Researchers discover genetic fingerprint of HPV virus in some head and neck cancers

Author: StaffSource: cancerreasearchuk.orgA large US study(link is external) has pinpointed genetic errors that mark out head and neck cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). If confirmed in further studies this could be used to develop potential new treatments. Head and neck cancers include tumours of the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, larynx, salivary gland among other tissues and organs. Some are linked to tobacco or alcohol use, while others are caused by infection with HPV, more commonly associated with cervical cancers. Rates of HPV-linked head and neck cancers are on the increase. The US study, published in the journal Nature, was carried out as part of The Cancer Genome Atla (TCGA) project. Using cutting-edge DNA analysis, the team found several similarities between the DNA from head and neck tumour cells and other cancer types - as well as new subtypes of smoking-related head and neck cancer. The US team studied samples from 279 head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) from untreated patients, around eight in 10 of whom were smokers. Most of the samples were oral cavity cancers and larynx cancers (61 per cent and 26 per cent respectively). The researchers found that specific alterations in genes called FGFR3 and PIK3CA – which produce important protein molecules that help cells grow – were common in many patients with HPV-related cancers. These genes are also present in a wider set of faults found in smoking-related tumours. But faults in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, which produces another important growth molecule, were rare among HPV-positive cancers, despite being frequently [...]

2015-01-30T10:22:47-07:00January, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

How Anti-Vaxxers Ruined Disneyland for Themselves (and everyone else)

Source: io9.comAuthor: Robbie Gonzalaz "The Happiest Place On Earth" is ground zero for a recent measles outbreak centered in California. Now, unvaccinated people are being warned to avoid visiting Disneyland parks. No Infants In Disneyland There are now 67 confirmed cases of measles in an ongoing outbreak centered in California. According to the California Department of Public Health, 59 of the cases are in-state. Among the 34 California patients for whom vaccination status is known, 28 were unvaccinated and one had received partial vaccination. Only five were fully vaccinated. Forty-two of the California cases have been linked to an initial exposure at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park, and while cases were originally tied to people who visited the park in mid-December, state health officials now note other cases visited Disney parks in January. According to the CDC, the majority of measles cases reported so far during 2015 have been part of the "large, ongoing outbreak" connected with these parks. Last year, there were 644 measles cases documented in 27 states – the biggest annual numberin close to a quarter century. For those hoping to avoid seeing similar infection rates in 2015, the year is off to an inauspicious start. Unvaccinated people are now being warned to avoid visiting Disneyland parks. The reasoning is simple: Most people who get measles are unvaccinated, and the disease spreads easiest when when it reaches a community where large groups of people are unvaccinated. Limiting the number of unvaccinated people in the park therefore not only protects them from themselves, it protects [...]

2015-01-26T17:52:27-07:00January, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Inherited factors linked to head and neck cancers in young adults

Source: Author: Oxford University Press An article published online today in the International Journal of Epidemiology pools data from 25 case-control studies and conducts separate analyses to show that head and neck cancers (HNC) in young adults are more likely to be as a result of inherited factors, rather than lifestyle factors such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Approximately 550,000 new cases of HNC are diagnosed worldwide annually, with an increased incidence in young adults (YA) also being reported. In particular, reports indicate an increase in tumours affecting the tongue and oropharynx among young adults in Europe, the United States, India, and China. Dr Tatiana Natasha Toporcov and colleagues pooled data from 25 studies from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium to compare the role of major risk factors and family history in HNC for YA (45 years of age or younger) and older adults (over 45 years of age). Participants were surveyed about their history of cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and diet, as well as family history of cancer. In total, there were 2,010 cases and 4,042 controls in YA, and 17,700 cases and 22,704 controls in older adults. The attributable fraction (an estimate of the proportion of cases which could be avoided if the exposures were eliminated) for smoking on the risk of HNC was 20% in young women, 49% in older women, 46% in young men, and 64% in older men. The attributable fraction for drinking alcohol on the risk of HNC was [...]

Keratinization may be prognostic in certain head and neck cancers

Source: Author: T. Cooper Keratinization may be prognostic for patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, according to results of a retrospective, cross-sectional study. The greatest prognostic value may be among patients who have p16-negative and nonbasaloid tumors, as well as those who are smokers, results showed. Keratinization may result histologically following hematoxylin-eosin staining that is associated with adverse outcomes in head and neck cancers, particularly oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma. Hadi Seikaly, MD, FRCSC, professor of surgery and divisional director and zone section head for otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at the University of Alberta, and colleagues assessed the prognostic value of keratinization in a large cohort of patients. Subgroup analyses evaluated results based on p16 status, basaloid differentiation and smoking status. The researchers used a prospectively collected database to identify 208 patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed and treated at a single tertiary cancer center between 2002 and 2009. The mean age of the patients was 58.4 years (range, 32-95 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 3.4 to 1. The analysis included 146 smokers, 59 nonsmokers and three participants for whom smoking data were not available. Tissue microarrays were generated from each patient’s specimens stained with hematoxylin-eosin and immunohistochemical markers. Each image was scored for the presence of keratinization and/or basaloid differentiation, as well as p16 status. Five-year disease-specific survival based on keratinization served as the primary outcome measure. Of the 208 samples, 112 were nonkeratinizing. The 96 patients with keratinizing samples were more likely to [...]

Why the “Cancer Due to Bad Luck” Story Needs Revising

Source: medscape.comAuthor: Zosia Chustecka  UPDATED January 16, 2015 // There has been quite a backlash to the recent news that many cancers are due to "bad luck" of random mutations, which was proclaimed in headlines around the world, and based on a report published in the January 2 issue of Science. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization's specialized cancer agency, put out a press release to say that it "strongly disagrees with the conclusion," and warning that the message could harm cancer research and public health. "We already knew that for an individual to develop a certain cancer there is an element of chance, yet this has little to say about the level of cancer risk in a population," explained IARC director Christopher Wild, PhD. "Concluding that 'bad luck' is the major cause of cancer would be misleading and may detract from efforts to identify the causes of the disease and effectively prevent it." As previously reported by Medscape Medical News, the researchers, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, reported that in about two-thirds (22 of the 31) of cancer tissue types they had investigated, the cancer could be largely explained by the bad luck of random mutations that arise during DNA replication in normal noncancerous stem cells. However, many of the news stories reported a distorting simplification of the findings, and stated that two-thirds of all cancers are due to bad luck. There has been fierce criticism of the way that the media reported the story, but an expert argues that journalists were [...]

2015-01-20T11:45:10-07:00January, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Patients undergoing radiation therapy benefit from animal assisted therapy

Source: Author: staff According to a recent study published in the Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology, therapy dogs can help improve the emotional state of some cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. The study, developed by Mount Sinai Beth Israel researchers, found that cancer patients who are undergoing intensive multi-modal concomitant radiation therapy together with chemotherapy for gastrointestinal, head and neck cancers, benefited from therapy dog’s visits in terms of their emotional well-being and life quality, even during therapy phases where physical decline was more pronounced. This research was funded by The Good Dog Foundation, a provider of professionally trained therapy dogs, Zoetis, an animal health company and the Pfizer Foundation. “This study is the first such definitive study in cancer, and it highlights the merits of animal- assisted visits using the same scientific standards as we hold for the cancer treatment itself. It shows the importance of an innovative environmental intervention during cancer treatment,” Stewart B. Fleishman, MD, principal investigator and Founding Director of Cancer Supportive Services at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, said in a news release. “Having an animal-assisted visit significantly improved their quality of life and ‘humanized’ a high-tech treatment,” he said. “Patients said they would have stopped their treatments before completion, except for the presence of the certified Good Dog Foundation therapy dog and volunteer handler.” “Thanks to this rigorously designed study, we now have strong evidence that pet therapy is an effective tool to help cancer patients get through challenging treatments,” added Gabriel A. [...]

Kramer: Our cancer risk is not written in the stars

Source: Author: Matthew Ong, reporter with The Cancer Letter The stochastic process of stem cell divisions should not be equated with bad luck, said Barnett Kramer, director of the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention, focusing on misinterpretations of the “Bad Luck” paper by Cristian Tomasetti and Bert Vogelstein, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Kramer spoke with Matthew Ong, a reporter with The Cancer Letter. Matthew Ong: What was your overall impression of the Tomasetti and Vogelstein paper? Barnett Kramer: I found the paper interesting. What they did was they didn’t generate any new experimental evidence, obviously. They searched the literature for reports on numbers of stem cells and number of divisions of the stem cells. They used well-accepted concepts that the risk of mutations or number of mutations are relatively constant for a given cell division—in statistical terms, a stochastic process—that is, any given division, you don’t know which gene is going to mutate, but for every given division, you can predict, relatively accurately, how many mutations are going to occur in the division. You just don’t know which cell it’s going to happen to. But if you have enough cells, then a statistical analysis of this stochastic process gives you, generally, a pretty good idea of how many mutations there are, and the number of mutations to be a risk factor for cancer. MO: What were the authors trying to achieve in their analysis? MK: They took well-known concepts, went to the literature, looked for the number [...]

Five game changers: will they alter the course of dental hygiene treatment?

Source: Author: Karen Davis, RDH, BSDH With the beginning of a new year, clinicians may be wondering what new technologies or services they should consider. As I reflected on this, it led me to consider what has the potential to become game changers for dental hygienists. I immediately considered the integration of laser technology, sharpen-free instruments, ergonomic operator chairs, CAMBRA, adjunctive devices for caries detection, and oral cancer screenings. Within minutes, I had a list of about 25 technologies and services that have completely altered how I practice dental hygiene from the day I started in 1979. So I decided to feature a few technologies I believe are underutilized or, in a few cases, even unknown by clinicians who have the potential to substantially alter patient care. Automated and unassisted periodontal charting In the world of dental hygiene, having another person enter data into the computer or record periodontal data is either a luxury or is uncommon. Dental hygienists everywhere seem caught in the time trap of laboriously entering the data or, in many cases, settling for spot probing and incomplete data collection. But automated technologies to collect and enter the data unassisted have been available to dental hygienists for decades, and when integrated, have the potential to help diagnose periodontal diseases in the earliest possible stages. Dental R.A.T. (Remote Assisted Technology) is a foot-operated device that enables the clinician to enter periodontal data unassisted using hand-eye-foot coordination. It integrates to major software programs, automatically entering the data into [...]

Why the FDA Needs to Start Regulating Lab Tests

Source: modernhealthcare.comAuthor: Merrill Goozner The Food and Drug Administration's proposal to regulate the accuracy of laboratory-developed tests has drawn heated opposition from the laboratory testing industry, hospitals and most medical specialty societies. Only oncologists favor tighter oversight.It's not just cancer docs who should be concerned. We're entering a new era where there will be much more genetic testing. Higher standards are necessary. Since 1988, routine laboratory tests performed inside labs have come under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, which has largely exempted them from FDA oversight. Only if a company sold test kits to hospitals or physician offices did the FDA regulate them as medical devices, with attendant performance and manufacturing standards.Until recently, this didn't present much of a problem. Most lab tests are fairly routine—testing blood for cholesterol, sugar or sodium, for instance. A robust industry dominated by large national companies like LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics and ARUP Laboratories provides a market-based solution for ensuring those tests are affordable and high quality. Hospitals and physician offices that conduct their own in-house tests benefit from the exemption, too. Some large institutions that operate their own labs save money because of their economies of scale. Major academic medical center labs operating under CLIA also play a leading role in developing new tests for rare or hard-to-treat conditions.But in recent years, there has been a proliferation of new tests based on genetic information that are being marketed by independent firms making claims that have not been validated by clinical trials or other scientific methods. They claim to show a person's propensity [...]

2015-01-12T12:03:39-07:00January, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Study finds Oral HPV Infection Lasts Longer in Older Men

Author: StaffSource: FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- One type of oral HPV (human papillomavirus) infection, HPV16, seems to last a year or longer in men over the age of 45 than it does in younger men, new research indicates. HPV16 is the form of HPV often associated with the onset of head and neck cancers (oropharyngeal), the study team noted. "Oral HPV16 is the HPV type most commonly found in HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancers, which have been increasing in incidence recently in the United States," said study author Christine Pierce Campbell in a American Association for Cancer Research news release. She is an assistant member in the department of Cancer Epidemiology and Center for Infection Research in Cancer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla. "We don't know how long oral HPV infection must persist to increase risk for head and neck cancer," she added, "but we assume it would be similar to cervical infection, where it is generally believed that infections persisting beyond two years greatly increase the risk of developing cervical cancer." The study was released online on Jan. 9 in Cancer Prevention Research. The researchers analyzed four years of samples from more than 1,600 men. The samples were collected every six months. During the study, 23 men had two or more positive oral HPV16 samples. Of these, 10 had HPV16 when the study began. In the group that had HPV16 at the start of the study, nine had infections that lasted a year or more. Additionally, [...]

2015-01-12T11:22:24-07:00January, 2015|Oral Cancer News|
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