Which Cancers Are Increasing Among Older Adults?

Source: AARP Cancers of the mouth and throat related to oral sex, as well as thyroid, liver and skin cancers are on the rise among older adults, according to  new stats released last week from the American Cancer Society. There was some good news, however. The death rate is down for the well-known major cancers. The society’s Cancer Statistics 2012 report found that overall, cancer deaths dropped by nearly two percent for both men and women  from 2004 to 2008. That may sound paltry, but Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., the society’s deputy chief medical officer, says it is more significant than it seems: Many people avoided even hearing the words “you have cancer” because advances in cancer treatment caught problems early, while still in the pre-cancerous stage, he said. The report found that death rates were down for all four major cancers — lung, colorectal, breast and prostate. The biggest drop was for lung cancer, which is down almost 40 percent in the number of men dying from the disease, thanks to fewer Americans smoking. Deaths among women from breast cancer declined 34 percent, mainly because of increases in mammogram screening and a decrease in hormone use for menopause, the ACS report said. On the other hand, some cancers are increasing, particularly among older Americans. According to Medscape News , the ACS found that people 55 to 64 years of age had the highest increase in incidence rates for liver and HPV-related oral cancers; people 65 and older also had an increase in incidence rates [...]

2012-01-10T14:48:32-07:00January, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Lymphedema is highly common in oral cancer treatment

Source: Elsevier Global Medical News   SAN FRANCISCO (EGMN) – Lymphedema is highly common and a source of considerable morbidity among patients who undergo treatment for head and neck cancer, finds a cross-sectional study among 103 survivors. Fully three-fourths had developed some degree of lymphedema, according to results presented at the annual Oncology Congress presented by Reed Medical Education. The more severe it was, the more likely patients were to have symptoms, functional impairments, and poorer quality of life. Disease and treatment-related factors such as high radiation dose and combined surgery and radiation therapy were risk factors for the development of lymphedema. “This is the first study that we are aware of in the United States of this depth to systematically examine lymphedema” in this population, noted lead investigator Jie Deng, Ph.D., R.N., O.C.N., a postdoctoral fellow at the Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. “Health care professionals should be aware that lymphedema is a frequent late effect in the head and neck cancer population,” she advised. “We need to educate patients about the risk of lymphedema prior to treatment, during treatment, and posttreatment, and we need to conduct external and internal examinations to evaluate related signs and symptoms at each clinic visit.” Patients found to have any signs or symptoms should be referred for lymphedema assessment. Furthermore, “it’s very important we have very detailed documentation so we can follow up on patients’ treatment effect and also identify potential issues in this population,” Dr. Deng stressed. “An interdisciplinary approach is needed to [...]

2012-01-08T20:18:17-07:00January, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Oral Cancer Foundation Sponsors 13th Annual Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April 2012

Source: Dentistry IQ Organization encouraging dental professionals to offer free screenings to the public Did you know that the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer community is young, healthy non-smokers? It's shocking but true. Exposure to the HPV-16 virus, the most common sexually transmitted infection, is now the leading cause of oral cancers in the U.S. There is little that can be done to stop this virus from spreading. Our only hope to save lives is through increased professional involvement and public awareness to generate early discovery of the disease process. To that end, the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) is encouraging the dental community to get involved in Oral Cancer Awareness Month this April 2012 by offering free oral cancer screenings to the public in a national effort to raise awareness of this silent killer. Oral cancer has existed outside the consciousness of much of the public, which is one reason 37,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed this year alone. That is about 100 new people a day. That lack of awareness has contributed to this cancer not being discovered until very late in its development. By implementing a public awareness campaign, OCF wants to educate the public about the risk factors, early signs and symptoms of the disease, as well as the need for all adults to undergo an annual oral cancer screening. In the early stages of oral cancer's development, it is often is painless, and physical signs may not be obvious to an individual. This makes [...]

2012-01-07T16:54:51-07:00January, 2012|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Third Head and Neck Indication for Erbitux

Source: The ASCO Post, January 1, 2012, Volume 3, Issue 1, Matthew Stenger   In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs.Cetuximab (Erbitux) was recently approved by the FDA for use in combination with platinum-based therapy plus fluorouracil (5-FU) for the first-line treatment of patients with recurrent locoregional disease or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.1-3 Cetuximab has prior indications in combination with radiation therapy in locally or regionally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer and in recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer that has progressed after platinum-based therapy. It also has indications in colorectal cancer. The most recent approval is based primarily on results of a study conducted outside the United States in 442 patients with metastatic or locally recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck who were not suitable for curative treatment with surgery or radiation. The study used a European Union (EU)-approved cetuximab rather than the U.S.-approved cetuximab (Erbitux). Erbitux provides approximately 22% higher exposure than the EU-approved cetuximab; these pharmacokinetic data, together with the results of the study conducted in Europe and other data using Erbitux establish the safety and efficacy of Erbitux at the recommended dose.In this trial, the addition of cetuximab (n = 222) to platinum-based therapy plus 5-FU (n = 220) significantly increased median overall survival from 7.4 to 10.1 months, representing a 20% reduction in risk of death [...]

Tongue and tonsil cancer patients surviving longer

Source: Dr.Biscuspid.com The five-year survival rate for U.S. patients with cancer of the base of the tongue or tonsils doubled between 1980 and 2002, according to a new study in Cancer Causes & Control (January 2012, Vol. 23:1, pp. 153-164). In addition, patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers had greater survival rates than those with other oral cancers, and survival was greater for male patients than females regardless of age, according to the study authors, from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, the University of Utah School of Medicine, and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health. However, patients with subsequent multiple cancers showed no overall survival improvement. The incidence rates of tongue and tonsil cancers have increased significantly in recent decades in the U.S., particularly among younger patients, the researchers noted. At the same time, a number of studies have shown a strong association between HPV infection and tongue and tonsil cancers. For this study, they used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) 1973-2006 registry system to examine changes in survival rates among patients with base of tongue, tonsil, and other tongue cancers in recent decades. The study included 10,704 patients with squamous tongue or tonsil cancer who were at least 20 years old. The researchers separated the patients into those with one primary cancer and those with subsequent multiple cancers, then compared trends using three nonoverlapped periods: 1980-1982, 1990-1992, and 2000-2002. The first group included those with only one primary base of tongue, [...]

Success of HPV vaccination is now a matter of coverage

Source: The Lancet Oncology, Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 10-12, January 2012 In a pair of articles in The Lancet Oncology, Lehtinen and colleagues and Wheeler and colleagues present 4-year end of study data from a trial of a prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/-18 vaccine (Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline) in young women aged 15-25 years. From a public-health perspective, these studies have several important contributions. The results assure us that among HPV-naive women in the 15—25 year age range, Cervarix has extremely high efficacy against HPV-16/-18-associated persistent infection, CIN2, and CIN3 or worse, the best ethical surrogate endpoint for prospective studies of invasive cervical cancer risk. Combined with other trials of Cervarix and Merck's quadrivalent Gardasil vaccine against HPV-16/-18/-6/-11,3 the evidence is strong for near 100% prophylactic vaccine efficacy in HPV-naive women at any age. Nonetheless, even with vaccine efficacy near 100% in HPV-naive women, the efficacy in the total vaccinated cohort decreased steeply with increasing age, showing an absence of therapeutic effect against already-acquired infections and associated lesions. We know from natural history studies that new HPV transmission (incidence, not prevalence) decreases with age in most cultures.4 Together, natural history data and results of trials for both vaccines suggest that vaccination before sexual debut, or around the time of menarche, will achieve the greatest reduction in cervical cancer rates. The 4-year trial data shows no decline in vaccine efficacy in HPV-naive women with time since vaccination.1 We know from other trials of the two vaccines that the duration of protection is several [...]

Preventing Cancer with Vaccines: Progress in the Global Control of Cancer

Source: CancerPreventionResearch.AACJournals.org Abstract The cancer control community is largely unaware of great advances in the control of major human cancers with vaccines, including the dramatic control of hepatocellular (liver) cancer with hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine, now used routinely in more than 90% of countries. The biotechnology revolution has given us a new generation of highly effective vaccines against major global killers, global funding for immunization is orders of magnitude higher than ever before, and the vaccine delivery infrastructure has improved very significantly even in the poorest countries. Liver cancer is the greatest cause of cancer deaths in men of sub-Saharan Africa and much of Asia. Even in highly endemic countries such as China, the prevalence of HB surface antigen carriers has fallen from 10% to 1%–2% in immunized cohorts of children, and liver cancer has already fallen dramatically in Taiwanese children. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (now called the GAVI Alliance) has greatly expedited this success by providing HBV vaccine free for five years in most of the world's 72 poorest countries. HBV vaccination can serve as a model for the global control of human papillomavirus (HPV)–related cervical and other cancers with HPV vaccines. Cervical cancer is the greatest cause of cancer death in women in many developing countries; HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing HPV infection and precancerous lesions in women, and the quadrivalent vaccine also prevents genital warts in men and women and precancerous anal lesions in men. HPV is causing a growing proportion [...]

If teeth could talk…

Source: wsj.com Author: Melinda Beck The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the mouth provides an even better view of the body as a whole. Some of the earliest signs of diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, immune disorders, hormone imbalances and drug issues show up in the gums, teeth and tongue -- sometimes long before a patient knows anything is wrong. There is also growing evidence that oral health problems, particularly gum disease, can harm a patient's general health as well, raising the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and pregnancy complications. "We have lots of data showing a direct correlation between inflammation in the mouth and inflammation in the body," said Anthony Iacopino, director of the International Centre for Oral-Systemic Health, which opened at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry in Canada in 2008. Recent studies also show that treating gum disease improves circulation, reduces inflammation and can even reduce the need for insulin in people with diabetes. Such findings are fueling a push for dentists to play a greater role in patients' overall health. Some 20 million Americans -- including six percent of children and nine percent of adults -- saw a dentist but not a doctor in 2008, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health this month. "It's an opportunity to tell a patient, 'You know, I'm concerned. I think you really need to see a primary care provider,' so you are moving in the direction of better health," said [...]

Roche scientist provides a look at drugmaker’s early pipeline

Source: www.nj.com/ Author: Susan Todd/The Star-Ledger Jean-Jacques Garaud, who heads Roche’s pharmaceutical research and early development efforts in Switzerland, visited the drugmaker’s Nutley campus in mid-December and spent some time speaking with The Star-Ledger about the company’s efforts in the laboratory. The talk with Garaud provided a rare glimpse of the giant Swiss drugmaker’s early-stage pipeline and highlighted the heavy bets it’s making on personalized medicine (drugs that are tailored to treat individuals whose genes or enzymes show specific biological signs of disease). If the strategy succeeds, Roche could eventually push out some breakthrough drugs for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Garaud, a French-American who joined Roche five years ago, also opened up about a discovery made in Nutley that may represent a novel cancer treatment and the high hopes behind a project with the promise of altering the lives of individuals born with a syndrome that causes mental retardation. During the interview, Garaud talked about some medicines so early in development that they are still referred to by strange-sounding laboratory names. Q. Where do things stand with gantenerumab, the monoclonal antibody Roche is developing as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease? A. This is in phase 2 and this is testing a patient population in the early stages of the disease or suffering from mild cognitive impairment. We believe this particular type of intervention may be more beneficial when it happens early in the disease so that it delays progression. This antibody targets the abnormal material called amyloid that deposits [...]

Go to Top