Cel-Sci to bump standard of care in head, neck cancer

Source: www.bioworld.com Author: Catherine Shaffer Cel-Sci Corp. began a carefully designed Phase III trial of Multikine, its investigational immunotherapy for head and neck cancer. Because Multikine is designed to recruit the support of a mostly healthy immune system, Cel-Sci is making a headlong charge at the goal of first-line therapy, instead of trying to develop the product in patients who have already received surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and have suppressed or damaged immune systems as a result. If Cel-Sci can prove the therapy works in the narrow three-week testing window granted by the FDA, Multikine stands to replace a standard of care that has changed little in half a century. "It makes no sense to develop an immunotherapy product for late-stage patients. You should develop it as a first line therapy, ahead of radiation or chemotherapy," Cel-Sci CEO Geert Kersten told BioWorld Today. Vienna, Va.-based Cel-Sci's clinical trial plan takes advantage of a nearly inevitable delay of up to six weeks between diagnosis and surgery in most head and neck cancers. The FDA has allowed Cel-Sci a three-week period to give Multikine to patients before they commence with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. This will not deprive any patients of the best possible standard-of-care while they also try an experimental therapy. Head and neck cancer strikes about 500,000 people annually worldwide. Some causal factors include smoking, drinking and chewing tobacco. Most cases are diagnosed outside the U.S., and about two-thirds of patients appear with advanced disease. The standard treatment for it [...]

2010-12-30T16:16:36-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

In India, an epidemic of oral cancer

Source: www.businessweek.com Author: Adi Narayan Safiq Shaikh was 13 when he began chewing a blend of tobacco and spices that jolted him awake whenever his job at a textile loom got too dreary. Five years later, doctors in Mumbai lopped off his tongue to halt the cancer spreading through his mouth. Shaikh believed the fragrant, granular mixture he chewed, known in India as gutka, was harmless, so at first he ignored the milky lump growing inside his mouth. Now he is one of about 200,000 Indians diagnosed with a tobacco-related malignancy this year, says his surgeon, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, who works at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. Chaturvedi says a group of entrepreneurs known as "gutka barons" bear much of the blame for this epidemic by mass marketing a mix of tobacco and areca nut for 1 rupee (2 cents) a pack on street corners across India. Sales of chewing tobacco in India, worth 210.3 billion rupees ($4.6 billion) in 2004, are on track to double by 2014, according to Datamonitor, the international research firm. Before, a traditional chewing mixture, known as paan, came with or without tobacco. It had to be handmade, was messy to carry around, and lacked modern packaging. "Now you have an industrial version of a traditional thing" spurring demand, says Chaturvedi. On Dec. 7, India's Supreme Court banned the sale of tobacco products in plastic wrappers as of Mar. 1, citing harm to public health and environmental damage from improper disposal of the packets. The [...]

2010-12-30T16:03:01-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Reynolds targets smokers trying to quit with new snus campaign

Source: www.csnews.com Author: staff R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. wants cigarette smokers to consider Snus if they are trying to quit. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the giant tobacco company has launched a national campaign marketing Camel Snus as a potential New Year’s Resolution solution for smokers. It’s the company’s first campaign aimed specifically at encouraging smokers to switch to Camel Snus, according to David Howard, a Reynolds spokesman. "A lot of adults make a decision to quit smoking this time of the year," said Howard in the report. "For those making that attempt, but still wanting the pleasure of tobacco, we’re saying ‘Here’s an option." Reynolds has run ads in large-circulation magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, People, Sports Illustrated, Time and US Weekly, as well as free and alternative publications, according to the report. In the "2011 smoke-free resolution" ad, Reynolds said it supports smokers who have decided to quit using tobacco. "But if you’re looking for smoke-free, spit-free, drama-free tobacco pleasure, Camel Snus is your answer," the ad’s text reads. The ads also contain a large warning that "smokeless tobacco is addictive." Howard said that the "drama-free" reference is aimed at adults who want to use tobacco products in restaurants, bars and other social outlets where smoking is discouraged or banned. Reynolds’ print ads are part of a "take the pleasure switch challenge" campaign tied to an age-restricted Camel Snus Web site. As might have been expected, some anti-smoking groups are upset by the ads. "The ads are trying [...]

2010-12-30T15:54:40-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Radiation exposure increases kids’ risk for developing thyroid cancer later in life

Source: www.endocrineweb.com Author: staff University of Rochester Medical Center researchers have revealed that children who are exposed to head and neck radiation during a CT scan or cancer treatment may have an increased risk of thyroid cancer in adulthood. The paper, which was published in the December issue of the journal Radiation Research, provided findings that may explain why the rates of thyroid cancer are continuing to rise, as the general public is becoming increasingly exposed to radiation through some medical procedures. "Ionizing radiation is a known carcinogen and, in fact, about 1 million CT scans are performed every year on children five years or younger," said lead author Jacob Adams. "Although CTs and other imaging tests are an important diagnostic tool, with everything comes a risk." He and his colleagues assessed a group of patients who had been treated with chest radiotherapy during infancy as a result of an enlarged thymus. Of the 1,303 individuals evaluated, 50 developed thyroid cancer, compared to only 13 controls out of 1,768 people who had not undergone radiation therapy. According to the researchers, the study supports previous evidence showing that the risk of thyroid cancer due to radiation exposure may continue for children for a median of 57.5 years.

2010-12-29T10:42:48-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Robotic tongue cancer surgery-Mayo Clinic

Source: www.theze.cn Author: staff Fighting cancer is not easy. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can be very hard on your body. Take head and neck cancers, for example. These tumors are often hard to reach. Doctors have to cut through bones such as your jaw to reach them. Now, doctors at Mayo Clinic are using robots to access these cancers through your mouth, leaving face bones intact.

2010-12-28T08:53:46-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Good speaking, swallowing after chemoradiotherapy for head/neck cancer

Source: www.medscape.com Author: Fran Lowry Most patients with locoregionally advanced head and neck cancer who were successfully treated with intensive chemoradiotherapy had no residual deficits in speaking or swallowing after their treatment, according to the results of a study done by University of Chicago researchers. The study appears in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. Of 163 patients with head and neck cancer who were assigned a speaking score an average of 35 months after completing treatment, 84.7% were found to have no lasting difficulties and were given a score of 1 on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being the best and 4 being the worst function. In addition, among 166 patients who were assigned a swallowing score an average of 35 months after treatment, 63.3% were found to have no lasting difficulties swallowing and were given a score of 1. "We weren't surprised by our findings," senior author Joseph K. Salama, MD, told Medscape Medical News. "However, it was nice to quantify formally our clinical impressions—that most patients in the long run do well." Dr. Salama was with the University of Chicago, Illinois, at the time the study was conducted and is now at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Expert Disagrees However, Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, disagreed with the view that so many patients with head and neck cancer [...]

2010-12-27T21:20:46-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Californians continue to kick the cigarette habit

Source: www.latimes.com Author: Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times The percentage of California adults who smoke has continued to drop more than the national average, according to new data released Monday by state health officials. Still, deep disparities exist depending on gender, education, income, ethnicity and region. Overall, Californians remain significantly less likely to smoke than people in the rest of the country, with 13.1% of adults surveyed statewide saying they smoked last year compared with 21% of adults nationwide. The rate was even lower in several Southern California counties, including Los Angeles (10.4%), Orange (10.9%), Ventura (11.8%), Riverside and San Bernardino (each12.7%), according to a 2008 telephone survey. "We have saved billions of dollars in healthcare costs that have been averted," Kimberly Belshé, the state's secretary of Health and Human Services, said Monday at a news conference near downtown Los Angeles to release the figures and display the state's latest anti- smoking advertisements. Still, she said, "these prevalence rates also tell us we have more work to be done." As of last year, California had seen a 38% decrease in smokers since 1990, when public health officials created the California Tobacco Control Program, funded by Proposition 99. The smoking rate is expected to decrease to 12.6% this year, close to the national goal of 12% by 2020. Only Utah reports a lower rate of smokers. The downward trend in California is moving faster than the nation's, which has seen a smaller decrease in the smoking rate, down to 21% from [...]

2010-12-27T21:15:06-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

World’s largest oral cancer support group is helping thousands worldwide

Source: www.mdnews.com Author: staff It's no secret that people don't want to hear their name and cancer in the same sentence. When Oral Cancer Founder Brian Hill was diagnosed with oral cancer in 1999, he had a lot of questions. Brian recalls, "When I was going through treatment I remember thinking, 'When am I going to get rid of all these sores in my mouth? What about tasting things again?' I was desperate to find someone to talk to who had gone through the same thing I was experiencing but there was nowhere to go." Brian decided to take matters into his own hands and become a student of the disease. With a small budget, he founded the non-profit Oral Cancer Foundation, and launched a Patient/Survivor Support Forum shortly after completing treatment for the disease. Today, eleven years after Brian faced dim prospects as a stage 4 cancer patient, the Foundation's Survivor/Patient forum is the world's largest support group for oral, head and neck cancers. The message boards have thousands of individuals involved; survivors, patients and caregivers, as well as doctors and nurses - posting real-time, asking for, or providing information and support to those just starting on this path. The OCF forum is a free, anonymous, safe environment for patients to get the answers and support they need 24/7/ 365 days a year. Patients and caregivers worldwide are interacting with each other. Currently more than 7,650 members on the forum interact with one another on a daily basis; tens [...]

Recurrence of oral cancer found to signal poor outcome

Source: health.usnews.com Author: staff How people fare when oral cancer recurs depends on where and when the cancer returns, a new study has found. The research included 77 people in Australia who'd had oral squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer that occurs in the thin, flat cells that line the lips and mouth. The cancer was treated with surgery, radiation or both. However, the cancer came back, and they all subsequently had what's called salvage surgery, which is a procedure to remove cancer after an initial treatment fails. The researchers found that people whose cancer recurred at the same site as the initial cancer tended to do worse if the disease returned within six months, whereas those with recurrence at a different site did worse if their cancer came back after six months or more. The overall five-year survival rate after salvage surgery was 50 percent. People who had initially had both surgery and radiation were 1.3 times as likely to die, the investigators found. The median, or midpoint, in time to recurrence was 7.5 months after treatment, and 86 percent of the recurrences occurred within 24 months, the study found. Recurrence occurred at the initial site in 39 people, in the neck on the same side as their initial cancer in 27 people and in the neck on the opposite side in 11 people. "Presumably, the poor outcome reflects a combination of more advanced disease at initial presentation, resistant tumor biology and limited salvage options," wrote Michael D. Kernohan and [...]

2010-12-27T16:16:26-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Ann Layvey: outreach underpins academic fulfillment

Source: www.dental.upenn.edu/ Author: staff Ann Layvey was raised to ‘give back,’ so it seems natural that her academic career at Penn Dental Medicine has been underpinned by community service. “My mom always helped me to see the importance of outreach,” says Ann, who, from an early age, was involved in helping her community in New York by serving those in need. During her undergraduate experience, she volunteered at the New York University Hospital, and has consistently supported community service at Penn Dental Medicine, where it is also an integral part of the School’s curriculum. “By dealing with what concerns others, we define our own humanity,” she says. Tapping into that ingrained altruism, Ann teamed with fellow students to help organize a new outreach program for the School that complimented their studies. In spring 2009, she co-coordinated Penn Dental Medicine’s first Oral Cancer Walk, garnering attention to oral cancer and over $16,000 in donations for the Oral Cancer Foundation. “We modeled this walk on the ones done in New York, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., and were thrilled beyond expectations for our first year,” she says. Nearly 300 participated in the walk, and 75 people came out for oral cancer screenings, effectively raising the community service profile of Penn Dental Medicine and building public awareness about how oral cancer screenings save lives. “This was our first year for this walk, and our goal is to keep it going,” she says. In addition to helping the community in Philadelphia, Ann also put her [...]

2010-12-26T09:28:17-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|
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