Review Finds Evidence Lacking for Dry Mouth Remedies

Source: Medscape Today December 28, 2011 — There is not enough evidence to recommend any topical therapies for dry mouth, but that does not mean that they do not work, according to investigators who published a review of research on the therapies online December 4 in the Cochrane Library. "There was very little evidence," said Helen Worthington, PhD, a professor of evidence-based care at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Dr. Worthington and colleagues scoured the literature for randomized controlled trials of topical therapies for dry mouth, or xerostomia. They found 36 studies of treatments such as lozenges, sprays, mouth rinses, gels, oils, chewing gum, and toothpaste. Xerostomia often results from treatments for head and neck cancer that damage the salivary glands, as well as from Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that also damages these glands. It is also a common adverse effect of many medications. The authors cite an estimated prevalence of dry mouth of about 20% in the general population. This percentage may be increasing because people are living longer and suffering from more chronic illnesses for which the treatments can have xerostomia as an adverse effect. It is possible to feel the sensation of dry mouth without having a clinically reduced saliva flow, the researchers point out. The treatments in the review broke down into 2 broad categories: saliva substitutes, in which some other substance is intended to perform the role of the patient's own saliva, and saliva stimulants, which are intended to activate the patient's own [...]

2011-12-28T15:56:36-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

U.S. Government rolls out new teen anti-smoking program As 2012 draws nigh, many smokers will make yet another resolution to quit smoking. However, in a matter of days or weeks, many of them will be puffing away. Many of these smokers have damaged their health from the habit with ailments including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and throat cancer. One group of smokers is not yet afflicted with those ailments and would benefit the most from quitting: teen smokers. Unfortunately, however, research suggests most of those teens will keep smoking and some light smokers will become heavy smokers. According to current estimates, 19% of U.S. teens are smokers by the 12th grade. To address this issue, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is introducing a new smoking-cessation program focused on teens. At present, a Website has been developed ( and texting support is available. In January 2012, the NCI will add a smartphone application. The program joins others with the same aim: Helping teen smokers quit before they become chronic adult smokers. For example, on September 1, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius published an opinion in the Washington Post in which she pointed out the national problem of teen smoking. A new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released on December 14, reported that smoking had declined among U.S. teens. Countering that bit of good news was that one out of every 15 high school students smoked marijuana on a regular basis. Smoked marijuana and smoked tobacco are chemically very similar; [...]

2011-12-28T10:53:32-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Distant Metastases in Head-and-Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treated with Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy

Source: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics (IJROBP Online) December 2011 PURPOSE: To determine the pattern and risk factors for distant metastases in head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) after curative treatment with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). METHODS AND MATERIALS: This was a retrospective study of 284 HNSCC patients treated in a single institution with IMRT. Sites included were oropharynx (125), oral cavity (70), larynx (55), hypopharynx (17), and unknown primary (17). American Joint Committee on Cancer stage distribution includes I (3), II (19), III (42), and IV (203). There were 224 males and 60 females with a median age of 57. One hundred eighty-six patients were treated with definitive IMRT and 98 postoperative IMRT. One hundred forty-nine patients also received concurrent cisplatin-based chemotherapy. RESULTS: The median follow-up for all patients was 22.8 months (range, 0.07-77.3 months) and 29.5 months (4.23-77.3 months) for living patients. The 3-year local recurrence-free survival, regional recurrence-free survival, locoregional recurrence-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, and overall survival were 94.6%, 96.4%, 92.5%, 84.1%, and 68.95%, respectively. There were 45 patients with distant metastasis. In multivariate analysis, distant metastasis was strongly associated with N stage (p = 0.046), T stage (p<0.0001), and pretreatment maximum standardized uptake value of the lymph node (p = 0.006), but not associated with age, gender, disease sites, pretreatment standardized uptake value of the primary tumor, or locoregional control. The freedom from distant metastasis at 3 years was 98.1% for no factors, 88.6% for one factor, 68.3% for two factors, and 41.7% for three factors (p <0.0001 by log-rank [...]

2011-12-27T12:48:17-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Researchers ID virus that causes salivary gland cancer

Source: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been confirmed as a cause of the most common salivary gland cancers (Experimental and Molecular Pathology, November 10, 2011). CMV joins a group of fewer than 10 identified oncoviruses -- cancer-causing viruses -- including HPV. The findings are the latest in a series of studies by researchers from the Laboratory for Developmental Genetics at the University of Southern California (USC) that together demonstrate CMV's role as an oncovirus, a virus that can either trigger cancer in healthy cells or exploit mutant cell weaknesses to enhance tumor formation. The conclusion that CMV is an oncovirus came after rigorous study of both human salivary gland tumors and salivary glands of postnatal mice, according to lead author Michael Melnick, DDS, PhD, a professor of developmental genetics in the Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC and co-director of the developmental genetics lab. This study illustrates that the CMV in the tumors is active and also that the amount of virus-created proteins found is positively correlated with the severity of the cancer, Melnick said. After salivary glands obtained from newborn mice were exposed to purified CMV, cancer developed. In addition, efforts to stop the cancer's progression identified how the virus was acting upon the cells to spark the disease. The researchers also identified a specific molecular signaling pathway exploited by the virus to create tumors. With the new information about CMV's connection to cancer comes hope for new prevention and treatment methods, Dr. Melnick noted. This news story was resourced [...]

2011-12-27T11:54:52-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Global oral cancer rates to rise 63% by 2030 The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization (WHO), predicts that more than 790,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with oral cancer by 2030, an increase of more than 63% compared with 2008. Mortality rates for mouth cancer are predicted to be even higher with more than 460,000 deaths forecast by 2030, more than 67% higher than 2008 rates, according to the International Dental Health Foundation (IDHF). The WHO believes modifying and avoiding risk factors could result in up to 30% of cancers being avoided, noted Nigel Carter, BDS, chief executive of the IDHF. "Although cancer is not wholly preventable, mouth cancer is very closely related to lifestyle choices. Making more people aware of the risks and symptoms for mouth cancer will undoubtedly save lives," Dr. Carter stated in a press release. "Forecasts for the incidence and mortality of mouth cancer are very grim. We hope more countries will develop their own oral cancer action campaigns to raise awareness." November is Mouth Cancer Action Month, sponsored annually by the IDHF. This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

2011-12-27T11:27:28-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Study Endorses HPV Testing for All Women Over 30

Source: LONDON (Reuters) Dec 15 - New DNA tests looking for the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer make sense for all women aged 30 or over, since they can prevent more cases of cancer than Pap smears alone, Dutch researchers say. Results of a five-year study involving 45,000 women provided the strongest evidence yet in favor of using human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, Dr. Chris Meijer and colleagues from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam reported in The Lancet Oncology on December 15. In recent years, tests for high-risk HPV strains have been developed by companies including Roche and Qiagen. The new tests are known to work well in detecting HPV, but the Dutch study is the first to show they are better than Pap smears alone over two screening rounds set five years apart. The researchers, who looked at women aged 29 to 56, said use of HPV tests led to earlier detection of pre-cancerous lesions, allowing for treatment that improved protection against cancer. Dr. Hormuzd Katki and Dr. Nicolas Wentzensen from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said the results reinforced earlier findings, and provided "overwhelming evidence" of the benefits of including HPV testing in cervical screening programs. The government-backed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently urges women who have been sexually active and have a cervix to get Pap smears at least every three years. However, the group recommends against routinely screening women over 65 if they had normal results on a recent Pap [...]

2011-12-27T11:06:49-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Quality-of-Life Outcomes in Transoral Robotic Surgery

Source: SAGE Journals Online Abstract Objective. To report long-term, health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes in patients treated with transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Study Design. Prospective, longitudinal, clinical study on functional and HRQOL outcomes in TORS. Setting. University tertiary care facility. Subjects and Methods. Patients who underwent TORS were asked to complete a Head and Neck Cancer Inventory before treatment and at 3 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. Demographic, clinicopathological, and follow-up data were collected. Results. Sixty-four patients who underwent TORS were enrolled. A total of 113 TORS procedures were performed. The mean follow-up time was 16.3 ± 7.49 months. The HRQOL was assessed at 3 weeks and at 3, 6, and 12 months, with a response rate of 78%, 44%, 41%, and 28%, respectively. TORS was performed most frequently for squamous cell carcinoma (88%). There was a decrease from baseline in the speech, eating, aesthetic, social, and overall QOL domains immediately after treatment. At the 1-year follow-up, the HRQOL scores in the aesthetic, social, and overall QOL domains were in the high domain. Patients with malignant lesions had significantly lower postoperative HRQOL scores in the speech, eating, social, and overall QOL domains (P < .05). Patients who underwent adjuvant radiation therapy or chemotherapy and radiation therapy had lower postoperative scores in the eating, social, and overall QOL domains (P < .05). Conclusion. The preliminary data show that patients who undergo TORS for malignancies and receive adjuvant therapy tend to have lower HRQOL outcomes. TORS is a promising, minimally [...]

2011-12-27T10:58:43-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Biosciences aims to lower oral cancer mortality with simple screening test

Source: Author: Amanda Brandon Vigilant Biosciences is a privately held medical technology company based in Norcross, Georgia focused on improving healthcare products to improve patient care. Their most recent research efforts center on early oral cancer detection. In the United States, approximately 37,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and its most common risk factor is exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Nearly 40 percent of oral cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis. The high mortality rate for oral cancer is due to late discovery of the malignancy. In its early stages, the disease can either present no symptoms or the symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions. VigilantBIO is currently trialing an easy-to-use, low-cost and noninvasive oral cancer screening product which tests the saliva (a very desirable biofluid). The patient and practitioners (e.g. dentists, hygienists, periodontists) benefit from the simplicity of the test – no venipuncture means higher test participation and no specialized staff is required to perform the test. In the oral clinical setting, this is ideal because it does not interfere with chair turnover ratio. In addition, test results can be delivered at the point of care. When oral cancer is detected early, patients experience an 80-90 percent survival rate. Combined with the lowered treatment cost (an estimated 36 percent) and easy-to-implement product for oral care practitioners, the early detection product appears to be a winner for all involved. With two clinical trials in process at the University of Miami, [...]

2011-12-22T15:21:40-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Consider dental issues before beginning cancer treatment

Soure: Author: Lacey Meyer Dentists advise resolving tooth and gum issues before starting cancer treatment. Bettye Davis admits she has never had very good teeth. But when she received a diagnosis of salivary gland cancer, she was surprised that her oncologist recommended she visit a dentist before beginning radiation treatments to her jaw. “When we first saw her, she still had quite a few teeth, but she had severe periodontal disease and severe bone loss,” says Dennis Abbott, DDS, Davis’ dentist. Knowing radiation would do more damage, he recommended removing the remainder of her teeth and allowing time to heal before she began 33 radiation treatments. “We knew that if we took the teeth out after radiation, we risked the bone not healing well, which would have meant osteonecrosis, dead bone in her mouth, and lots of systemic problems.” According to the National Cancer Institute, eliminating pre-existing dental and mucosal infections and instituting a comprehensive oral hygiene protocol before and throughout therapy can reduce the severity and frequency of oral complications from cancer therapy. Abbott says the NCI recommendations, as well as an increasing number of studies, are bringing more recognition to the importance of dental issues before, during and after cancer treatment. A Proactive Approach Abbott’s goal is to help patients maintain healthy teeth and reduce the risk of future infection with an oral care plan that eliminates or stabilizes disease that could produce complications during or following therapy. These complications can range from irradiated bone and gums [...]

2011-12-22T15:08:57-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Girls-Only Vaccine Could Be Best Weapon Against HPV

Source: A new study argues that vaccinating boys against HPV isn't the best use of resources, since vaccinating more girls will actually lead to a greater reduction in overall infections. However, there are also political implications to consider. Back in October, I wrote that the rise of HPV-related throat cancer in men was an excellent argument for vaccinating boys against the virus. And later that month, the CDC extended its vaccine recommendation to include boys as well as girls. But now, researchers say that focusing on vaccinating more members of one sex may be more effective than trying to vaccinate both. In a study published in PLoS Medicine, Johannes A. Bogaards used mathematical modeling to determine which vaccination strategy would lead to the greatest reduction in HPV prevalence. They found that increasing the percentage of girls vaccinated would actually have the biggest effect. Bogaards et al write, "We show that, once routine vaccination of one sex is in place, increasing the coverage in that sex is much more effective in bolstering herd immunity than switching to a policy that includes both sexes. Universal vaccination against HPV should therefore only become an option when vaccine uptake among girls cannot be further increased. Adding boys to current vaccination programs seems premature, because female coverage rates still leave ample room for improvement in most countries that have introduced HPV vaccination. So far, only three countries have achieved a three-dose coverage of 70% or more in females." The authors do note that while [...]

2011-12-22T14:15:49-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|
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