Mayo Clinic finds robotic surgery effective for removing hard-to-reach throat cancer

Source: Author: press release Robotic surgery has become a mainstream tool for removing an ever-increasing variety of head and neck tumors. Now, a team of head and neck surgeons from Mayo Clinic has found robotic surgery can treat cancer in the narrow, hard-to-reach area beyond the tongue at the top of the voice box. Some patients were able to avoid further treatment with chemotherapy or radiation, and most could resume normal eating and speaking. "We've known it's useful for tongue base and tonsil cancers, but we wanted to assess its effectiveness in the larynx," says Kerry Olsen, M.D., Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist and senior author of the study that was presented April 29 at the Combined Otolaryngological Spring Meetings in Chicago. The investigation of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) followed nine patients for up to three years following removal of supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the area of the larynx above the vocal cords. Most of the patients had advanced-stage disease. The results showed TORS effectively removed cancer, with "clean," disease-free margins, and was easier to perform than the approach of transoral laser microsurgery via a laryngoscope. The patients also underwent the surgical removal of their adjacent neck nodes at the same operation. "We were pleased with the cancer outcomes," Dr. Olsen says. "We also found patients had minimal trouble after surgery, in most cases resuming normal eating, swallowing and speaking." With TORS, the robotic arms that enter the mouth include a thin camera, an arm with a cautery or [...]

Combined CT, FDG-PET improves head/neck cancer treatments

Source: Author: staff Combining CT with fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging results in significantly more defined tumor outlines and potentially different treatment options in head and neck cancer patients compared with using CT alone, according to research presented April 29 at the Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium in Atlanta. In this trial, conducted at Utrecht University Medical Center, 327 patients were treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. Based on the combined approach of the CT scan and FDG-PET, the researchers noticed a change in the delineation of the tumor in one out of three patients, resulting in 10% of patients' treatment being changed and 33% of patients having their treatment adjusted. In 17% of the patients, the primary tumor was not visible on the CT scan alone, mostly due to dental inlays. "We expected there to be an improved delineation of the tumor," said Homan Dehnad, MD, study author and radiation oncologist at Utrecht University Medical Center. "However, we never expected it to have such an influence on the treatment options for patients. Each dedicated institute dealing with head and neck cancer should be equipped with multi-imaged facilities."

VEGF expression tied to poor psychological function

Source: Author: press release Patients with newly diagnosed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who have increased levels of perceived stress and depressive symptoms may have higher levels of vascular endothelial growth factor expression, which is associated with shorter disease-free survival, according to a study presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, held April 27 to 30 in Washington, D.C. Carolyn Y. Fang, Ph.D., from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed the association between psychosocial functioning and biological pathways related to tumor growth (VEGF expression) in 37 newly diagnosed, predominantly male HNSCC patients with an average age of 56.7 years. The primary tumor sites were oral cavity, larynx, and oropharynx, and more than 40 percent of patients were categorized as having early-stage disease. Prior to treatment, patients completed psychosocial questionnaires, and VEGF expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis of the tumor tissue obtained during surgery. The investigators found that, after controlling for disease stage, higher levels of perceived stress and depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with greater expression of VEGF in tumor tissue. After controlling for disease stage and other variables, increased VEGF expression was correlated with shorter disease-free survival (hazard ratio, 3.97). "Poorer psychosocial functioning was associated with greater expression of VEGF in tumor tissue. Greater VEGF expression was, in turn, associated with shorter disease-free survival in HNSCC patients," the authors write.

E-Cigarettes: the facts

Source:   Right now, there are 1.2 billion smokers worldwide, and 5 million of them die each year. Some experts say that death rate could double by the year 2030. While 1 million smokers now hope E-cigarettes cure their addiction, one academic says the data doesn’t add-up. Hollywood got Freda Souligny smoking at just 13. "It was a killer,” Souligny told Ivanhoe. Now 81, she had a pack-a-day habit for 61 years. She stopped when emphysema led her to electric cigarettes two months ago. "I didn’t feel this horrible withdrawal,” Souligny said. Battery-operated, they deliver nicotine vapor through an adjustable cartridge and cost about 60 bucks to start. Souligny kicked her habit by slowly cutting the nicotine dose over several weeks. However, Professor Tom Eissenberg says E-cigs are misleading. “We wanted to know if they really delivered nicotine -- one of the things they’re supposed to do -- if they really produce some of the same effects as a tobacco cigarette,” Eissenberg, Ph.D., from Virginia Commonwealth University, told Ivanhoe.       A pair of studies found while real cigarettes deliver nicotine, E-cigs do not -- despite claiming to do so. “Neither of them delivered nicotine, which was surprising, because that is, in fact, exactly what they are supposed to do,” Eissenberg said. He says smoking an E-cig is just like puffing on an unlit cigarette. There's no nicotine, no tobacco … nothing. Souligny doesn’t agree. “Well, you have to tell me what changed my life,” Souligny said. “It [...]

Soy increases radiation’s ability to kill lung cancer cells, study shows

Source: Author: press release Soy isoflavones block cancer cells' DNA repair mechanisms while protecting normal tissue A component in soybeans increases radiation's ability to kill lung cancer cells, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. "To improve radiotherapy for lung cancer cells, we are studying the potential of natural non-toxic components of soybeans, called soy isoflavones, to augment the effect of radiation against the tumor cells and at the same time protect normal lung against radiation injury," said Dr. Gilda Hillman, an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University's School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. "These natural soy isoflavones can sensitize cancer cells to the effects of radiotherapy, by inhibiting survival mechanisms which cancer cells activate to protect themselves," Hillman said. "At the same time, soy isoflavones can also act as antioxidants in normal tissues, which protect them against unintended damage from the radiotherapy. In a recent study, published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, we demonstrated that soy isoflavones increase killing of cancer cells by radiation via blocking DNA repair mechanisms, which are turned on by the cancer cells to survive the damage caused by radiation." Human A549 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells that were treated with soy isoflavones before radiation showed more DNA damage and less repair activity than cells that received only radiation. Researchers [...]

More than 100 people receive free oral exams, courtesy of the City of Gulfport.

Source: The Walgreen’s parking lot in Gulfport became a dentist office for a day. And instead of paying a fee for a clinical exam, patients were seen for free. "I was very surprised because screenings of any kind are minimum of $35 to $50 dollars, so that was very nice. They advertised it very well," St. Petersburg resident Rosalind Dunlop said. This is the second year the City of Gulfport’s sponsored a free oral cancer screening The goal: to inform, educate and refer people to seek additional medical help if any signs are detected. "We have volunteer dentists, it takes a couple of minutes, there's no pain involved and it may save your life," Gulfport Vice Mayor David Hastings said. "It's a free exam, basically we've had all sorts of people come in. Some people regularly go to the dentist, I had one person, it had been 17 years since they had been to the dentist. So, all sorts of people that have come in and I think we found, two that I've found that just need to be referred," Dentist Lawrence N. Klein said. "Last year, we screened over 200 and we referred nine people out. This year, I've already seen about five referral sheets going out. It's not good to get the referral sheet, but on the same hand, it may be the thing that saves your life," Hastings said. "It's your responsibility to take care of your own health. If you don't want to know, I'm [...]

Protein inhibitor may supply contemporary HPV treatment

Source: Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine have developed a protein-based inhibitor that could provide a topical treatment for HPV as an alternative to surgical and harsh chemical treatments (FASEB Journal, April 11, 2011). HPV affects about 20 million people in the U.S., making it the most common sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which more than 40 are sexually transmitted. These include two high-risk types, HPV-16 and HPV-18, which cause the majority of cervical and anogenital cancers, and some portion of head and neck cancers, particularly oral cavity and oropharynx cancers. "Currently, there is no cure for HPV, and the available treatment options involve destroying the affected tissue. We have developed a protein inhibitor that blocks HPV protein expression in cell culture, a first step toward a topically applied treatment for this cancer-causing virus," said senior author James Baleja, PhD, an associate professor of biochemistry at Tufts University School of Medicine. In their efforts to inhibit HPV, Baleja and his team zeroed in on the viral protein E2, which controls viral activities including DNA replication and the activation of cancer-causing genes. Using structure-guided design, the team developed a protein called E2R that prevents E2 from functioning normally. When the researchers applied E2R to a cell model of HPV biology, viral gene transcription was halted. Because HPV infects epithelial cells, the outermost layer of the skin, and the mucous membranes, protein inhibitors such as E2R could be applied in a topical form. [...]

Modest Drinking can Heighten your Risk for Cancer

Source:   April 14, 2011 — "A considerable proportion of the most common and most lethal cancers is attributable to former and current alcohol consumption," concludes a large European study published online April 8 in BMJ. The researchers attribute about 10% of all cancers in men and about 3% of all cancers in women to previous and current alcohol consumption. The estimates come from an analysis of data from the huge ongoing European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer (EPIC) and from representative data on alcohol consumption compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO). The risk increases even with drinking moderate amounts. "This research supports existing evidence that alcohol causes cancer and that the risk increases even with drinking moderate amounts," coauthor Naomi Allen, DPhil, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, United Kingdom, said in a statement. The original data in the EPIC study were collected from 1992 to 2000, so "the results from this study reflect the impact of people's drinking habits about 10 years ago," Dr. Allen noted. "People are drinking even more now than they were then, and this could lead to more people developing cancer because of alcohol in the future," she added. Data From 8 Countries The EPIC study, which is still ongoing, is one of the largest studies of diet and cancer ever conducted. It involved more than half a million people in Europe. For this analysis of alcohol and cancer, the researchers used EPIC data from 363,988 participants from 8 European countries — France, Italy, Spain, [...]

Voice analysis after cancer treatment with organ preservation

Source: Author: staff Purpose: This cross-sectional study objects to measure, subjectively and objectively, the voice and life quality of patients with oral cavity, pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer, after organ-preservation treatment. Methods: 25 cases diagnosed and treated at a high complexity oncology center in southeastern Brazil. All had oral cavity, pharyngeal or laryngeal cancer, with a therapeutic proposal of radiotherapy alone or simultaneous radiochemotherapy. Acoustic voice analysis and the Voice Handicap Index protocol were used to measure voice quality. The data were analyzed through the x2, Student`s t and Kruskal Wallis tests. Significance level was 5%. Results: After treatment, 40% complained of hoarseness, 56% complained of throat clearing, and no patient reported aphonia. On the voice quality auditory scale, 36% had moderate dysphonia. Acoustic voice analysis ranged from 184 to 221Hz in females, and from 92 to 241Hz in males. As for quality of life, most patients had mild physical, functional and emotional handicaps. Conclusions: Chemio-radiation organ preservation protocols in the patients studied may leave the organ but with reduced function which brings communication sequelae. In such cases, voice assessment and quality of life protocols, as well as speech therapy rehabilitation, are important tools to preserve function, measure and treat alterations, and reintegrate patients into the community. Authors: Renata Campos, Cristina Maciel, Marcelle Cesca, Isabel Leite Source: Head &Neck Oncology 2011, 3:19

How do you conquer the main difficulties to accomplish a proper oral cancer screening?

Source: From coast to coast the same answer complete As I tour this country presenting programs on early oral cancer detection, I ask the same question of all my attendees: What do you think is the main reason that dentists give for not doing a complete oral cancer examination? The unanimous response in more than 25 states and close to 50 locations is, “Time!” … Yes, time! My next question is always the same: How much time does it take to do a complete extraoral and intraoral cancer examination? The answer is always the same: “One to one-and-a-half minutes.” Something changed somewhere along the way Within this past year, I was made aware of a statewide study evaluating outcomes of dental school education at one particular state-supported dental school. Among the topic areas evaluated was the percent of graduates who are doing a complete extra-/intraoral cancer screening examination in their current practice setting. About 30% of respondents replied in the affirmative. Only one-third! And that was within the first five years out of dental school. Nationwide, the percent of dental offices doing a complete screening examination is only about 20%! My question is what happened that stopped dental professionals from doing a complete extra-/intraoral cancer screening? What are the barriers stopping us from doing what we all know we should be doing? Brief overview of Parts 1 and 2 In Part 1, I discussed that, in my opinion, there is a four-part “system of early oral cancer detection” for any [...]

2017-03-29T19:08:01-07:00April, 2011|Oral Cancer News|
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