
  5. Snus: The relatively new snus(pronounced “snoos”) is a smokeless, spitless tobacco product that originated in Sweden. Snus comes in a pouch that is placed between the upper lip and gum for about a half-hour before discarding.
  6. Dissolvable tobacco products: Pieces of compressed powdered tobacco, similar to small hard candies, dissolve in the mouth and require no spitting of tobacco juices. Instead, they melt like breath mints. Sometimes called “tobacco lozenges,” these products are sold in shiny plastic cases and are not to be confused with the nicotine lozenges used for smoking cessation. Dissolvable tobacco products include[4]:
    • Orbs: similar to popular tiny breath mints;
    • Sticks: similar to toothpicks; and
    • Strips: similar to mouthwash breath strips.

According to the National Cancer Institute, ST contains at least 28 carcinogens in varying concentrations. The most harmful are the tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which are formed during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines have been detected in some ST products at higher levels than levels of other types of nitrosamines, which are allowed in foods, such as bacon and beer. Other carcinogens include N-nitrosamino acids, volatile N-nitrosamines, benzo(a)pyrene, volatile aldehydes, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde, hydrazine, arsenic, nickel, cadmium, benzopyrene, and polonium-210. Similar to smoked tobacco, ST contains nicotine, which is addictive, and the amount of nicotine absorbed from ST is 3 to 4 times greater than the amount delivered by a cigarette. Nicotine is absorbed more slowly from ST than from cigarettes; however, more nicotine per dose is absorbed from ST than from cigarettes, and the nicotine stays in the bloodstream for a longer time.[5]

Prevalence of Smokeless Tobacco Use in Teens

In 1970, men aged 65 years or older were almost 6 times as likely as those aged 18 to 24 years to use ST regularly, but by 1991, young men were 50% more likely than the oldest men to be regular users.[6] The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey[7] (YRBSS), which summarized results from public and private schools with students in at least 1 of grades 9-12 in the 50 US states and the District of Columbia, found that 8.9% of students had used ST (eg, chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip) on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey. The YRBSS also found that use was higher among boys (15.0%) than girls (2.2%) and higher among white persons (11.9%) than black (3.3%) and Hispanic persons (5.1%).[7]

ST has long been a staple in the rural United States, and it remains a problem among rural youth. The table demonstrates that in many states with large rural areas, prevalence of ST use among youth was higher than the national average.[8] Compared with urban children, rural children in the US are more likely to be poor, be white, and have less educated parents. Rural children also engage in more smoking, drinking, and drug use than their urban counterparts.[9]

Table. 2009 YRBSS Results on Smokeless Tobacco in US Rural Regionsa

State Prevalence Percentage
National 8.9
Alabama 12.4
Alaska 13.6
Arkansas 12.4
Colorado 10.7
Idaho 9.4
Louisiana 9.6
Kentucky 14.2
Montana 14.6
North Dakota 15.3
Oklahoma 10.5
South Carolina 10.4
South Dakota 14.6
Tennessee 12.2
West Virginia 14.4
Wyoming 16.2

a Used chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey.

To describe substance use among Pennsylvania rural youth, Aronson and colleagues[10] identified changes and trends from 2001 through 2005 and compared these trends with use among urban youth. They found that ST use was more prevalent among rural youth than urban youth, although a significant shift toward increased ST use among urban 10th-grade boys occurred in 2005. They also found that:

  1. ST use by rural Pennsylvania youth far exceeded use reported at the national level.
  2. In the 12th grade, approximately 25% of rural boys used ST, compared with no more than 15% of urban boys.
  3. Nearly 12% of rural 12th grade girls used ST in 2005.
  4. Prevalence doubled for rural girls in 6th through 8th grades in both 2003 and 2005.
  5. At nearly every time point and in every grade, lifetime ST use increased for rural girls and boys.

Health Hazards of Smokeless Tobacco

The health hazards of ST vary as widely as the types of products and the manner in which they are used. Variations in health risks are possible for persons using both cigarettes and ST compared with those using ST alone. Potential hazards include[3,11]:

  • Nicotine dependence: The nicotine in ST is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and is addicting. Withdrawal often creates the same symptoms as those seen in heavy smokers who attempt to quit. Some manufacturers of ST products have altered the nicotine content and pH, added flavors, and packaged moist snuff in sachets as starter products that gradually move novice users on to higher levels of nicotine as their tolerance increases;
  • Cancer: ST can contribute to oral cancers, as well as cancer of the esophagus and pancreas;
  • Leukoplakia: ST increases the risk for leukoplakia (precancerous lesions);
  • Heart disease: ST contains nicotine, which can contribute to cardiovascular disease and hypertension; and
  • Dental problems: ST can contribute to gingivitis and dental caries.

The Allure of Smokeless Tobacco

ST has been around for a long time. So why are more teens discovering it now? Increased interest in ST may have several causes[3,12]:

  1. Teens may still view ST as relatively harmless compared with cigarettes.
  2. Adolescent girls may use ST to try to lose weight.
  3. With increasing smoking restrictions, ST gives people a way to get nicotine without having to go out in the cold or having to wait until they are out of the no-smoking zone.
  4. Recent mergers and acquisitions resulted in the production and sales of ST moving from companies that do not manufacture cigarettes to companies that do manufacture them.
  5. New forms and flavors of ST are more appealing to youth. A quick Internet search revealed such flavors as apple, butternut, peach, tequila, black wild cherry, “fresh,” and “mellow.” Some of the new snus containers are downright adorable.
  6. Smokeless products are heavily promoted.
  7. Smokeless products are used by youth role models, including MLB players and rodeo stars.

Whereas rodeo stars are more likely to influence rural children, baseball players have a much broader influence, and it is the association between MLB and ST that concerns Dr. Pechacek. Chew is probably as much a symbol of baseball as hot dogs, and its use dates back to the mid-1800s. Players initially used it to keep their mouths moist and gloves soft (by spitting into them). ST use began to decline with the increased use of cigarettes in the 1950s, but players reversed that trend and went back to ST when they learned about the dangers of cigarettes. In 1990, MLB warned players of the dangers of ST and began efforts to help players quit. Since that time, many players have educated young baseball players on the dangers of ST.[13]

Implications for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers need to be as aggressive with ST as they are with cigarettes, in both research and practice. Research must focus on the specific types of ST to firmly establish correlations with health problems, particularly in pediatric users, to understand the short- and long-term effects. Research should also guide the development of evidence-based prevention and cessation programs. Practitioners should work together with dental professionals to incorporate possible ST use into assessment, prevention, and intervention.

Primary prevention. Healthy People 2010 objective 27-3 is “Reduce the initiation of tobacco use among children and adolescents.” Objective 27-4.a is “Increase the average age of first use of tobacco products by adolescents (from an average of age 12 to an average of age 14 years) and young adults (from age 15 to age 17 years).”[14]These are average ages of initiation; children younger than 12 years often use tobacco products, especially ST. The first thing practitioners must do is to take this objective to a lower age level, preferably beginning with the early school-age years. Primary care providers need to incorporate ST prevention into anticipatory guidance counseling and to instruct parents to talk with their children about ST products and to role-model positive health behaviors by not using ST — or any form of tobacco.

Secondary prevention. All healthcare providers should ask clients, regardless of age, about the use of ST. This is especially true in inpatient facilities, where clients may be using these products while hospitalized. Of course, healthcare providers should also encourage — and help — clients to quit. Quitting is not easy, even for adolescents, because of nicotine dependence. Withdrawal symptoms (dizziness, depression, frustration, impatience, anger, anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, headaches, tiredness, and increased appetite) are unpleasant. Users may benefit from cessation support groups, such as Nicotine Anonymous or local groups available through the American Cancer Society or those listed in the phone book. Appropriate nicotine replacement treatments may be beneficial; however, these are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ST cessation. Smoking cessation medications (such as Bupropion [Zyban®]) are not FDA-approved for children younger than 18 years.[15,16]

On a broader level, healthcare providers can assist schools and state agencies by providing group education on ST. Several federal agencies are available to provide support, including the CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco Use Media Campaign Resource Center.[17] Finally, healthcare providers can become involved in advocacy by supporting legislation that minimizes ST advertising and exposure to minors. Healthcare providers cannot allow the fight against tobacco to be chewed up and spit in the gutter.

Web Resources

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Smokeless Tobacco Fact Sheets

Spit Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Tobacco

World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative

July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

VELscope system honored by the WHO

Source: Dentistry IQ
Author: Staff

Jul 7, 2010

BURNABY, British Columbia—LED Dental has announced that the World Health Organization has recognized the VELscope enhanced oral assessment system as an innovative device that addresses global health concerns.

In 2009, the WHO Department of Essential Health Technologies challenged the scientific and business communities to identify and develop innovative technologies to address global health concerns. On June 30, following months of evaluation, the organization officially recognized those innovative medical devices–either existing or under development–that address global health concerns and which are likely to be accessible, appropriate and affordable for use in low- and middle-income countries.

The VELscope system was one of only eight commercialized devices so honored.

“It is extremely gratifying to receive this prestigious honor,” said Peter Whitehead, founder and CEO of LED Dental and inventor of the VELscope system.

“We created the VELscope system to improve the oral health of patients worldwide by helping dental practitioners discover everything from early-stage oral cancer to any number of more common oral abnormalities. This recognition from the World Health Organization is further reinforcement of what thousands of VELscope users have been telling us: that the VELscope system can help improve oral health in a very cost-effective and userfriendly manner.”

Oral cancer kills one American every hour of every day. According to the SEER data base, oral cancer has a higher mortality rate than several better publicized cancers, such as cervical cancer and testicular cancer. Some oral cancers are now known to be linked to exposure to the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus. This means that anyone who is sexually active is potentially at risk for the disease. Because of this, many health experts advise everyone 18-years-old and older to get an oral cancer exam on at least an annual basis.

Regular exams can help address the fact that oral cancer is typically discovered in late stages, when the five-year survival rate is approximately 30%. When discovered in early stages, however; the survival rate leaps to 80 to 90%, according to SEER data. Early detection can help reduce not only the mortality rate, but the degree of invasiveness and disfigurement resulting from treatment.

The VELscope handpiece shines a safe, blue light into the oral cavity and excites natural tissue fluorescence. When viewed by the clinician through the handpiece’s patented filters, abnormal tissue typically appears as an irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.

For more information, call (888) 541-4614, or visit

To read more about VELscope, go to VELscope.

July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Coffee and tea intake and risk of head and neck cancer: pooled analysis in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology Consortium

Source: CEBP
Author: Mia Hashibe


Background: Only a few studies have explored the relation between coffee and tea intake and head and neck cancers, with inconsistent results.

Methods: We pooled individual-level data from nine case-control studies of head and neck cancers, including 5,139 cases and 9,028 controls. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: Caffeinated coffee intake was inversely related with the risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx: the ORs were 0.96 (95% CI, 0.94–0.98) for an increment of 1 cup per day and 0.61 (95% CI, 0.47–0.80) in drinkers of >4 cups per day versus nondrinkers. This latter estimate was consistent for different anatomic sites (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.30–0.71 for oral cavity; OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41–0.82 for oropharynx/hypopharynx; and OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.37–1.01 for oral cavity/pharynx not otherwise specified) and across strata of selected covariates. No association of caffeinated coffee drinking was found with laryngeal cancer (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.64–1.45 in drinkers of >4 cups per day versus nondrinkers). Data on decaffeinated coffee were too sparse for detailed analysis, but indicated no increased risk. Tea intake was not associated with head and neck cancer risk (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.89–1.11 for drinkers versus nondrinkers).

Conclusions: This pooled analysis of case-control studies supports the hypothesis of an inverse association between caffeinated coffee drinking and risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx.

Impact: Given widespread use of coffee and the relatively high incidence and low survival of head and neck cancers, the observed inverse association may have appreciable public health relevance. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 19(7); 1723–36. ©2010 AACR.

July, 2010|Oral Cancer News|