Major study finds no link between vaccines and autism

Source: therawstory.comBy: Agence France-Presse Date: Friday, March 29, 2013   A US study out Friday sought to dispel the fears of about one third of American parents that giving a series of vaccines to children may be linked to autism. Even though children are receiving more vaccines today than they did in the 1990s, there is no link between “too many vaccines too soon” and autism, said the study in the Journal of Pediatrics. About one in 10 US parents refuse or delay vaccinations for their children because they believe it is safer than following the schedule put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to previous research. Prior studies have already shown there is no link between vaccines and autism, including a 2004 comprehensive review by the Institute of Medicine. This time, researchers at the CDC decided to look children’s exposure to antigens, the substances in vaccines that cause the body to produce antibodies to fight infection and disease. Researchers looked at data from 256 children with autism spectrum disorder across three separate managed care organizations in the United States. They compared the cumulative exposure to antigens in those children to 752 children without autism. “We found no evidence indicating an association between exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides contained in vaccines during the first two years of life and the risk of acquiring autism spectrum disorder, autism disorder or autism spectrum disorder with regression,” said the study. Nor were there any links between autism and cumulative [...]

2013-03-29T13:14:29-07:00March, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Professor studies plants, foods to prevent cancer

Source: Author: Jennifer R. Lloyd, Staff Writer Twigs, leaves and berries may sound like the diet of the destitute, but for molecular medicine professor Michael Wargovich, certain plants, like those in traditional medicines and food in developing countries could be gold mines in the fight against cancer. In his newly outfitted lab at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Wargovich and his staff are testing the cancer-preventing properties of green tea. They'll also soon start investigating the anti-inflammatory abilities of the neem tree, native to India, and which already is used in some toothpastes available in the United States. Wargovich, 60, cited World Health Organization statistics showing that the hot spots for cancer will move south of the equator by 2020 as the population swells and its residents, immunized from many infectious diseases, live longer and assume a more Western lifestyle. “They're giving up their traditional diets,” he said. “The things that we've found are protecting us against cancer are disappearing as everybody tries to be homogenized and Western and going to fast-food places.” He said undetectable chronic inflammation sets people up for illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes. Yet foods with anti-inflammatory properties — fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs — are disappearing from the world's plate. As a side project, Wargovich and an executive chef are developing an anti-inflammatory diet to reintegrate beneficial foods into modern-day dining. In April, Wargovich will give a free public lecture about cancer-fighting foods. Visit the [...]

‘Immortal’ gene mutation may allow some cancerous cells to live forever

Source: Author: Makini Brice For years, it has remained a mystery how cancer cells are able to live forever, while typical cells die. Recent research performed by scientists at the Duke Cancer Institute have found that a single gene may be responsible for three of the most common types of brain tumors, in addition to liver cancer, tongue cancer and cancer of the urinary tract. In addition, the study involved research into the inner workings of 1,200 tumors and 60 different types of cancer. Researchers hope that, with this finding, doctors will soon be able to beat cancer at its own game. The secret is in the telomere, which sticks to the end of the chromosome and prevents the ends from fraying or sticking together. When cells divide normally, the telomeres become shorter and shorter. When the telomere reaches a certain length, the cell can no longer divide and it dies. This process requires the use of an enzyme called telomerase. Scientists have found that some cancerous cells have a gene mutation that affects the enzyme. Because the telomere does not become shorter and shorter, the cells become immortal and are able to divide forever. The researchers at Duke Cancer Institute found nine cancer types that are highly associated with this gene mutation. All of the cancerous cells arise in areas of the body where there is a low rate of cell renewal, so it seems that the cells needed such a mechanism to stay alive. The cancer types [...]

Bidi smoking causes cancer

Source: Author: staff The country’s (India) first such study, using cohort groups, has proven conclusively that smoking bidi (tobacco wrapped in the leaf of the tendu plant) increases the propensity for cancer. P. Jayalekshmi of the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) here, who led the study on bidi-induced lung, oral, laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer, said lung cancer risk among former bidi smokers was higher than in those who never smoked bidis. Separate studies on the impact of bidi smoking on lung and oral cancers, and cancers of larynx and hypopharynx in close to 70,000 men between the age group of 30-84 in Karunagappally in Kollam district shows that bidi is among the most harmful smoking products. “The risk of cancer affecting the cheek (buccal) and lips (labial) showed a nearly four-fold increase in the cohort study covering 66,277 men. “Excessive use of bidis significantly increased the risk associated with cancer of the gum and mouth,” Jayalekshmi said. The mainstream smoke of bidi contains a much higher concentration of carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Bidi smokers also are found to be taking five puffs per minute, compared to two puffs by cigarette smokers in the same time, the study showed. The cohort study on bidi and lung cancer, covering a total of 65,829 men, found that bidi smokers had a 3.9-fold increase in lung cancer incidence, when compared to those who never smoked bidis. The study showed that tongue cancer risk increased significantly among men who smoked bidis for 30 years or longer, and [...]

Noninvasive oral cancer test eases patient fears

Source: Author: Donna Domino, Features Editor A new, noninvasive cytology test for oral cancer, ClearPrep OC, is being offered free to dentists. The test, aimed at "watch and wait" lesions, is less expensive than biopsies and less frightening for patients, according to Resolution Biomedical, the company that is commercializing it. The chairside oral cancer test -- which can be ordered directly from the company -- is designed to be a diagnostic option for assessing lesions when a biopsy is not warranted or the patient fears getting a biopsy, according to Donald Williams, MD, chief medical officer of Resolution Biomedical. The test involves a cyto-brush sampling method that measures gross changes in the nuclear DNA content of oral epithelial cells, providing information about the precancerous or cancerous state of a lesion, the company explained. The samples are sent to medical testing labs, and the report is sent to the dentist within four to five days, the same time frame as biopsies. Dentists send the samples to the company, which prepares the slides and sends them to labs, which prepare a diagnostic report for the dentists. "It's a way to triage patients where something may be suspicious but the patient is balking about getting a biopsy," Dr. Williams told "It could be leukoplakia lesions or thrush instead of an indication of a neoplasm. It rules out biopsies without an invasive process." When dentists refer patients to periodontists to get biopsies of suspicious lesions, many patients don't follow through on the [...]

Spike in oral cancers puzzles experts

Source: Author: Victoria Colliver/San Francisco Chronicle Christine Schulz has never visited England, but she speaks with the clipped inflection of a vaguely British accent. It's not an affectation but, rather, the mystifying after-effect of an 18-hour surgery she endured in 2009 to remove about half her tongue due to a cancerous growth that had spread to her lymph nodes. Surgeons used skin from her wrist and upper leg to re-create the missing portions of her tongue. Through long term speech therapy, Schulz, 47, of Hollister, Calif., re-learned how to eat and talk with her reconstructed tongue. If she sounds as if she's from a different country, Schulz isn't complaining. "At the moment I woke up from surgery, I realized exactly what a huge deal it was," she said, describing how she had an incision in her throat to allow her to breathe and was prohibited to speak in her earliest days of healing. Oral cancers, which include those of the mouth and tongue, are most common in men over 60 with a long history of smoking or chewing tobacco, often combined with heavy drinking. But in recent years, a spike in the incidence of oral cancers is being attributed to human papilloma virus or HPV. But Schulz's cancer was neither HPV-- nor tobacco-related. That puts her in a camp of fewer than 7 percent of all oral cancers that have no identifiable cause, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, an advocacy group based in Newport Beach, Calif. "Surprisingly, a [...]

Science: Beef Good, Bacon Not So Bad

Source: motherjones.comBy: Stephanie MencimerDate: March 18, 2013  Note from OCF: While this story is not directly about oral cancer, we included it in our feed to show how studies often do not produce results that are useful or even accurate, as they may contain a great deal if bias in the study design. Poorly designed studies are plentiful even in reputable journals, from institutions with good reputations.   A new European study claims an increase in processed-meat consumption raises the risk of early death. But the real news? Red meat won't kill you. Earlier this month, researchers announced the results of a big new nutritional study in Europe that seemed to yield more evidence that processed meats like bacon and sausage can lead to an early grave. The media responded with the usual "Death by Salami" headlines. What news outlets downplayed about the study, though, is that despite their best efforts, the EU researchers couldn't find any evidence that red meat will kill you. In fact, the study shows that not eating red meat is a risk factor for an early demise. After correcting some measurement errors, the researchers in Europe had to conclude that not only was red meat intake "no longer associated with mortality" but "all-cause mortality was higher among participants with very low or no red meat consumption." The government, public health advocates, and the American Heart Association have long warned Americans that overconsumption of red meat can lead to heart disease and other ailments. Yet the scientific evidence supporting [...]

2013-03-22T13:01:11-07:00March, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Decoding the oral leukoplakia/oral cancer link

Source: Author: DrBicuspid Staff Is there a direct relationship between oral leukoplakia and tobacco and alcohol consumption? Do all oral leukoplakias lead to oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)? Is it possible to detect premalignant oral leukoplakia? These are some of the questions a recent literature review in Oral Diseases attempted to answer (January 11, 2013). A team of researchers from Italy, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S. did a literary search of Medline/PubMed, Embase, and Best Evidence from January 1966 to June 2012. Search terms included leukoplakia, oral leukoplakia, preneoplastic oral, precancerous oral, oral precancerous, oral dysplasia, oral mucosal lesion, proliferative verrucous leukoplakia, multifocal leukoplakias, tobacco, and alcohol. The searches were designed to help the study authors address four key questions: 1.Do tobacco and alcohol cause oral leukoplakias? 2.What percentage of oral leukoplakias evolve into OSCC? 3.Can practitioners distinguish between premalignant and innocent oral leukoplakias? 4.Is proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL) a specific entity or just a form of multifocal leukoplakia? For the purposes of this study, the term oral leukoplakia was used to recognize "predominantly white plaques of questionable risk, having excluded (other) known diseases or disorders that carry no increased risk of cancer." Tobacco, alcohol, and oral leukoplakia Although oral leukoplakia is generally considered one of the primary clinical precursors of OSCC, "the role of alcohol and smoking in this disorder has never been thoroughly assessed," the researchers wrote. "Existing evidence suggests that tobacco and alcohol could be associated with at least a subset of [oral leukoplakia]." It [...]

Researchers document molecular tumor subtypes of head and neck cancer

Source: Author: Kathy Boltz, PhD Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the seventh most common form of cancer in the United States. However, other than an association with the human papillomavirus (HPV), no validated molecular profile of the disease has been established. By analyzing data from DNA microarrays, a study has confirmed the presence of four molecular classes of the disease. Also, previous results have been extended by suggesting an underlying connection between the molecular classes and observed genomic events, some of which affect cancer genes. This study also demonstrated the clinical relevance of the classes and certain genomic events, paving the way for further studies and possible targeted therapies. "Cancer is a disease caused by alteration in the DNA and RNA molecules of tumors. A cancer results when broken molecules initiate a cascade of abnormal signals that ultimately results in abnormal growth and spread of tissues that should be under tight control within the body,” said Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and of The Cancer Genome Atlas. "However, most common tumors, including head and neck cancer, have relatively little information in the public record as to how these signals coordinate to create different patterns of abnormalities. This study is among the largest ever published to document reproducible molecular tumor subtypes. Subtypes, such as those we describe, represent attractive models to understand and attack cancers for treatment and prognosis." The team analyzed a set of nearly 140 HNSCC [...]

Are combination therapies effective for advanced SCCHN?

Source: Author: DrBicuspid Staff In a recent study, researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center examined whether the addition of multiple drugs to radiation therapy is superior to the current standard of care therapy with one drug and radiation for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Their data, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggests that it does not (March 4, 2013). Standard therapy for SCCHN is a combination of the drug cisplatin and radiotherapy. This clinical trial compared this combination to the combination with the addition of a small-molecule inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) erlotinib. For the study, 204 patients with locally advanced SCCHN were recruited between December 2006 and October 2011. Participants were assigned to receive either cisplatin and radiotherapy or the same chemoradiotherapy with erlotinab. EGFR is a therapeutic target for this type of cancer, and at least one other EGFR is approved for multiple uses in treating head and neck cancer, including in combination with radiation. To date, no data have been published on the use of EGFR inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. The goal of the current study was to determine if adding EGRF inhibition improved efficacy when combined with standard of care radiation. Unfortunately, the researchers found that the addition of EGRF did not improve clinical response rate or progression-free survival. "There has been great enthusiasm and some confusion about the combinations of chemotherapy and biologic therapy such [...]

Go to Top