Stem cell therapy could offer new hope for defects and injuries to head, mouth

Source: In the first human study of its kind, researchers found that using stem cells to re-grow craniofacial tissues—mainly bone—proved quicker, more effective and less invasive than traditional bone regeneration treatments. Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research partnered with Ann Arbor-based Aastrom Biosciences Inc. in the clinical trial, which involved 24 patients who required jawbone reconstruction after tooth removal. Patients either received experimental tissue repair cells or traditional guided bone regeneration therapy. The tissue repair cells, called ixmyelocel-T, are under development at Aastrom, which is a U-M spinout company. "In patients with jawbone deficiencies who also have missing teeth, it is very difficult to replace the missing teeth so that they look and function naturally," said Darnell Kaigler, principal investigator and assistant professor at the U-M School of Dentistry. "This technology and approach could potentially be used to restore areas of bone loss so that missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants." William Giannobile, director of the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research and chair of the U-M Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, is co-principal investigator on the project. The treatment is best suited for large defects such as those resulting from trauma, diseases or birth defects, Kaigler said. These defects are very complex because they involve several different tissue types—bone, skin, gum tissue—and are very challenging to treat. The main advantage to the stem cell therapy is that it uses the patient's own cells to [...]

Aspirin Protects Against Barrett’s Esophagus, Study Suggests

Source: Aspirin use appears to reduce the risk of Barrett's esophagus (BE), the largest known risk factor for esophageal cancer, according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. "The protective effect of aspirin use appears robust because the analyses suggests a dose-response relationship in which high-dose aspirin was significantly associated with decreased Barrett's esophagus risk," said Chin Hur, MD, MPH, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment and lead author of this study. "It would not be advisable at this time for patients to start taking aspirin, particularly at higher doses, if preventing Barrett's esophagus is the only goal. However, if additional data confirms our findings and an individual at high risk for development of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancer also could derive additional benefits, most notably cardiovascular, aspirin could be a consideration." Dr. Hur and his team of researchers analyzed characteristics of 434 BE patients for factors that might be used in screening and management. In addition to finding that those taking aspirin were 44 percent less likely to have BE, they also found that men were more than three times more likely to develop BE than women. The incidence of esophageal cancer has been increasing at an alarming rate during the past few decades; current attempts at targeted screening for this type of cancer focus on identifying BE. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), particularly aspirin, have been associated with reduced esophageal cancer incidence. Although [...]

2012-07-26T15:26:31-07:00July, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

The Impact of Timing of EGFR and IGF-1R Inhibition for Sensitizing Head and Neck Cancer to Radiation

Source: AntiCancer Research Abstract Background: Targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) improved radiotherapy outcome by 10-15% in head and neck tumors (HNSCC). We tested the therapeutic benefits of co-targeting EGFR and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) to further enhance tumor response to radiation. Materials and Methods: Mice bearing FaDu tumor xenografts were treated with ganitumab (previously known as AMG479, an anti-IGF-1R antibody), panitumumab (an anti-EGFR antibody), or both in combination with fractionated doses of radiation. Tumor growth delay and tumor cure/recurrence served as end-points. Results: The best tumor growth delay was achieved when ganitumab and panitumumab were given concurrently with radiation. Tumor cure/recurrence studies showed that combining ganitumab, panitumumab and radiation resulted in significantly higher radiocurability rates than use of either of the agents given with radiation. Conclusion: These findings provide the rationale for clinical testing of the combination of ganitumab and panitumumab for the treatment of HNSCC. This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

2012-07-26T09:29:45-07:00July, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Oral Cancer in Swedish Snuff Dippers

Source: Anticancer Research Abstract Over recent decades there has been debate over whether or not Swedish snuff is carcinogenic in humans. Animal studies and molecular biological and experimental studies have shown the carcinogenic potential of Swedish snuff, but this has not been proved in prospective randomized studies. We present a case series of patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas diagnosed at the sites where the patients had used Swedish snuff for several years. Sixteen male patients were referred to and treated at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Departments and Ear, Nose and Throat clinics at seven different hospitals in Sweden. The mean age of the patients at the time of diagnosis was 72.9 years and the mean time of snuff use prior to cancer diagnosis was 42.9 years. This case series shows that Swedish snuff may not be a harmless alternative to smoking. This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

2012-07-26T09:25:39-07:00July, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., Receives AACR’s Richard Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award for her HPV research

CHICAGO — The American Association for Cancer Research  awards Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., with the 36th Annual AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award during the AACR Annual Meeting 2012. Gillison is receiving this award in recognition of her significant contributions to the understanding of the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in head and neck cancers. “It is an honor to be the recipient of this award,” said Gillison. “Our team strives to generate data that will improve the lives of individuals affected by head and neck cancers, and this is a wonderful validation that we are on the right track.” This award is designed to provide incentive to young investigators early in their careers. It was established in 1977 by the AACR and the Rosenthal Family Foundation to recognize research that has made, or promises to make, a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer. Gillison is a professor of medicine, epidemiology and otolaryngology and the Jeg Coughlin Chair of Cancer Research at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. She is also adjunct faculty at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Md. Her seminal research on the role of HPV in head and neck cancers revolutionized the specialty. Her research has demonstrated that HPV infection causes a distinct molecular, clinical and pathological subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. In a landmark case-control study, Gillison [...]

2012-07-26T06:42:52-07:00July, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Oropharyngeal cancer survival better in those with HPV

Source: Author: Laurie Stoneham The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes a number of malignancies, including head and neck and cervical cancers. Oddly enough, being infected with the virus may help those living with oral cancer. Researchers believe that having HPV improves the lifespan of African Americans who have throat cancer, compared to African Americans who do not have the virus. These are the unexpected findings of a group of researchers, led by Maria J. Worsham, PhD, director of research in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. "This study adds to the mounting evidence of HPV as a racially-linked sexual behavior lifestyle risk factor impacting survival outcomes for both African American and Caucasian patients with oropharyngeal cancer," Dr. Worsham said. Oropharyngeal cancer affects part of the throat, including the base of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate (back of the mouth) and the walls of the throat (pharynx). Risk factors for this oral cancer include smoking, drinking alcohol and HPV infection. To look at how HPV status impacted the outlook of throat cancer patients, researchers worked with 118 patients - 67 of whom did not have the virus and 51 individuals who did. A total of 42 individuals in the study were African American. Here's what researchers learned: African Americans were less likely than Caucasians to have the virus (HPV-positive) as are people over the age of 50 HPV-negative patients who didn't have the virus were nearly 3 times (2.9) more likely to die as [...]

Best. Obit. Ever.

Source: This funny, surprising obituary was written by Val Patterson before he died of throat cancer earlier this month.  I was Born in Salt Lake City, March 27th 1953. I died of Throat Cancer on July 10th 2012. I went to six different grade schools, then to Churchill, Skyline and the U of U. I loved school, Salt Lake City, the mountains, Utah. I was a true Scientist. Electronics, chemistry, physics, auto mechanic, wood worker, artist, inventor, business man, ribald comedian, husband, brother, son, cat lover, cynic. I had a lot of fun. It was an honor for me to be friends with some truly great people. I thank you. I’ve had great joy living and playing with my dog, my cats and my parrot. But, the one special thing that made my spirit whole, is my long love and friendship with my remarkable wife, my beloved Mary Jane. I loved her more than I have words to express. Every moment spent with my Mary Jane was time spent wisely. Over time, I became one with her, inseparable, happy, fulfilled. I enjoyed one good life. Traveled to every place on earth that I ever wanted to go. Had every job that I wanted to have. Learned all that I wanted to learn. Fixed everything I wanted to fix. Eaten everything I wanted to eat. My life motto was: “Anything for a Laugh”. Other mottos were “If you can break it, I can fix it”, “Don’t apply for a job, [...]

2012-07-19T09:14:20-07:00July, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Western University profs to test robotic treatment of throat cancer

Source: Author: Josh Elliott Western University professors David Palma and Anthony Nichols will lead a first-ever study to see if robotic surgery can treat throat cancer while avoiding the long-term side effects that come with chemotherapy and radiation. Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) allows doctors to use miniature robotic arms to operate in tight spaces where human hands can’t fit. London has the only TORS program in Canada. Early stage oropharyngeal cancer patients will be randomly assigned standard radiation care, or the new TORS treatment. Doctors will measure long-term side effects and quality of life following both treatments. Oropharyngeal cancer affects the back of the throat. Radiation therapy is effective at controlling the cancer, but some patients still suffer long-term side effects such as dry throat, difficulty swallowing, and hearing loss. “In the U.S., TORS is being used readily in the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer, in spite of the lack of high-level evidence supporting the use,” said Nichols, a head and neck cancer surgeon at London Health Sciences Centre. Palma, a radiation oncologist at LHSC, says the Western study will compare TORS treatment to traditional radiation therapy. “Before we can implement TORS, we need to prove that it meets that standard: Are the cure rates just as good, and are the side effects less?” Nichols sees reason for optimism: “Early studies of TORS show it holds promise to provide good disease control, as well as offer good speech and swallowing outcomes for patients.”

Blacks with throat cancer get harsher therapy

Source: Author: Frederik Joelving Blacks in the United States with throat cancer are more likely than whites to have surgery that leaves them unable to speak than to get gentler voice-preserving therapy, according to a study. Previous research has found a similar racial disparity in breast cancer treatment, with blacks more often having the entire breast removed instead of just the cancerous lumps. It's unclear why the disparity exists. But study leader Allen Chen, a radiation oncologist at University of California, Davis, said that poverty, less education and deep-rooted historical biases could all be at work. "There could be an underlying distrust among African Americans where they feel anything less than surgery might be considered quote-unquote experimental," Chen told Reuters Health. He referenced the Tuskegee experiment, conducted by the U.S. government from the 1930s into the 1970s, in which black patients with syphilis went untreated despite assurances to the contrary. "That sort of distrust needs to be addressed or alleviated," Chen said, because voice-preserving treatment for throat cancer, based on radiation and drug therapy, is now the standard. His study, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, is based on data from a US cancer registry including nearly 5,400 cases of laryngeal cancer between 1991 and 2008. About 80 percent of whites had voice-preserving treatment, while the rest had their voice box surgically removed - the traditional approach. Among blacks, 75 percent had the gentler therapy. While that's only a five-percent difference, "I think that's [...]

Researchers report early success using saliva to detect oral cancer

Source: Author: press release Scientists funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, reported today taking a major step forward in using saliva to detect oral cancer. As published in the current issue of Clinical Cancer Research, the scientists found they could measure for elevated levels of four distinct cancer-associated molecules in saliva and distinguish with 91 percent accuracy between healthy people and those diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma. This so-called "proof-of-principle" study marks the first report in the scientific literature that distinct patterns of "messenger RNA" not only are measurable in saliva but can indicate a developing tumor. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is the molecular intermediate between gene and protein, serving as a chemical record that an individual gene has been expressed. According to David Wong, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., a scientist at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry and senior author on the paper, it may be possible with further refinement of the test, possibly by including additional cancer-linked mRNAs, to attain the necessary 99 to 100 percent accuracy of commercial diagnostic tests for oral squamous cell carcinoma, the sixth most common cancer in the United States. Wong noted that currently no biochemical or genetic diagnostic tests are commercially available for oral cancer. He also noted that the RNA patterns in saliva may be informative for other cancers and common diseases. "Saliva is a mirror of our blood," said Wong. "We're now conducting our initial [...]

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