Studies question value of certain HNC biomarkers

Source: September 19, 2012 -- Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA positivity alone, particularly when assessed using polymerase chain reaction methods, is a poor biomarker for HPV-driven head and neck cancers (HNCs), according to two studies published in Cancer Research (September 18, 2012). These studies identified alternative potential markers, including viral load, viral gene expression, and the evaluation of HPV DNA in combination with certain HPV assays. Prior research has established that HPV is a cause of some head and neck cancers, including oropharyngeal cancer, and that patients with HPV-associated disease tend to have a better clinical outcome. Consequently, the proper assessment of the clinical status of individual tumors has become a goal of clinicians treating this disease because HPV at the tumor site does not indicate causal involvement in the cancer. In the first study, Dana Holzinger, PhD, of the division of genome modifications and carcinogenesis at the German Cancer Research Center, and colleagues analyzed the potential of direct and indirect HPV markers to identify patients with HPV-driven tumors. They analyzed 199 oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma specimens for HPV DNA, viral load, RNA expression patterns seen in cervical carcinomas, and the p16 protein. They found that the cervical cancer RNA expression pattern and viral load were associated with the lowest risk for death from oropharyngeal cancer. In contrast, a weaker association was found for samples that were HPV DNA-positive or that expressed the p16 protein. "We showed that high viral load and a cancer-specific pattern of viral gene expression are [...]

2012-09-28T13:42:14-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

CMC gets $8M to study oral damage from radiation

Source: by Karen Garloch / The Charlotte Observer A research team in the Department of Oral Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center has received an $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study tissue damage in patients who have received high-dose radiation for head and neck cancer. Hospital officials said it is the largest research grant ever awarded to CMC. Dr. Michael Brennan, associate chairman of the oral medicine department, will be principal investigator for the Charlotte research site. Patients will also be enrolled at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University and the University of Connecticut. Brennan said the five-year study will help doctors develop evidence-based guidelines for the care of patients’ dental health before or after radiation therapy. Patients with head and neck cancer often receive high-dose radiation therapy that results in lifelong damage to oral and facial tissues. Side effects include a decrease in saliva production, which increases the risk of tooth decay and tooth loss. Radiation can also impair bone healing, leading to an increased risk of infection around the teeth and increased risk of jaw fractures and pain that could require surgery. Patients enrolled in the study will receive a standard dental assessment prior to radiation therapy, and follow-up visits will be conducted every six months for up to two years. This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

2012-09-28T09:39:10-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Smokeless tobacco products pose serious health risks

Source: Author: staff Smokeless tobacco products used by some people in South Asian communities are associated with serious health risks such as oral cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to latest NICE guidance. Many members of the South Asian community use smokeless tobacco products to freshen the breath or to aid digestion. These products, which include paan or gutkha, are typically served as a mixture which is chewed and consists of betel leaf combined with areca nut, tobacco and spices. Research shows that particular groups within South Asian communities such as women, those in older age groups and people from Bangladeshi origin, are more likely to use these products. However, many are not aware that using smokeless tobacco carries health risks such as cardiovascular disease, dental disease, nicotine addiction, problems in pregnancy, and oral cancer. South Asian women are almost four times more likely to have oral cancer as those from other groups. It is thought that the prevalence of smokeless tobacco among South Asian women is one of the main reasons for this increased likelihood. NICE's public health guidance on smokeless tobacco cessation for South Asian communities contains a number of recommendations to tackle its use and improve knowledge of its associated health risks. The recommendations are aimed a range of groups including directors of public health, clinical commissioning groups, dental public health consultants, and faith leaders and others involved in faith centres. NICE says local need should be assessed to determine the prevalence and incidence of smokeless tobacco [...]

2012-09-28T07:26:48-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Growing ‘mini tumors’ from patient’s cancer could lead to custom treatments

Source: Author: Marilynn Marchione It's a medical nightmare: a 24-year-old man endures 350 surgeries since childhood to remove growths that keep coming back in his throat and have spread to his lungs, threatening his life. Now doctors have found a way to help him by way of a scientific coup that holds promise for millions of cancer patients. The bizarre case is the first use in a patient of a new discovery: how to keep ordinary and cancerous cells alive indefinitely in the lab. The discovery allows doctors to grow "mini tumors" from each patient's cancer in a lab dish, then test various drugs or combinations on them to see which works best. It takes only a few cells from a biopsy and less than two weeks to do, with materials and methods common in most hospitals. Although the approach needs much more testing against many different types of cancer, researchers think it could offer a cheap, simple way to personalize treatment without having to analyze each patient's genes. "We see a lot of potential for it," said one study leader, Dr. Richard Schlegel, pathology chief at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington. "Almost everyone could do it easily." An independent expert agreed. For infections, it's routine to grow bacteria from a patient in lab dishes to see which antibiotics work best, Dr. George Q. Daley of Children's Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute said in an email. "But this has never been possible with cancer [...]

2012-09-28T07:16:28-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Dentists asked to help in curbing mouth cancer

Source: Author: The increasing cases of oral cancer have pushed the Cancer Research UK to ask dentists to look for cancer related symptoms in their patients. By checking the mouth properly, dentists can gauge whether or not a person is prone of developing mouth cancer. Mouth cancer can be lethal if timely treatment isn't provided to the patients. Smoking and heavy drinking could be one of the reasons behind causing mouth cancer. Chewing tobacco is yet again contributing to mouth cancer. While examining the patients, the dentists have been advised to look for cancer contributing factors. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be an increase in the number of mouth cancer patients. People under the age group of 50 years are growing becoming victim of mouth cancer. Oral sex is yet another factor that could lead to mouth cancer. People need to be made aware about the growing incidences of mouth cancer so that innocent lives could be saved. Avoiding heavy drinking, smoke and unhygienic oral sex can help in preventing mouth cancer. Besides, dentists can also help in saving lives by detecting mouth cancer earlier through regular checkups. It is hoped that the dentists will take serious note of the recommendations.

2012-09-28T07:08:58-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Oropharyngeal cancer patients with HPV have a more robust response to radiation therapy

Source: (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis cancer researchers have discovered significant differences in radiation-therapy response among patients with oropharyngeal cancer depending on whether they carry the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted virus. The findings, published online today in The Laryngoscope Journal, could lead to more individualized radiation treatment regimens, which for many patients with HPV could be shorter and potentially less toxic. HPV-related cancers of the oropharynx (the region of the throat between the soft palate and the epiglottis, including the tonsils, base of tongue and uvula) have steadily increased in recent years, according to the National Cancer Institute, especially among men. At the same time, the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers related to other causes, such as smoking or alcohol consumption, is declining. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States; it can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex. The UC Davis study, conducted by Allen Chen, associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Radiation Oncology, examined patterns of tumor reduction during radiation treatment in two otherwise similar groups of patients with oropharyngeal cancer: those who tested positive for HPV and those who tested negative for the virus. None of the HPV patients in the study was a smoker, a leading risk factor for the disease. Chen used CT scans acquired during image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and endoscopy (a tube with a small camera) to capture 3D images of the patients' tumors and monitor their treatment progress. [...]

2012-09-27T10:38:35-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Robotic Surgery Through The Mouth Safe For Removing Tumors Of The Voice Box, Study Shows

Source: COLUMBUS, Ohio – Robotic surgery though the mouth is a safe and effective way to remove tumors of the throat and voice box, according to a study by head and neck cancer surgeons at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). Dr. Enver Ozer This is the first report in the world literature illustrating the safety and efficacy of transoral robotic surgery for supraglottic laryngectomy, the researchers say. The preliminary study examined the outcomes of 13 head and neck cancer patients with tumors located in the region of the throat between the base of the tongue and just above the vocal cords, an area known as the supraglottic region. The study found that the use of robot-assisted surgery to remove these tumors through the mouth took about 25 minutes on average, and that blood loss was minimal – a little more than three teaspoons, or 15.4 milliliters, on average, per patient. No surgical complications were encountered and 11 of the 13 patients could accept an oral diet within 24 hours. If, on the other hand, these tumors are removed by performing open surgery on the neck, the operation can take around 4 hours to perform, require 7 to 10 days of hospitalization on average and require a tracheostomy tube and a stomach tube, the researchers say. The findings were published recently in the journal Head and Neck. “The transoral robotic technique means shorter [...]

2012-09-26T09:38:37-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

DNA alone inadequate to identify HPV-related cancers

Source: Author: Mary Ann Moon Testing for the presence of human papillomavirus DNA alone, especially using polymerase chain reaction methods, is not adequate to identify which head and neck squamous cell carcinomas are caused by the virus, according to two studies published online Sept. 18 in Cancer Research. Identifying HPV-driven malignancies is important because they respond better to treatment and have better outcomes than those unrelated to HPV infection. Indeed, treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) may soon be guided by the tumor’s HPV status, since trials are now underway to determine whether de-escalation of chemo- and radiotherapy is safe and effective in such patients. At present, however, the biomarkers that are best suited to making this identification are unclear. Case Series Assesses Biomarkers In the first study, researchers assessed the usefulness of four biomarkers in determining which HNSCCs in a case series were driven by HPV. They began by examining fresh-frozen tumor biopsy samples from 199 German adults diagnosed as having oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer between 1990 and 2008. The four biomarkers were HPV-16 viral load, viral oncogene RNA (E6 and E7), p16INK4a, and RNA patterns similar to those characteristic of cervical carcinomas (CxCa RNA), said Dr. Dana Holzinger of the German Cancer Research Center at Heidelberg (Germany) University and her associates. The simple presence of HPV DNA in a tumor sample was found to be a poor indicator of prognosis, likely because it often signaled past HPV infections or recent oral exposure, rather than [...]

2012-09-24T13:36:21-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Pilot study in patients with head and neck cancer finds that Derma Sciences’ MEDIHONEY® reduces hospital stays

Source: Derma Sciences, Inc., a medical device and pharmaceutical company focused on advanced wound care, today reported an independent pilot study conducted in the U.K. showed that MEDIHONEY® may reduce the length of hospital stays by encouraging more rapid healing. The study, entitled "Randomised controlled feasibility trial on the use of medical grade honey following microvascular free tissue transfer to reduce the incidence of wound infection," was conducted by Dr. Val Robson, RGN, B.Sc (Hons) Dip HE, Clinical Nurse Specialist Leg Ulcer Care, and colleagues from University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, U.K. The article was published in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in June 2012. The study found that in 49 patients randomized to receive MEDIHONEY or standard dressings following microvascular free tissue reconstruction for cancer of the head and neck, the median duration of hospital stay was 12 days in the MEDIHONEY group (n=25), compared with a median of 18 days in the control group (n=24) (p<0.05). MEDIHONEY, which has the CE Mark in the E.U. and is sold in the U.K. and Europe via six direct sales representatives and a network of distributors, respectively, was provided by Derma Sciences Europe Ltd. Commenting on the study, investigator and author Dr. Val Robson said, "We have used medical honey successfully on chronic wounds for over a decade. The in-vitro evidence is available to show that honey eradicates wound infecting organisms and this new piece of research has shown that honey can be used on wounds healing by [...]

2012-09-24T13:13:53-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Head and neck cancer rates for smokeless tobacco described

Source: Health News Observer September 16, 2012 | by Steven Rothrock MD Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that is not burned or smoked. Other terms used for smokeless tobacco include chewing tobacco, spitting tobacco, dip, chew, and snuff. Typically these products are held in the mouth until juices are built up and spit out. Spitless products are available and some people choose to swallow the juices instead. Nicotine, which can be addictive, and cancer-causing agents are absorbed through the mouth’s lining. While using smokeless tobacco has been associated with many different cancers, the magnitude of the risk has not been previously well described. This week, in an online edition of the International Journal of Cancer, researchers sought to identify the magnitude of the risk of developing head and neck cancer in those who used smokeless tobacco. Towards that goal, the risk of cancer was compared between 1,046 users and 1,239 non-users of smokeless tobacco. After adjusting for age, sex, race, education, cigarette smoking, and alcohol use, any use of smokeless tobacco was associated with a 20% increased risk of head and neck cancer. Use of smokeless tobacco for 10 or more years had a 320% higher rate of developing these cancers compared to those who never used these products. In addition to head and neck cancers, users of these products are at risk for other cancers (e.g. esophageal, pancreatic, kidney), heart disease, high blood pressure, pregnancy loss, premature birth or low birth weights, low sperm counts, not to mention tooth gum [...]

2012-09-18T13:50:57-07:00September, 2012|Oral Cancer News|
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