Source: www.eurekalert.org Author: press release Patients with tongue cancer who started their treatment with a course of chemotherapy fared significantly worse than patients who received surgery first, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is contrary to protocols for larynx cancer, in which a single dose of chemotherapy helps determine which patients fare better with chemotherapy and radiation and which patients should elect for surgery. In larynx cancer, this approach, which was pioneered and extensively researched at U-M, has led to better patient survival and functional outcomes. But this new study, which appears in JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, describes a clear failure. "To a young person with tongue cancer, chemotherapy may sound like a better option than surgery with extensive reconstruction. But patients with oral cavity cancer can't tolerate induction chemotherapy as well as they can handle surgery with follow-up radiation. Our techniques of reconstruction are advanced and offer patients better survival and functional outcomes," says study author Douglas Chepeha, M.D., MSPH, professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School. The study enrolled 19 people with advanced oral cavity cancer. Patients received an initial dose of chemotherapy, called induction chemotherapy. Those whose cancer shrunk by half went on to receive additional chemotherapy combined with radiation treatment. Those whose cancer did not respond well had surgery followed by radiation. Enrollment in the trial was stopped early because results were so poor. Ten of [...]
Source: 7thspace.com Author: staff Introduction: Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are easily accessible and have already proven to be useful as prognostic markers in cancer patients. However, their origin and function in the circulation is still under discussion. In the present study we analyzed changes in the miRNAs in blood plasma of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients in response to radiochemotherapy and compared them to the changes in a cell culture model of primary HNSCC cells undergoing simulated anti-cancer therapy.Materials and methods: MiRNA-profiles were analyzed by qRT-PCR arrays in paired blood plasma samples of HNSCC patients before therapy and after two days of treatment. Candidate miRNAs were validated by single qRT-PCR assays. An in vitro radiochemotherapy model using primary HNSCC cell cultures was established to test the possible tumor origin of the circulating miRNAs. Microarray analysis was performed on primary HNSCC cell cultures followed by validation of deregulated miRNAs via qRT-PCR. Results: Unsupervised clustering of the expression profiles using the six most regulated miRNAs (miR-425-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-106b-5p, miR-590-5p, miR-574-3p, miR-885-3p) significantly (p = 0.012) separated plasma samples collected prior to treatment from plasma samples collected after two days of radiochemotherapy. MiRNA profiling of primary HNSCC cell cultures treated in vitro with radiochemotherapy revealed differentially expressed miRNAs that were also observed to be therapy-responsive in blood plasma of the patients (miR-425-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-106b-5p, miR-93-5p) and are therefore likely to stem from the tumor. Of these candidate marker miRNAs we were able to validate by qRT-PCR a deregulation of eight plasma [...]
Fifteen Years after Tobacco Settlement, States Falling Short in Funding Tobacco Prevention: Q&A with Danny McGoldrick
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Published: December 10, 2013By: Danny McGoldrick On November 23, 1998, 46 states settled their lawsuits against the nation’s major tobacco companies to recover tobacco-related health care costs, joining four states—Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Minnesota—that had reached earlier, individual settlements. These settlements require the tobacco companies to make annual payments to the states in perpetuity, with total payments estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years. Yesterday a coalition of health advocacy groups released the latest edition of A Broken Promise to Our Kids, an annual report on state use of tobacco funds for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts. As in years past, the report finds that most states fall short in the amount of money they allocate to prevent kids from smoking and to help current smokers quit. The groups that jointly issued the report include the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. Key findings of the 2013 report include: • Over the past 15 years, states have spent just 2.3 percent of their total tobacco-generated revenue on tobacco preventionand cessation programs. • The states this year will collect $25 billion from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 1.9 percent of it—$481.2 million—on tobacco prevention programs. This means the states are spending less than two cents of every dollar in tobacco revenue to fight tobacco use. • States are [...]
Source: www.empr.com Author: press release Navidea announced that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to Lymphoseek (technetium 99m tilmanocept) Injection for sentinel lymph node detection in patients with head and neck cancer. Lymphoseek Injection is a novel, receptor-targeted, small-molecule radiopharmaceutical designed to identify the lymph nodes that drain from a primary tumor, which have the highest probability of harboring cancer. Lymposeek Injection was evaluated in a prospective, open-label, multicenter, within-patient study (NEO3-06). It was designed to identify sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) and determine the false negative rate (FNR) associated with Lymphoseek-identified SLNs relative to the pathological status of non-SLNs in head and neck and intraoral squamous cell carcinoma. The primary endpoint for the NEO3-06 trial was based on the number of subjects with pathology-positive lymph nodes following a multiple level lymph node dissection. A minimum of 38 subjects whose lymph nodes contained pathology-confirmed disease was required. Thirty nine subjects out of over 80 subjects enrolled were determined to have pathology-positive lymph nodes. Navidea intends to file the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Lymphoseek before the end of 2013. Lymphoseek is already approved for use in lymphatic mapping to assist in the localization of lymph nodes draining a primary tumor in patients with breast cancer or melanoma.
Source: health-beauty-2468.blogspot.com Author: Kris Borowczyk Compared with the standard radiation therapy, intensified form of radiotherapy proves to be more effective in improving the survival chances of people with head and neck cancer. This is the result of studies conducted by the ECC2013 or European Cancer Congress 2013. About 11,000 patients were subject to altered fractionation radiotherapy and fractionation radiotherapy. The AFRT group showed an 8% reduction in risks for death while the other group showed nine percent in decrease. Radiation oncologist Dr. Pirre Blanchard plans to tell the congress that despite the fact that CRT or concomitant chemo radiation and chemotherapy in general is considered the standard treatment for cancer, AFRT should still be considered if patients want more intensified intervention. He said, “The CRT is not feasible because of other pre-existing conditions such as cardiac and renal diseases.” AFRT is a radiotherapy treatment intensified to be given in different schedules. It is associated with some acute side effects but not those late side effects caused by SFRT.
Source: www.sciencecodex.com Author: staff Certain genetic alterations to the PAX gene family may be responsible for survival disparities seen between African-American and non-Latino white men with head and neck cancer, according to results presented here at the Sixth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held Dec. 6-9. "During the last 30 years, the overall five-year relative survival rates for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have increased, but despite that, the gap in overall survival rates between non-Latino white patients and African-American patients has remained unchanged," said Rafael Guerrero-Preston, Dr.P.H., assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. "This disparity may be due to differences in genetic and epigenetic alterations among African-American patients." To test this theory, Guerrero-Preston and colleagues performed a two-stage epigenomic study. In the stage-one discovery phase, the researchers used next-generation sequencing and array-based technologies to evaluate 107 HNSCC samples. In the stage-two validation phase, they validated the findings of the discovery phase and evaluated their effect on survival rates in 279 patient samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. "Our results highlight the differential genomic and epigenomic alterations in PAX, NOTCH, and TP53 pathways between African-American and non-Latino white HNSCC patients, which underlie the complex biology of morphologically similar tumors and explain HNSCC survival disparities," Guerrero-Preston said. "If further validated in larger cohorts, these discoveries could be used to develop genomic and epigenomic panels that will enable more treatment options, a reduction in treatment [...]
Source: www.thealmagest.com Author: press release Unique DNA markings on certain genes may “predict” the risk of developing head and neck cancer, according to new research led by Queen Mary University of London. The findings, published in the journal Cancer, raise the potential for the development of non-invasive tests which could pick up these tell-tale signs of early cancer initiation. Head and neck cancers are cancers that develop anywhere in the head and neck, including mouth cancer and throat cancer. About 16,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with head and neck cancer every year*. In this study scientists analysed clinical specimens of malignant tissue from 93 cancer patients from Norway and the UK. These were compared with either tissue donated by healthy individuals undergoing wisdom tooth extractions, or with non-cancerous tissue from the same patients. They were trying to identify whether there were any epigenetic changes in the cancerous cells which were not seen in the healthy cells. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Not all genes are active all the time and there are many ways that gene expression is controlled. DNA methylation marks act as ‘switches’, either turning genes on or off. Abnormal DNA methylation is known to precede cancer initiation. Lead researcher Dr Muy Teck-Teh, from the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary, said: “In this study we have identified four genes which were either over or under-expressed in head and neck cancer. [...]
Source: CBS NewsPublished: Thursday, January 5, 2013By: Ryan Jaslow Katie Couric’s talk show "Katie" has drawn ire from doctors and journalists for a recent segment on the HPV vaccine that presented what it called “both sides” of the “HPV controversy.” The segment included personal stories from two moms who claim their daughters suffered serious harm from the vaccine (one of them died). In addition, the show featured two physicians: one who researched the vaccine and thinks its long-term protection benefits are oversold, and one who recommends it to her patients, in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ahead of the show, which aired Dec. 4, Couric tweeted: Dr. Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, did not feel it was appropriate to juxtapose the anecdotal stories with the medical evidence. He had hoped more weight would be given to the scientific evidence of the vaccine’s safety profile and effectiveness at preventing cervical cancer. “The show was kind of inexcusable in terms of damage done versus positive contribution,” he told CBS News. Any time you’re vaccinating hundreds of thousands of people, Caplan said, you can expect that some people in that population will have health incidents occur. But their ailments may not necessarily be connected to the vaccine. What needs to be weighed is the cause and effect, versus what may be just coincidence. Mentioning such incidents in that [...]
Source: ForbesPublished: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 This afternoon, Katie Couric ran a long segment on her daytime talk show, Katie, about what she called the “controversy” over the vaccines against human papilloma virus, or HPV, an infection that causes cervical, throat, penile, and anal cancers. She featured one mother who says that Gardasil, the HPV vaccine made by Merck , killed her daughter, and a young woman, seated with her mother, who said that Gardasil had caused years of illness that made her think she might die. (GlaxoSmithKline GSK +0.15% makes another HPV vaccine, Cervarix, that is less commonly used in the U.S.) Alongside those stories, Couric also featured two medical experts: Dr. Diane Harper, the chair of family and geriatric medicine at the University of Louisville, who helped test Gardasil but has since argued that the vaccine has been over-marketed and its benefits oversold; and Mallika Marshall, a Harvard Medical School doctor who is Couric’s in-house medical correspondent. Marshall defended the vaccine; strangely, only her arguments appear on the show’s Web site. Despite the attempt at balance, I think most viewers will be left with the impression that the vaccine is dangerous and that its benefits don’t outweigh its risks – a conclusion that is not shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Here’s how Couric stacked the deck against the HPV vaccine: 1. By downplaying the effectiveness of [...]
Source: The New York TimesBy: Steve Lohr http://youtu.be/Kn9OJy1BPDo Vaccination programs for children have prevented more than 100 million cases of serious contagious disease in the United States since 1924, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The research, led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of public health, analyzed public health reports going back to the 19th century. The reports covered 56 diseases, but the article in the journal focused on seven: polio, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough. Brian Snyder/Reuters (It won’t hurt a bit.) Researchers went back over health reports and measured the drop in disease after a vaccine was introduced. Researchers analyzed disease reports before and after the times when vaccines became commercially available. Put simply, the estimates for prevented cases came from the falloff in disease reports after vaccines were licensed and widely available. The researchers projected the number of cases that would have occurred had the pre-vaccination patterns continued as the nation’s population increased. The journal article is one example of the kind of analysis that can be done when enormous data sets are built and mined. The project, which started in 2009, required assembling 88 million reports of individual cases of disease, much of it from the weekly morbidity reports in the library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then the reports had to be converted to digital formats. Most of the data entry — 200 [...]