Cancer survivor advocating for men’s HPV awareness

Source: The Tampa Tribune ( Mary Shedden | Tribune Staff Published: July 28, 2013    LUKE JOHNSON/STAFF David Hastings, the co-owner of Gulport's Habana Café, has testified in front of Florida legislators and officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since becoming a volunteer patient advocate with the Oral Cancer Foundation.   Seven years ago, David Hastings got the worst news of his life. He had oral cancer, and a grueling series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments would be necessary if he wanted to survive. Undergoing months of the "barbaric" treatment was awful, he said, but so was the knowledge that five different doctors couldn't explain how a 56-year-old with no history of smoking or heavy drinking ended up with such an aggressive cancer. "If something is trying to kill you, don't you want to find out what it is?" the Gulfport accountant and business owner asked over and over. It took months, but Hastings learned his cancer was linked to HPV, the sexually transmitted virus long known for its connection to deadly cervical cancers. The answer was elusive because few scientists at that time were looking at the virus and male cancers, he said. Today, doctors know that about 5,600 cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year are tied to the human papillomavirus, a number increasing at a rate faster than that of tobacco- or alcohol-related oral cancers. That's likely because more hospitals and cancer centers, including Moffitt Cancer Center, are able to test for the male [...]

2013-07-30T15:44:15-07:00July, 2013|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Study shows wide variation in head and neck cancer care

Source: Author: staff Just three in every hundred head and neck cancer patients in England receive the ideal standard of care, according to a new study. The National Head and Neck Cancer Audit found wide variations in care, with just 3.1 per cent of patients receiving every element of care deemed important by experts. Sara Osborne, head of policy at Cancer Research UK, said it was "disappointing" to see such variation in care for patients with head and neck cancers. But the figures also show there has been an improvement in survival rates among head and neck cancer patients over the last two years, despite variations in care. The Ideal Patient Pathway contains seven elements of "holistic and integrated care" such as nutritional, speech and language and dental assessments and chest scans or x-rays before surgery. It also involves people's disease being discussed by a multi-disciplinary team including specialist surgeons, oncologists, speech therapists and nursing staff. Researchers examined data submitted by all head and neck cancer teams in England and Wales, relating to the care of 8,100 patients between November 2011 and October 2012. They found that the largest group of patients (24.7 per cent) received three elements of the Ideal Patient Pathway, with some aspects delivered more consistently than others. For example, 96.4 per cent of surgical head and neck cancer patients had their case discussed by a multi-disciplinary team, but just 18.8 per cent had an assessment with a speech and language therapist before surgery. The findings [...]

Vitamin E may have adverse effect in head and neck cancer

Source: Author: Robert Cervin According to a clinical trial, vitamin E supplements may increase the risk of a secondary tumor in those with head and neck cancer. Previous studies have suggested that a low dietary intake of antioxidants such as vitamins E and C might be linked to an increased risk of cancer. But there is no clear evidence that taking supplements decreases the risk. Researchers in Quebec, Canada, report on a trial of vitamin E and beta-carotene, which is related to vitamin A, in patients with head and neck cancer. The patients took either supplements or placebo during radiation therapy and afterwards. The beta-carotene was stopped after a year, because a trial showed that those taking it who also smoked had an increased risk of getting lung cancer. The current trial showed that those on vitamin E were at increased risk of developing a second cancer while they were on the supplement, compared to those on placebo. But their risk was lower once the supplements had stopped. Overall, there was no difference between the two groups after eight years. These patients were at high risk anyway, so it is not really clear whether the results can be generalized to the whole population. There is clearly more research to be done before we can be clear whether vitamins can help in the fight against cancer.

News on cancer breakthroughs: Curb your enthusiasm

By: Christopher Johnson, MDSource: KevinMD.comDate: July 20, 2013  Hardly a day goes by when some news outlet does not report, often breathlessly, some new breakthrough in cancer research. We need to turn a skeptical eye on most of these reports, particularly those that contain information about very preliminary research findings. The always astute Gary Schweitzer gives a good perspective on this in his; it’s a good site to bookmark if you follow the medical news. The key thing to remember is that many, many substances have been found to attack and kill cancer cells in the laboratory. The cartoon above, from the wonderful site xkcd, illustrates the problem. This is generally how promising anti-cancer agents are first identified: we test them against cancer cells growing in a dish. These are called in vitro (“in glass”) studies. But once a potential cancer treatment is found there is a long way to go. First of all, can the concentrations of the agent that showed cancer-killing activity in the dish be safely achieved in the body? And, if they can, does the agent still show that ability in the incredibly complex system of the body? Often such in vivo (“in life”) studies are first done in experimental animals before they are tried in humans. The testing process in humans is long and complicated. By convention it is divided into several phases. These are worth knowing about because the media will often enthusiastically report results from phase I trials, which represent very preliminary [...]

2013-07-22T12:19:54-07:00July, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

HPV vaccine might shield women against throat cancer

Source: Author: staff Young women who are vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) not only protect themselves from cervical cancer, but from throat cancer as well, a new study suggests. Many of the increasing number of throat cancers, seen mostly in developed countries, are caused by HPV infection and the HPV vaccine might prevent many of these cancers, the researchers say. "We found the women who had the HPV vaccine had much less infection than the women who hadn't," said lead researcher Dr. Rolando Herrero, at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. "In fact, there was a 90 percent reduction in the prevalence of HPV infection in the women who received the vaccine compared to the women who had not," he said. HPV infection is strongly associated with cancer of the oral cavity, Herrero noted. "We think that it is possible that the prevention of the infection will also lead to the prevention of these cancers," he explained. The HPV vaccine has enormous benefit, said Herrero, "because of the cervical cancer prevention and the anal cancer prevention, and it can even prevent infections in their sexual partners." Herrero said boys, too, should be vaccinated to protect them from oral cancers. Oral cancer is much more prevalent among men than in women, he pointed out. A 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that in the United States, HPV-positive oral cancers increased from 16 percent of all oral cancers in the 1980s to 70 [...]

Study: A third of throat cancers linked to HPV infection

Source: Author: staff Human papillomavirus, the major cause of cervical cancer, also infects a third of throat cancer patients, U.S. and British researchers say. Aimee R. Kreimer of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and Ruth C. Travis of University of Oxford, and numerous colleagues in several countries identified 638 study participants. Of the study participants, 180 had oral cancers, 135 oropharynx cancers - part of the pharynx - 247 hypopharynx/larynx cancers and 300 patients had esophageal cancers. The study also involved 1,599 controls. There are more than 100 types of HPV and most people recover easily but two strains -- HPV-16 and HPV-18 -- cause most cervical and oral cancers. Pre-diagnostic plasma samples from patients were collected, on average, six years before diagnosis. Control participants were analyzed for antibodies against multiple proteins of HPV16 as well as HPV6, HPV11, HPV18, HPV31, HPV33, HPV45 and HPV52. At the end of the study period the researchers checked for the presence of antibodies to one of HPV's key proteins, known as E6. The protein disables the cells' protection system that prevents cancer, but detecting the antibodies indicates HPV overcame the defenses. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found 34.8 of those with throat cancer had the antibodies, compared with 0.6 percent of those who were cancer-free. The findings indicated HPV-16 infection might be a significant cause of oropharyngeal cancer, in the middle part of the pharynx, behind the mouth, and includes the back [...]

HPV Vaccine Found to Help with Cancers of Throat

Source: NY Times By: Donald G. McNeil Jr. A vaccine that protects women against cervical cancer also appears to protect them against throat cancers caused by oral sex, and presumably would protect men as well, according to a study released Thursday. Rates of this throat cancer have soared in the past 30 years, particularly among heterosexual middle-aged men. About 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers are now caused by sexually transmitted viruses, up from 16 percent in the 1980s. The epidemic made headlines last month when the actor Michael Douglas told a British newspaper that his throat cancer had come from performing oral sex. Oncologists have assumed that the human papillomavirus vaccine, which is used to prevent cervical cancer, would also prevent this other type of cancer, but this was the first study to provide evidence. “This is a very nice paper,” said Dr. Marshall R. Posner, medical director for head and neck cancer at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who was not involved in the study. “We expected this — that’s why we want everyone to vaccinate both boys and girls. But there’s been no proof.” The study, supported by the National Cancer Institute, found that Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, provided 93 percent protection against infection with the two types of human papillomavirus that cause most of the cancers. “We were surprised at how big the effect was,” said Dr. Rolando Herrero, head of prevention for the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the [...]

2013-07-19T11:20:48-07:00July, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Leaders in Dentistry: Dr. Ezra Cohen

Source: Dr. Bicuspid By: Donna Domino, Features Editor Date: July 17, 2013 May 21, 2013 — is pleased to present the next installment of Leaders in Dentistry, a series of interviews with researchers, practitioners, and opinion leaders who are influencing the practice of dentistry. We spoke with Ezra Cohen, MD, an associate professor of medicine and the co-director of the head and neck cancer program at the University of Chicago, and the associate director for education at the university’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Cohen specializes in head and neck, thyroid, and salivary gland cancers, and is an expert in novel cancer therapies who has conducted extensive research in molecularly targeted agents in the treatment of these cancers. His research interests include discovering how cancers become resistant to existing treatments and overcoming these mechanisms and ways to combine radiotherapy with novel agents. Here Dr. Cohen discusses trends in the incidence, detection, and treatment of oral and head and neck cancers. What’s the significance of your recent finding that there may be five distinct subgroups of the human papillomavirus (HPV)? Dr. Cohen: The purpose of the research was trying to define molecular subgroups of head and neck cancer (HNC) to inform therapy and outcomes a lot more than we do now as defined by stage and anatomic site. We were taking advantage of a cohort of patients that we treated in a similar fashion at the University of Chicago with a chemotherapy regimen that we commonly use here. The patients [...]

2013-07-19T07:48:02-07:00July, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Living with the long-term consequences of cancer treatment

There are 400,000 people alive up to 20 years after diagnosis. But not all return to full health once treatment is over, and they need support. By: Lesley Smith Source: Date: Tuesday 16 July 2013 05.00 EDT ‘GPs must be better equipped to monitor and recognise the potential long-term consequences of cancer treatment.’ Photograph: LWA-Dann Tardif/CORBIS The cancer story is changing. What was once feared as a death sentence is now an illness that many people survive. As survival rates increase, so too will the number of people living with the legacy of cancer and its treatment. Last month Macmillan Cancer Support revealed that by 2020 almost half of the population in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. This has risen by more than a third in the past 20 years due to the improvement in overall life expectancy. While the number of people getting cancer is rising, there is also good news. Improvements in when the disease is diagnosed and the kinds of treatment and care available mean more people are surviving cancer than ever before. In England alone, there are currently 400,000 people alive 10 to 20 years after they were diagnosed with cancer, according to research by Macmillan and the National Cancer Intelligence Network. Unfortunately, not all cancer patients return to full health once their treatment is over. Some are left with debilitating health problems as a direct result of their cancer and its treatment, and these people often [...]

2013-07-19T07:36:10-07:00July, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Researchers find overactive protein among mouth cancer patients

Source: Author: B.S. Akshaya An overactive protein in mouth cancer encourages tumours to grow fast and scientists claim that the protein will help them to find an effective treatment for the disease. Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered FRMD4A, a protein that is overactive among mouth cancer patients. They claim that just deactivating the protein will help save many lives. A study conducted on mice revealed that when FRMD4A protein is turned on, it helps the cancer cells to group and stick together, but when the protein is deactivated the stickiness of the cell is lost and ultimately it causes cancer cells to die. Scientists have already found some potential drugs that could help them deactivate the protein. “What’s really exciting about this research is that we already have potential drugs that can be used to target this protein or compensate for the effects that it is having,” said Dr Stephen Goldie, researcher at Cancer Research UK, in a statement. “These drugs could offer new options to patients where surgery and chemotherapy have not worked or could be used alongside them. We now need to start trials with these treatments, but we hope this could make a real difference to people with mouth cancer in the future,” he added. Mouth cancer starts anywhere in the oral cavity area like in the cheek lining area, the floor of the mouth, gums or the roof of the mouth (palate). Symptoms of this cancer are chewing problems, mouth sores, speech difficulty, swallowing [...]

2013-07-19T07:41:38-07:00July, 2013|Oral Cancer News|
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