Cowboy raises awareness for oral cancer

Source: www.kristv.comAuthor: Annie Sabo In an environment where smokeless and spit tobacco is prevalent, cowboy, Cody Kiser, says he feels like the luckiest guy in the world to represent the Oral Cancer Foundation. He told us, "I just happened to be in a class with a classmate. Their sister works for the oral cancer thing led to another and they said  we've been looking for a cowboy that doesn't smoke or chew and we'd love to be able to work out some kind of deal where we help you out you help us I'm here." Although Cody has not been personally affected by the cancer, he wears a special patch on his shirt to raise awareness for the deadly disease. He said, "I'm very lucky that I haven't had any family members or friends be affected by oral cancer. I've made friends with people that have been now and it's a real eye opener." Since partnering with the oral cancer foundation, he works hard to promote this message: "Be smart don't start...we want to get out to the kids and fans who haven't smoking or chewing yet." Cody says the best part about working for the oral cancer foundation is serving as a role model for children. He told us, "You can be an elite athlete and an amazing cowboy without having to smoke or chew. That's our goal is to get to those kids before they do that. I just want to be a good role model for [...]

2016-04-15T10:41:00-07:00April, 2016|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Merck Says FDA Accepts Its SBLA For Keytruda For Treatment Of Head & Neck Cancer

Source: www.finchannel.comAuthor: Fin Channel News Editorial Staff The FINANCIAL -- Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, on April 13 announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), the company’s anti-PD-1 therapy, for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy. The application is seeking approval for KEYTRUDA as a single agent at a dose of 200 mg administered intravenously every three weeks. The FDA granted Priority Review with a PDUFA, or target action, date of Aug. 9; the sBLA will be reviewed under the FDA’s Accelerated Approval program, according to Merck. “Starting in the early days of our development program, we have explored the role of KEYTRUDA for patients with head and neck cancer, a difficult-to-treat and debilitating disease with very few treatment options,” said Roger Dansey, M.D., senior vice president and therapeutic area head, oncology late-stage development, Merck Research Laboratories. “We are encouraged by the data emerging from our program in this type of cancer, and welcome today’s news as this is an important step toward making KEYTRUDA available to these patients.” Merck currently has the largest immuno-oncology clinical development program in head and neck cancer and is advancing multiple registration-enabling studies with KEYTRUDA as a single agent and in combination with chemotherapy. *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness [...]

2016-04-13T11:58:01-07:00April, 2016|Oral Cancer News|

The burden of cancer isn’t just cancer

Source: Carolyn Y. Johnson Money is low on the list of things most people want to think about after a doctor says the scary word "cancer." And it's not just patients — physicians also want to weigh the best treatment options to rout the cancer, unburdened by financial nitty gritty. But a growing body of evidence suggests that, far from crass, ignoring cost could be harmful to patients' health. In the age of $10,000-a-month cancer drugs and health plans that shift more of the cost of health care onto patients, research suggests we've been underestimating one of cancer's real harms: "financial toxicity." The financial difficulties that stem from dealing with cancer can lead people to avoid or delay care or drugs, studies suggest, and also may cause stress that can lead to mental and physical health problems. "When people are diagnosed, it behooves the provider to assess their financial risk at baseline — to find out if they’re at risk, and if they are, to be very aggressive with getting them to financial planning, to patient assistance programs to reduce their likelihood of having financial devastation," said Scott Ramsey, a health economist and physician at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle who showed in 2013 that people with cancer are 2.65 times more likely to file for bankruptcy than people without cancer. "We think unless you do, it’ll be hard to keep people from ending up in this situation." For years, the evidence has accrued that cancer patients experience greater financial challenges than other groups of sick people. A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found [...]

2016-04-11T10:54:10-07:00April, 2016|Oral Cancer News|

Study supports immunotherapy/radiation combo in head and neck cancer

Source: Author: Laura Panjwani There may be potential synergy between radiation therapy, given with or without chemotherapy, and immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), according to results of a prospective study. The study, which was presented at the the 2016 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium in February 2016, examined blood samples from 16 consecutive patients with SCCHN undergoing curative-intent radiation therapies. Samples were obtained at week 1 and week 6 to 7. Patients received a median of 70 Gy for disease in the oropharynx (n = 12, 75%), nasopharynx (n = 2, 12%), larynx (n = 1, 6%), or oral cavity (n = 1, 6%). The majority of patients had stage IV disease that was metastatic to regional lymph nodes and received concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy. The analysis found that, during radiation treatment, circulating CD8-positive T-effector cells increased (P = .01), as did CD4-positive PD-1–positive cells (P = .02), CD8-positive LAG3-positive cells (P = .02), and regulatory T cells (P = .04). sPD-L1 levels also increased, mirroring increases in CD8-positive T cells over the course of therapy (P = .047). While the extent to which these systemic changes reflect changes in the tumor microenvironment is unknown, the study authors noted that these findings support the “complex immunologic effects of fractionated chemoradiation therapy and mechanisms for potential synergy between chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and immunotherapy in SCCHN.” To learn more about the impact of the research, OncLive spoke to one of the [...]

Forgotten patients: New guidelines help those with head-and-neck cancers

Source: Author: Diane Mapes and Sabrina Richards Stigma, isolation and medical complexity may keep patients from getting all the care they need; recommendations aim to change that. Like many cancer patients, Jennifer Giesel has side effects from treatment. There’s the neuropathy in her hands, a holdover from chemo. There’s jaw stiffness from her multiple surgeries: an emergency intubation when she couldn’t breathe due to the golf ball-sized tumor on her larynx and two follow-up surgeries to remove the cancer. And then there’s hypothyroidism and xerostomia, or dry mouth, a result of the 35 radiation treatments that beat back the cancer but destroyed her salivary glands and thyroid. “I went to my primary care doctor a couple of times and mentioned the side effects,” said the 41-year-old laryngeal cancer patient from Cleveland, who was diagnosed two years ago. “She was great but she didn’t seem too knowledgeable about what I was telling her. She was like, ‘Oh really?’ It was more like she was learning from me.” Patients like Giesel should have an easier time communicating their unique treatment side effects to health care providers with the recent release of new head-and-neck cancer survivorship guidelines. Created by a team of experts in oncology, primary care, dentistry, psychology, speech pathology, physical therapy and rehabilitation (with input from patients and nurses), the guidelines are designed to help primary care physicians and other health practitioners without expertise in head-and-neck cancer better understand the common side effects resulting from its treatment. The goal is [...]

Increased frequency of unknown primary SCC linked to HPV–positive disease

Source: Author: staff The occurrence of HPV–positive unknown primary squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck has significantly increased in recent years, according to the results of a retrospective study. HPV–positive unknown primary squamous cell carcinoma (UPSCC) appeared most prevalent among younger men. UPSCC of the head and neck is comparatively rare, accounting for approximately 4% of squamous cell carcinomas. Trends, frequency and detection rates of UPSCCs have not been studied in the context of HPV tumor status. Carole Fakhry, MD, MPH, associate professor of oncology and otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to observe the frequency of UPSCC over time, and to evaluate the proportion of UPSCCs that are HPV positive. Researchers accessed a case series of 84 patients (mean age, 57.3 years; range, 29-80; 88.1% men) with UPSCC treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital between January 2005 and June 2014. They determined HPV tumor status through p16 immunohistochemical analysis or through high-risk HPV DNA in situ hybridization, when clinically available. The researchers observed an increase in the frequency of UPSCC over time (P for trend = .01). The trend appeared significantly higher during the most recent calendar periods (14 cases during 2005-2008 vs. 39 cases during 2012-2014; P = .03). A total of 90.7% of patients (n = 69) had HPV–positive tumors. These patients appeared more likely to be men (91% vs. 42.9%; P = .005) and younger (56.1 years vs. 67.7 years; P = .002) than [...]

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