Study suggests that experience counts when it comes to head and neck cancer treatments

Source: medicalxpress.comAuthor: staff When it comes to specialized cancer surgery, it's generally true that the more experienced the surgeon, the better the outcome. The same might hold true for radiation therapy used to treat head and neck cancer, according to a new study led by researchers Evan Wuthrick, MD, assistant professor of radiation oncology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James), and Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the OSUCCC - James. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology with an accompanying editorial, the study compared survival and other outcomes in 470 patients treated with radiation therapy at 101 treatment centers through a clinical trial held from 2002 to 2005. The trial was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and organized by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). The findings indicated that patients treated at the less-experienced centers were more likely to have cancer recurrence (62 percent versus 42 percent at five years) and had poorer overall survival compared with those at the highly-experienced centers (51 percent versus 69 percent five-year survival, respectively). "Our findings suggest that institutional experience strongly influences outcomes in patients treated with radiation therapy for head and neck cancer," says Wuthrick, the paper's first author. "They indicate that patients do better when treated at centers where more of these procedures are performed versus centers that do fewer." Radiation therapy for head and neck cancer requires complex treatment planning that can vary considerably [...]

2014-12-09T12:06:48-07:00December, 2014|OCF In The News|

Green Day Guitarist Jason White Diagnosed with Tonsil Cancer

Source: billboard.comAuthor: Jocelyn Vena Send Green Day your well wishes.  The band confirmed on Dec. 5 that guitarist Jason White was recently diagnosed with tonsil cancer. The band shared the news with their fans on their official website. "We have some news to report regarding our brother Jason White, and wanted you to hear it from us before word spread. Jason recently underwent a routine tonsillectomy, and his doctors discovered a treatable form of tonsil cancer," the statement reads. Rolling Stone first posted the statement. "Thankfully they caught it early and he should make a full and speedy recovery. Please join us in sending him love and positive healing vibes during this time." The 41-year-old has been playing with Green Day since the late 90's, serving as the band's touring guitarist. In 2012, with the release of ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tre! he officially became a full-time member of the legendary punk band. He has also worked with lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong on the side project Pinhead Gunpowder.  *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

2014-12-08T18:19:24-07:00December, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

Antacids may improve head and neck cancer survival

Source: Author: Robert Preidt Using antacids to control acid reflux may improve head and neck cancer patients' chances of survival, a new study suggests. The researchers examined the effects that two types of antacids -- proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 blockers -- had on head and neck cancer patients. More than two-thirds of the nearly 600 patients in the study took one or both types of the antacids after their cancer diagnosis. Acid reflux -- commonly known as heartburn -- is a common side effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, according to the researchers. Proton pump inhibitors include drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, while histamine 2 blockers include drugs such as Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid. Compared to patients who didn't take antacids, those who took proton pump inhibitors had a 45 percent lower risk of death, according to the researchers. They also found that those who took histamine 2 blockers had a 33 percent lower risk of death. The study is published in the December issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research. "We had suspicions that these medications somehow had a favorable impact on patient outcomes. This led us to review our large cohort of patients and screen them for common medications, focusing on antacids. In fact, our study did show that people taking antacids are doing better," study author Dr. Silvana Papagerakis, research assistant professor of otolaryngology--head and neck surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a university news release. It's not [...]

2014-12-08T13:22:38-07:00December, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

Red wine: Cancer causing or cancer protective? Researchers say both

Source: Medical News Today Author: David McNamee People who drink red wine have the lowest incidence of cancer caused by alcohol, and researchers think they know why that is. A new study published in the medical journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology explains that while alcohol has cancer causing effects, red wine offers an anti-cancer quality that most other forms of alcohol do not offer. The study was completed by researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. When people first begin to metabolize alcohol, it is converted to acetyl aldehyde, a known carcinogen. “With enough alcohol, the body can get behind and end up with a backlog of acetyl aldehyde,” Dr. Robert Sclafani, the author of the paper, said. As he looked at epidemiological studies of head and neck cancer, he noted that alcohol is a major factor. He explained that when he separated the data into the type of alcohol, it was clear that people who drank red wine seemed to be more protected from cancer. “In red wine, there’s something that’s blocking the cancer-causing effect of alcohol,” Sclafani said. Sclafani believed the resveratrol found in the skin of the grapes used to make red wine removes the most damaged cells from wine drinkers’ bodies. The most heavily damaged cells are also the cells most likely to turn cancerous, according to Medical News Today. “Alcohol bombards your genes,” Sclafani explained. “Your body has ways to repair this damage, but with enough alcohol eventually some damage isn’t fixed. [...]

2019-02-05T12:23:33-07:00December, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

This drug treatment costs $84,000 and the US health-care system can’t make it any more affordable

Source: vox.comAuthor: Sarah Kliff   The first thing Philip Mason noticed was the hair loss. The 73-year-old retiree, a former computer programmer, began shedding hair from his arms, legs, everywhere on his body. "It just all came right off," he said. After the hair loss came weight loss; Mason dropped from 150 to 125 pounds. He felt weak and sick. Mason, who is blind and already used a white cane to get around, began having falls. He switched to a walker for more stability. Mason went to the doctor and discovered he had Hepatitis C. He had contracted the disease through sex with an ex-boyfriend. And when he received his diagnosis three years ago, the prognosis wasn't good. He already had renal insufficiency, a chronic condition in which the kidneys become increasingly weak and unable to process urine. After the diagnosis of Hepatitis C, which weakens liver function, Mason's doctor recommended a transplant. Mason declined. "I told my doctor I was already old, and worried about what my quality of life would be like after the transplant," he said. “I wish I could say I was optimistic that the future would be different, and prices would moderate” So Mason lived with his Hepatitis C, the hair loss, the weight loss, the walker, and the falls, until this past February. That's when his doctor at the Whitman Walker Clinic in Washington, DC, asked if he wanted to try a new Hepatitis C drug called Sovaldi. It had just come on the market a [...]

2014-12-03T12:37:03-07:00December, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

Hookah smoke increases benzene exposure, risk for leukemia

Source: Author: staff Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of mortality worldwide and is responsible for the deaths of 6 million people annually. Hookah smoking, a form of tobacco use that employs a partially filled water jar, has come under scrutiny in a new study, which suggests hookah smokers and non-smokers exposed to the smoke have increased uptake of benzene, a substance linked to increased risk of leukemia. Hookah smokers The study is published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. According to the researchers - led by Nada Kassem, associate director at the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health at San Diego State University in California - the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US National Toxicology Program have classified benzene as a Group 1 carcinogen. WHO further report that benzene is carcinogenic to humans, recommending that there is no safe level of exposure. Hookah smoke, however, is a source of benzene exposure and is, therefore, a risk factor for leukemia. The most popular kind of hookah tobacco is known as Moassel, which is sweetened and flavored tobacco that contains about 30% tobacco fermented with molasses and fruits mixed with glycerin and chemical flavors. Kassem and her colleagues note that in the US in 2013, it was reported that 26.6% of male and 23.2% of female college students have used hookah at some point in time. Alarmingly, 8.1% of male and 6.6% of female middle and high school [...]

2014-11-25T09:36:27-07:00November, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

Study: smoking marijuana found non-carcinogenic

Source: Author: staff Smoking marijuana does not appear to increase the risk of lung cancer or head-and-neck malignancies, even among heavy users, researchers reported here. “We expected that we would find that a history of heavy marijuana use, more than 500 to 1,000 uses, would increase the risk of cancer from several years to decades after exposure to marijuana, said Donald Tashkin, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles. But in fact, they reported at the American Thoracic Society meeting here, marijuana use was associated with cancer risk ratios below 1.0, indicating that a history of pot smoking had no effect on the risk for respiratory cancers. Studies have shown that marijuana contains many compounds that when burned, produce about 50% higher concentrations of some carcinogenic chemicals than tobacco cigarettes. In addition, heavy, habitual marijuana use can produce accelerated malignant change in lung explants, and evidence on bronchial biopsies of pre-malignant histopathologic and molecular changes, Dr. Tashkin said. The investigators had also previously shown that smoking one marijuana cigarette leads to the deposition in the lungs of four times as much tar as smoking a tobacco cigarette containing the same amount of plant material. Marijuana cigarettes are not filtered and are more loosely packed than tobacco, so there’s less filtration of the tar. In addition, pot smokers hold the smoke in their lungs about four times longer than tobacco smokers do, Dr. Tashkin pointed out. For the population-based case-control study, they identified cancer cases among people from [...]

2014-11-25T09:01:35-07:00November, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

ctDNA ‘Liquid Biopsy’ could revolutionize cancer care

Source: Author: Janis C. Kelly Bits of tumor cell somatic DNA shed into the circulation or released when cells die can now be detected and counted, thanks to advances in gene sequencing. This circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is derived from somatic mutations that occur in the tumor during an individual's life, unlike hereditary mutations that are present in every cell in the body, so ctDNA is a specific cancer biomarker that can be detected, measured, and tracked. Monitoring ctDNA is expected to provide clinicians with faster, cheaper, less invasive ways to assess cancer patients' clinical status and response to therapy. ctDNA assay for multiple genes via next-generation sequencing (NGS) might become a "liquid biopsy" alternative to invasive tissue biopsy, experts told Medscape Medical News. However, they also cautioned that rigorous testing of this concept is needed before the test can be used in practice, saying: "for now, we would counsel clinicians not to jump the gun on this. Faster, Cheaper, More Accurate Tumor Tests Paul B. Chapman, MD, a medical oncologist with the Melanoma and Sarcoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Chair of the Medical Advisory Panel at the Melanoma Research Alliance in Washington, DC, said that ctDNA assay is less invasive than biopsy, requires no radiation exposure, is relatively inexpensive, uses fresh DNA not exposed to preservatives, and allows near real-time monitoring of response to treatment. "The beauty of ctDNA monitoring is the speed," Dr Chapman said. "If you are looking [...]

2014-11-19T09:42:11-07:00November, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

Federal goal is set to increase the amount of boys and girls vaccinated against HPV by 2020

Source: www. (Wall Street Caitlin McCabe Public-health officials are pushing for higher HPV vaccination rates amid growing evidence that cancers linked to the virus are afflicting more men. The National Cancer Institute announced recently it is pouring nearly $2.7 million into 18 U.S. cancer centers to boost HPV vaccinations among boys and girls. The cancer centers will work with local health clinics to set recommendations for vaccinating against the sexually transmitted infection, which in some cases can cause cancers in men and women later in life. HPV, or human papillomavirus, was considered a women’s-only issue, after researchers discovered a link between it and cervical cancer in the 1980s.  Now, as cervical-cancer rates are falling and oral-cancer rates in men steadily rise, “the burden of HPV cancer is shifting to men,” said Maura Gillison, a professor in the College of Medicine at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Vaccination rates remain stifled, despite the availability of two vaccines that experts say provide effective coverage against cancer.  The Department of Health and Human Services’ goal is to boost HPV-vaccination rates to 80% by 2020—which is far higher than the 38% of girls and 14% of boys who completed the three-dose HPV vaccine last year, according to data from the National Immunization Survey of teenagers. Pediatricians say boosting those rates can be difficult. Pediatricians may feel uneasy talking to parents of young children about sexually transmitted infections, health experts say, while parents may resist the vaccine because they believe their child isn’t [...]

2014-11-12T11:39:19-07:00November, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

UK researchers improve comfort levels for cancer patients by 3D printing radiotherapy body molds

Source: Author: Bridget Butler Millsaps Cancer patients undergoing brain or head and neck radiotherapy are required to be immobilized, which is certainly not always popular with those undergoing the procedure, who may already be suffering from anxiety. To make things worse, in order to be immobilized completely during the procedure, it is crucial that they are wearing a fitted mold to prevent motion. Having the mold made is a whole process in itself before the procedure can begin. In a recent study produced by the Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, over half of the patients describe the process of having a mold made as ‘horrific.’ Many of them also described the process as ‘uncomfortable.’ Topping that off with molded shells that quite often do not fit appropriately, the anxiety levels are heightened for patients — enough so that researchers centered their study around the creation of molded shells through 3D printing that could be created from data conveniently already existing in the form of a CT scan. The process would increase the comfort level for the patient and save a great deal of time in preparing a molding. Radiotherapy is a type of cancer treatment which uses high-energy rays to zap cancer cells. The procedure has to be precisely aimed directly at specific areas to have effect, and it’s not a procedure anyone wants immediately repeated; therefore, It’s important to have the head shell or molding during radiotherapy because the patient must lie still. The mold or shell holds the [...]

2014-11-12T06:54:21-07:00November, 2014|Oral Cancer News|
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