DNA adducts linked to oral cancer in smokers

Source: www.news-medical.net
Author: Sarah Guy, medwireNews Reporter

Having a high susceptibility to certain types of DNA damage caused by tobacco smoking could significantly increase the risk for oral cancer, show results of a Taiwanese study. Levels of BaP 7,8-diol 9,10-epoxide (BPDE) – a metabolite of Benzo[a]pyrene, an important carcinogen found in cigarette smoke – correlated positively with smoking status in a cohort of individuals with oral cancer, report the researchers.

The findings also indicate a significantly increased risk for oral cancer among individuals with high DNA adduct levels compared with their peers with low levels.

“Based on our finding, we suggest that detected BPDE-like DNA adducts could be used as a biomarker for oral cancer risk,” write Huei Lee (Taipei Medical University) and colleagues in the Archives of Oral Biology.

The team analyzed BPDE-DNA adduct levels in oral tissue samples from 158 oral cancer patients and 64 individuals without cancer (controls), using immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

The results of these assays significantly and positively correlated , so that immunohistochemistry-negative patients did not have detectable DNA adduct levels using ELISA and vice versa.

DNA adduct levels also positively correlated with smoking status among the cancer patients, note the researchers, with significantly higher adduct levels among smokers than nonsmokers, at 93.18 versus 0.04 adducts per 108 nucleotides.

Lee and co-workers also observed that cancer patients had significantly higher DNA adduct levels than controls, at a range of 0-358.00 versus 0-39.50 adducts per 108 nucleotides.

Indeed, DNA adduct level was an independent risk biomarker for oral cancer in multivariate analysis, which indicated a 9.94-fold increased risk for the disease among individuals with high levels, defined as more than two standard deviations above the mean adduct level in the low group – which equates to 34.03 adducts per 108 nucleotides.

“These results strongly suggest that a high susceptibility to DNA damage derived from exposure to cigarette carcinogens is associated with the high risk of oral cancer in Taiwanese oral cancer patients,” conclude Lee et al.

2012-12-31T12:33:45-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

HPV alters oral-cancer expectations

Source: www.dispatch.com
Author: staff

Demographics are important to physicians.

Demographics help guide us toward more-likely and less-likely diagnoses in patients.In their most basic form, they mean we are surprised when we learn that the 90-year-old woman with hand pain suffered the injury while boxing. On the other hand, demographics are why a doctor tells the overweight man with a history of hypertension that he is “a heart attack waiting to happen.”Most disease processes can be characterized by a typical patient and are based on age, gender and sometimes ethnicity or socio-economic class.

This has long been the case with oral-cancer cases. Most physicians have an idea of a typical oral-cancer patient. We envision an older, male patient with few teeth following a lifetime of poor oral health. They generally have lower income and are lifelong smokers.

That’s why the tonsillar-cancer patient was such a surprise to me. He was 34, upper-middle class and did not smoke or drink. He had recently undergone surgery to remove his tonsils and a good portion of the back of his throat.

He had come into the emergency department that day because he was having difficulty breathing and swallowing. When I walked into the room, he was sitting on a gurney and drooling into a garbage can that he kept between his knees. The skin around his neck looked swollen and tight, leaving me to imagine how much swelling there was in the back of his throat.His surgery had been six days earlier, and he had been doing well at home until that day.

The possibilities ran through my head. Was it an infection in the soft tissue of his neck? Was it an abscess? Or was it normal post-operative changes, including inflammation? Swelling in that area heightens our level of concern for having to secure an airway. Surgically creating an airway always is a consideration.Fortunately, my patient was able to lie flat without feeling that his airway was closing.

A CT scan of his head and neck showed narrowing around his airway, but no discrete area of pus to drain. The soft-tissue swelling around the neck looked bad, but he felt comfortable as long as he sat up. We treated him with steroids and antibiotics and gave him aerosolized adrenaline to constrict the blood vessels of the airway and decrease the swelling. Within an hour, he looked much better. This patient spurred my interest. Was he a fluke?Here was a young, otherwise healthy man without risk factors for oral cancer, yet he had developed such a horrible disease. He didn’t fit any of the demographics I knew for a patient with a head and neck cancer.

The answer is that my patient is the new face of head and neck cancer. Human papillomavirus, or HPV — the same virus linked to cervical cancer in women — is being linked to oral cancers in men.Typically, 10 percent to 15 percent of the population is infected with HPV, and the incidence increases if a sexual partner is infected or the patient is HIV-positive.

HPV causes cancer in humans, monkeys, cats, dogs, cattle, mice, turtles and many other species. The literature is replete with example after example.

The incidence of HPV in humans has increased significantly. Since the 1970s, there has been roughly a threefold increase in incidence of HPV associated with tonsillar cancers.

There really is no cure for HPV once a patient is infected. We can generally live with the virus, but we are stuck with the bug and the increased risk of cancer. This is why there is such a push to prevent the infection; doing so essentially gets as close as we can to preventing cancer. There is a vaccine for the most-common causative strains of HPV associated with cervical cancer. Preventing tonsillar and oral cancers might be the next step.

Remembering my patient, I can’t help but wonder if we couldn’t have prevented some of this. More funding for research? More preventive measures? Better patient education? Yes, yes and yes.

2012-12-31T12:29:13-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

New research reveals genetic mutations of HNC

Source: www.drbicuspid.com
Author: DrBicuspid Staff

New findings regarding the genetic mutations that cause head and neck cancer (HNC) may lead to new therapies, according to collaborative research presented in November at the 2012 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium in New York City.

Aaron Tward, MD, PhD, and colleagues analyzed tumor samples provided by the University of Pittsburgh from 92 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), according to an article on onclive.com.

Patient samples were chosen to reflect the normal distribution of patients with these cancers — that is, mostly men and smokers, noted Dr. Tward. Of these patients, 89% reported a history of tobacco use and 79% alcohol use; 14% of all tumors and 53% of oropharyngeal tumors were found to be positive for human papillomavirus (HPV).

Tumor sites also were selected to be roughly representative of the general HNSCC patient population — that is, most were oral cavity cancers, followed by a substantial proportion of oropharynx cancer samples and a few from patients with hypopharyngeal or laryngeal tumors.

Investigators used hybrid capture sequencing to compare tumor tissue and nontumor tissue from the same patient. They also compared the total number of mutations in the HNSCC samples with samples from previous tumor studies.

The analysis yielded a large number of mutations. For example, 5,000 genes had at least one mutation, and 1,300 had at least two, the researchers reported. Dr. Tward emphasized, however, that most of these are not implicated either in promoting or maintaining the cancer. He said the vast majority are “passengers” — that is, mutations alongside another mutation that acts as a “driver.”

2012-12-31T12:21:03-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Positive data announced for Reolysin in head and neck cancers

Source: www.empr.com
Author: staff

Oncolytics Biotech announced positive top line data in its double-blinded randomized Phase 3 clinical study examining Reolysin in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in second-line patients with platinum-refractory, taxane-naïve head and neck cancers. Reolysin is a proprietary formulation of the human reovirus.

A first analysis compared the relative percentages of patients in the test and control arms with tumors that had either stabilized or exhibited shrinkage. For the purposes of this endpoint, the definition of tumor stabilization was restricted to 0% growth only. Of the 105 total patients with evaluable metastatic tumors, 86% (n=50) of those in the test arm of the study exhibited tumor stabilization or shrinkage, compared with 67% of patients (n=55) in the control arm. This was statistically significant, with a p-value of 0.025.

A second analysis examined the magnitude of tumor response on a per patient basis using a comparison of percentage tumor shrinkage at six weeks in each patient with evaluable metastatic tumors. This analysis showed that Reolysin in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel was statistically significantly better than carboplatin and paclitaxel alone at stabilizing or shrinking metastatic tumors, yielding a p-value of 0.03

2012-12-23T08:28:26-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Searching for new pathways and treatments for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Source: www.onclive.com
Author: Lauren M. Green

Scientists now know a lot more about the genetic landscape of head and neck cancer and hope that eventually this knowledge will lead the way to new therapies, according to Aaron D. Tward, MD, PhD, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Tward described findings of recent collaborative research on the topic at the 2012 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium.

For this research, Tward, also with the Department of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School and a clinical fellow in those specialties at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary in Boston, and colleagues analyzed tumor samples provided by the University of Pittsburgh from 92 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The samples were chosen to be reflective of the normal distribution of patients with these cancers, that is, “mostly men and mostly smokers,” noted Tward. Of these patients, 89% reported a history of tobacco use and 79% alcohol use; 14% of all tumors and 53% of oropharyngeal tumors were found to be positive for human papillomavirus.

Tumor sites also were selected so as to be roughly representative of the general HNSCC patient population; thus, most were oral cavity cancers, followed by a substantial proportion of oropharynx cancer samples, and a few from patients with hypopharyngeal or laryngeal tumors, Tward explained.

Investigators used hybrid capture sequencing to compare tumor tissue with nontumor tissue from the same individual. They also compared the total number of mutations in the HNSCC samples with samples from previous tumor studies done at Broad. Tward noted that HNSCC clusters with lung cancer, in that both possess a relatively high number of mutations, sometimes referred to as “the smoking cluster.”

The analysis yielded a very large number of mutations; for example, 5000 genes had at least one mutation, and 1300 had at least two. Tward emphasized, however, that most of these are not implicated either in promoting or maintaining the cancer. “The vast majority,” he said, “are what we call ‘passengers,’ that is, mutations alongside another mutation that is acting as a ‘driver.’” Tward said his colleagues at Broad have developed a set of algorithms to help researchers distinguish between the two.

Analysis using these algorithms confirmed earlier findings implicating TP53, CDKN2A, PTEN, PI3KCA, and HRAS in head and neck malignancies. Of particular interest, however, are mutations they discovered that have not previously been implicated in these cancers: TP63, IRF6, MED1, and, notably, NOTCH.

Tward explained that NOTCH, depending on the cell in which it resides, can act either as an oncogene (as is the case with acute lymphoblastic leukemia) or as a tumor suppressor gene in HNSCC and skin cancer; in these cancers, NOTCH is “a critical player in the decision to stop proliferating,” he continued. When mutations inactivate NOTCH, terminal differentiation ceases, causing unrestrained proliferation. To illustrate the challenge posed by NOTCH’s dual mechanisms, Tward noted a clinical trial testing a gamma secretase inhibitor predicted to inhibit NOTCH in patients with Alzheimer’s disease that had to be stopped because the drug was causing an increase in squamous cell cancers in the treatment arm.

The researchers also found that mutations in genes at the “top of our rank list” for head and neck cancers and defects in squamous differentiation also are present in patients with cleft palate syndromes. “We think this is all related,” said Tward.

“When we add all this up, we come up with wiring patterns in head and neck cancer,” which can be used to inform further studies. He added that researchers did not find many oncogenes in these tumor samples, an exception being PI3KCA. Tward suggested that trials with PI3K inhibitors are likely to be fruitful in patients with HNSCC, but “only for those who have the mutation.” He also noted that investigators did not find EGFR mutations, a finding consistent with the much larger Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data set.

Stransky N, Egloff AM, Tward AD, et al. The mutational landscape of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Science. 2011;333(6046):1157-1160.

2012-12-23T08:22:47-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Australian research grant targets oral cancer

Source: www.drbicuspid.com
Author: staff

Hans Zoellner, BDS, PhD, an associate professor and head of oral pathology at the University of Sydney, has been awarded the 2012 Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) Research Grant.

The grant supports research into the relationship of malignant cancer cells and those of healthy gingival structural tissue (fibroblasts). The findings of this research originated from earlier work studying aspects of oral cancer and have shed light on other forms of cancer.

The grant, funded by ADIA, is awarded each year to the primary applicant for the highest-ranked research project of those considered by the Australian Dental Research Foundation (ADRF).

Dr. Zoellner’s project, “Characterization of protein and mRNA exchange between malignant cells and fibroblasts,” was considered by the ADRF Grant Committee to be ground-breaking research into how cancer cells behave and potentially evade treatment.

“We have recently observed that cancer cells exchange cellular material with fibroblasts, and the resulting cancer cell diversity may help cancer cells evade chemotherapy. Separately, from an immune standpoint, it seems likely that the cancer cells receive enough components of fibroblasts so that they are less recognized as foreign, while the fibroblasts now bearing cancer cell components would act as immune decoys,” Dr. Zoellner explained in a press release. “In understanding this process, we hope to eventually inhibit the mechanisms through which it occurs and therefore increase the effectiveness of treatments.”

The Australian Dental Research Foundation is jointly supported by ADIA and the Australian Dental Association for the purpose of sponsoring dental research toward improving the dental health of the people of Australia.

2012-12-23T08:14:27-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Author tells cancer story in new book

Source: www.charlotteobserver.com
Author: Josh Lanier

The cover of Barbara Bragg’s book, “Destination Cancer Free,” says it all.

It shows a photo of a man and woman walking hand-in-hand along a beach and serves as a powerful metaphor for her husband’s battle to overcome a diagnosis of stage IV oral cancer. Beating cancer is a journey and a team effort.

Bragg wrote about that journey in her book, which she hopes will help other cancer patients and their families.

“When we got the diagnosis, I immediately tried to learn everything I could,” Barbara Bragg, a Davidson resident, said. “Because we were going to get through this. There was no doubt.”

Arthur Bragg, 65, received his diagnosis last year, after he woke up one morning with a lump on his neck. Within a few weeks, the small protrusion had grown to the size of a grape. A check-up with doctors at Lake Norman Ear, Nose and Throat confirmed their fears.

“Your heart sinks after you hear the word cancer,” Arthur Bragg said. “You just don’t know how to react.”

Bragg is not one to be intimidated by fear. A U.S. Army staff sergeant in the Vietnam War, he was awarded a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart during his service. But a fight against cancer is unrelenting. He received dozens of rounds of chemotherapy and radiation that left him weak, constantly sick, and he had difficulty swallowing for several days.

And, along with his misery, he knew his wife was struggling, seeing him in such a condition.

“That was so hard on me, knowing Barbara was suffering because of all of this,” he said. “But without her, I really don’t know how I would have gotten through it. She was my caretaker, my angel, my soul mate, my everything.”

Barbara Bragg excelled in her new role.

She spent her days chatting up Arthur’s doctors, therapists and nurses, she kept detailed notes and researched all she could about the disease. She was such a positive influence that Arthur’s doctor, Herb Wettreich of Lake Norman ENT, brought her in to speak with the wives of other patients who were recently diagnosed with similar cancers.

“Barbara was extremely supportive and had a unique aptitude of not being intimidated by this very foreign situation,” Wettreich said in an email.

While researching, however, she found it difficult to find one source that had all the information she needed.

She couldn’t find a place that provided an all-encompassing process of what to expect and how to handle it. She wanted to know the medical side of the discussion as well as the personal stories of survivors.

“I really wanted to hear from people who’d gone through this to really help us understand what to do,” she said.

About halfway through Arthur’s seven-week treatment plan, Barbara Bragg decided she should create a guidepost of sorts for other families going through the illness. She is a professor of writing for the University of Phoenix and she wanted to completely capture the entire process from diagnosis to remission.

Wettreich also thought it was a good idea. He even helped edit the book to make sure the medical and treatment information was accurate.

“Destination Cancer Free,” which was self-published earlier this year, is personal in nature but grand in its scope. There’s information on pain management and treatment options, alongside stories of long nights without sleep and struggling to keep collected. There’s even a recipe for a “super shake,” a 2,000-calorie shake perfected by Arthur’s nutritionist. Chemotherapy and radiation for oral cancers are especially painful. Often, patients are unable to swallow, lose their sense of taste and end up on feeding tubes, so work arounds like a calorie-heavy shake are vital.

Arthur’s cancer is in remission and he credits Barbara for a lot of that success.

“I really hope our story can help other families going through this,” he said. “That’s what is most important to me right now, helping others who get this horrible disease.”

The Braggs say they will give any money they make on the book to fund research on oral cancer. Since Arthur’s diagnosis, Barbara has become vocal in getting more people to talk to their doctors about early detection screenings.

“We were just ordinary people going through extraordinary circumstances,” Barbara said. “I hope, if anything, the book can let people know to stay positive, keep fighting and beat this thing.”

2012-12-23T08:11:02-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

A tragic turn of events to most important dental story published in 2012

Source: DentistryIQ
Date: 12/21/2012
By Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, and Jo-Anne Jones, RDH

Jo-Anne Jones, RDH, President, RDH Connection Inc., has much to be proud of! An article by Jo-Anne, about a possible connection between sex and oral cancer, has been selected by the dental editors of PennWell publications as the most important article published in 2012 for the dental profession.

Jones’ article, “Sex and oral cancer: What is the connection?” appeared in the April 6 issue of RDH eVillage FOCUS e-newsletter. The article shares some of the latest statistics regarding a possible connection between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and oral cancer. To read the article, click here.

The editors participating in the selection of the top published dental story perform editorial duties for Dental Economics, RDH, and Proofs magazines, as well as Dental Assisting Digest, RDH eVillage, RDH eVillage FOCUS, DE Expert Tips & Tricks, Surgical-Restorative Resource, and New Products electronic newsletters. Articles that were published in either print or electronic formats were accepted.

Dental editors were asked to submit a nomination of the most important article from their respective publication. Nominations were sought for the following categories:

• Most important article from Dental Assisting Digest
• Most important article from Proofs
• Most important article from RDH eVillage
• Most important article from RDH eVillage FOCUS
• Most important article from New Products
• Most important article from Surgical-Restorative Resource
• Most important article from DE Expert Tips & Tricks
• Most important article from DentalEconomics.com
• Most important article from RDHmag.com

Now for the sad news.

Jo-Anne was reduced to tears when I notified her of her win. Please see the note below to understand the loss her family has endured this past week. This was an ironic, cruel twist of fate, as the cause of death of Jo-Anne’s young cousin was HPV oropharyngeal cancer, one of Jo-Anne’s speaking and writing topics.

Her cousin was diagnosed on September 26th, 2011. Jo-Anne would like to honor her cousin’s memory with having any formal announcement somehow tied in with a tribute to her life. Jo-Anne was pleased with the nomination, and the win. She sends heartfelt thanks for making the “silver lining” in this cloud overshadowing her family a reality. Jo-Anne is so passionate about getting this message out. To read the article, click here.

Please see the story below.

Nugent family

To my friends and colleagues,

It is with heaviest of hearts that I announce the passing of my beautiful cousin Bonnie at the age of 46. After a courageous fight with HPV oropharyngeal cancer over the last 15 months, her life ended on December 6th. Bonnie dedicated her life to fitness and the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle for herself, family and all those she came in contact with. She gave it everything she had in order to be there for her 3 beautiful daughters and loving husband, Geoff. So many of us take for granted that we will see our children graduate from high school, go on their first date, get dressed for their first prom…

Geoff and Bonnie Nugent

As a dental professional we can do much more in the fight against oral cancer. I wish to thank many in the industry who have supported Bonnie through product donations, prayers and kindness. A special thank you to the Oral Cancer Foundation and the founder, Brian Hill, for being there as an incredible resource to Bonnie and her family. Also, many thanks to Oral Science and 3M ESPE for the provision of products to see Bonnie through her initial radiation and chemotherapy. This is kindness in action and words cannot express my thanks. I’d also like to acknowledge the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association and LED Dental (VELscope) for all they have done to elevate awareness of oral cancer at the national level.

Many thanks to all of you who have supported my efforts through speaking engagements. It has always been a passion of mine to get this message out. Now it is a personal mission.

Thank you for your prayers for Bonnie, her family and the many lives she has touched. Our world is a better place after having been graced with her presence.

Donations to the Oral Cancer Foundation would be graciously accepted.



Our sincere condolences to Jo-Anne and her family on the loss of her cousin, as well as the loss of her Father-in-law, all in the same week. Thank you for letting us share your personal story, in the hope that we are increasing awareness of the HPV-oral cancer link.

Jo-Anne Jones

Jo-Anne Jones an international speaker and the President of RDH CONNECTION Inc. Jo-Anne may be contacted through info@rdhconnection.com.

Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS articles by Maria Perno Goldie, go to articles.

To read more about oral cancer, click here.


*This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.


The Oral Cancer Foundation Honored as 2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Source: The Oral Cancer Foundation

New GreatNonprofits.org Award is Based on Positive Online Reviews

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Oral Cancer Foundation announced today that it has been honored with a prestigious 2012 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

“We are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2012 Nonprofit,” says Brian Hill , Founder and Executive Director, The Oral Cancer Foundation.  “We are proud of our accomplishments this year, including the public service announcement we filmed with Actor and oral cancer survivor, Michael Douglas .”

The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that OCF received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit.  For example, one person wrote, “I was 33 years old when I was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic Oral Cancer. The treatments and surgeries that saved my life however left me disfigured, disabled, and dependent on the opiate pain medication, Fentanyl. I felt lost and alone, without hope. I found the Oral Cancer Foundation website 11 months after diagnosis and it was a ray of light for me. I was able to connect with survivors and other patients who understood my struggle and relate to where I was. With their advice and support I’ve been able to rebuild my body and free myself from the opiates, and begin to live again. I can’t express the gratitude in my heart for the Oral Cancer Foundation or the Angels of mercy who are the staff and volunteers that spend their time helping those in need.”

Being on the Top-Rated List comes at an important time of the year, as donors look for causes to support during the holiday season.

“We are gratified by The Oral Cancer Foundation for its work,” said Perla Ni , CEO of GreatNonprofits, “They deserve to be discovered by more donors and volunteers who are looking for a great nonprofit to support.”

Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization.  The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit.  This award is a form of recognition by the community.

About The Oral Cancer Foundation
The Oral Cancer Foundation is a non-profit 501(c) 3, public service charity that provides information, support, and advocacy related to this disease. It maintains a web site at http://www.oralcancer.org, which receives millions of hits per month. At the forefront of this year’s agenda is the drive to promote solid awareness in the minds of the American public about the need to undergo an annual oral cancer screening, and an outreach to the dental community to provide this service as a matter of routine practice. Supporting the foundation’s goals is a scientific advisory board composed of leading cancer authorities from varied medical and dental specialties, and from prominent cancer educational, treatment, and research institutions in the United States.

About GreatNonprofits
GreatNonprofits is the leading site for donors and volunteers to find reviews and ratings of nonprofits. Its mission is to inspire and inform donors and volunteers, enable nonprofits to show their impact, and promote greater feedback and transparency. www.greatnonprofits.org


2012-12-14T15:17:40-07:00December, 2012|OCF In The News|

The effect of treating institution on outcomes in head and neck cancer

Source: medicalxpress.com

Patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiation treatment at an academic center have a higher survival rate than those receiving treatment at a community center, according to a study in the December 2012 issue of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

“Despite similar rates of treatment completion and rate of treatment breaks between groups, patients treated in academic centers had more advanced cancer but better survival,” the authors state in their conclusion.

The study evaluated differences in patient characteristics, treatment, and cancer outcomes in the head and neck cancer population at the University of Minnesota from 2002 through 2008. Data were gathered on demographics, general medical data, tumor variables, insurance type, marital status and health behaviors.

The study analyzed 355 patients with mucosal head and neck cancer treated with radiation therapy from 2002 to 2008. One hundred forty-five (41%) received radiation treatment at community hospitals, and 210 (59%) were treated at academic hospitals. Within the academic hospitals group, 197 underwent radiation at the University of Minnesota, and 13 received radiation at an alternative academic center.

Both treatment groups shared similar characteristics in regard to sex, comorbidity, marital status, work status, insurance, and alcohol use. However, the community group had more current smokers and slightly older patients on average. Patients in the academic group were more likely to live in an urban location and had a higher median income. Patients undergoing radiation treatment at university centers had significantly more advanced cancer. After adjusting for these differences in patient characteristics, patients in the academic hospitals had about two-thirds the risk of dying compared with the community hospitals. The five-year survival rate was 53 percent for patients treated in academic centers compared with 33 percent for patients treated in community settings.

As a result of the study, the authors conclude that “more subtle differences in treatment administration and support at academic centers need to be investigated to understand the survival differences.” In addition, the authors note, “Potential disparities in care related to income, socioeconomic status, and geography should be further explored.”

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology

2012-12-12T19:48:24-07:00December, 2012|Oral Cancer News|
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