Robotics surgery may improve outcomes in mouth and throat cancer

Source: Author: E&T editorial staff Robotic surgery may improve the health outcomes in mouth and throat cancer patients, including better long-term survival, new research suggests. The method used for the study focused on oropharyngeal cancer that occurs in the back of the throat and includes the base of the tongue and tonsils. In transoral robotic surgery, a surgeon uses a computer-enhanced system to guide an endoscope – a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it – to provide high-resolution, 3D images of the back of the mouth and throat. Naturally, this is an area that is difficult to reach with conventional tools; therefore, robots can be used during this procedure. Here, two robotically guided instruments, acting as a surgeon’s arms, work around corners to safely remove tumours from surrounding tissue. The observational study, conducted by non-profit Los Angeles hospital Cedars-Sinai, used data from the US National Cancer Database and included 9,745 surgical patients – 2,694 of whom underwent transoral robotic surgery between 2010 and 2015. “At a minimum, robotic surgery for oropharyngeal cancer patients seems safe and effective compared to what’s been the standard of care for many years,” said Zachary S Zumsteg, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai, referring to standard surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The researchers found that the five-year overall survival rate for patients with early-stage disease who underwent robotic surgery was 84.5 per cent, compared with 80.3 per cent for patients who had non-robotic surgery. They adjusted for differences in [...]

Fighting cancer in the pandemic means fighting cancer alone

Source: The Washington Post Date: August 12, 2020 Author: Laura B. Kadetsky   A doctor pointed out to me at a recent appointment that my latest bout with oral cancer tracked the first spikes of the coronavirus pandemic. On that beautiful, cancer-free day in late May, workers chatted over lunch outside the hospital entrance, and I gawked at their carefree togetherness while I hurried by wearing my mask and gloves. It was a world apart from March, when I hastily scheduled a biopsy in case the hospital canceled ENT procedures entirely, and April, when I had the surgery in an abnormally quiet hospital, where coronavirus precautions were expanding daily. In March, horror stories were flooding in, and the threat of the virus hung over everything. Waiting for the biopsy results only heightened that pandemic-induced anxiety: How do you deal with cancer when no one knows what’s safe anymore? Although it felt like the pandemic put most of life on hold, serious health issues don’t wait for a worldwide crisis to end. After I had spent 10 years fighting oral cancer on and off, the cancer was back, and I had to deal with it. At the hospital, which already had covid-19 patients, the danger of infection seemed everywhere. I focused on ways to try to control my risk — maybe because having cancer makes everything else feel squarely out of control. I parked on the street to avoid having a stranger park my car in the hospital garage and contaminate [...]

2020-08-18T10:18:49-07:00August, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

Doctors diagnose advanced cancer—in a dinosaur

Source: Science Mag Date: August 3rd, 2020 Author: Gretchen Vogel   This deformed bone is the first clear example of a malignant tumor diagnosed in a dinosaur. The partial fibula—a bone from the lower leg—belonged to a horned, plant-eating Centrosaurus that lived roughly 76 million years ago in what is now Dinosaur Park in southern Alberta in Canada. Paleontologists initially thought the bone’s strange shape was due to a fracture that hadn’t healed cleanly. But a new study, published today in The Lancet Oncology, compares the internal structure of the fossil (above) with a bone tumor from a human patient to seek a diagnosis. The conclusion: The dinosaur suffered from osteosarcoma, a cancer that, in humans, primarily attacks teens and young adults. The disease causes tumors of immature bone tissue, frequently in the long bones of the leg. This isn’t the first time cancer has been found in fossil remains. Scientists have identified benign tumors in Tyrannosaurus rex fossils and arthritis in duck-billed hadrosaurs, as well as an osteosarcoma in a 240-million-year-old turtle. But the researchers say their study is the first to confirm a dinosaur cancer diagnosis at the cellular level. Scientists, including paleontologists, pathologists, a surgeon, and a radiologist, examined the full fossil with high-resolution computerized tomography scans and examined thin sections under the microscope to evaluate the structure of the cells. They found that the tumor was advanced enough that it had probably plagued the animal for some time. A similar case in a human, left untreated, would likely be fatal, they write. However, [...]

2020-08-12T16:39:58-07:00August, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

JOMS study: For jaw cancer patients, in-house 3D printing allows quicker restoration of teeth

Source: Author: News provided by Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery In-house 3D printing allows patients with malignant disease to more quickly receive immediate tooth restoration – treatment that had been regarded as of low importance for these patients due to the severity of their disease, a new study found. The 3D digital workflow eliminates the wait in providing replacement teeth using the conventional approach and is less costly, according to the study published in the August issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). For the study, 12 patients underwent virtual surgical planning (VSP) for a procedure called free fibula maxillofacial reconstruction, which replaces bone and soft tissues in the face removed to treat cancer with bone and soft tissue from the patient's leg. A dental prosthesis was created for each patient to be placed at reconstruction. For five patients, a dental laboratory made the prostheses. For the other patients, a surgeon designed the prostheses and 3D printed them in-house. Four of the patients who received a prosthesis from the in-house 3D printing had malignant tumors. Researchers found time and cost were less for developing the prostheses in-house than using a dental laboratory. Sending production of a prosthesis to dental laboratories leads to delays in the prosthesis being ready to give to the patient soon after cancer surgery, the study notes. "Such a delay has limited the usefulness of this treatment to benign conditions," [...]

Immunotherapy-resistant cancers eliminated in mouse study

Source: Science Magazine Date: August 11th, 2020 Author/Credit: William Vermi/Martina Molgora Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment by stimulating the patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells, yielding remarkably quick and complete remission in some cases. But such drugs work for less than a quarter of patients because tumors are notoriously adept at evading immune assault. A new study in mice by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that the effects of a standard immunotherapy drug can be enhanced by blocking the protein TREM2, resulting in complete elimination of tumors. The findings, which are published Aug. 11 in the journal Cell, point to a potential new way to unlock the power of immunotherapy for more cancer patients. “Essentially, we have found a new tool to enhance tumor immunotherapy,” said senior author Marco Colonna, MD, the Robert Rock Belliveau, MD, Professor of Pathology. “An antibody against TREM2 alone reduces the growth of certain tumors, and when we combine it with an immunotherapy drug, we see total rejection of the tumor. The nice thing is that some anti-TREM2 antibodies are already in clinical trials for another disease. We have to do more work in animal models to verify these results, but if those work, we’d be able to move into clinical trials fairly easily because there are already a number of antibodies available.” T cells, a kind of immune cell, have the ability to detect and destroy tumor cells. To survive, tumors create a suppressive immune [...]

2020-08-12T16:46:59-07:00August, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

Most parents of unvaccinated teens have no intention of getting HPV vaccine for their kids, study finds

Source: Author: Kasra Zarei, The Philadelphia Inquirer The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been proven to prevent certain types of oral and genital cancers and other health problems. However, in a study published this week in Lancet Public Health, researchers found that more than half of the parents of adolescents who have not received the HPV vaccine had no intention to initiate the vaccine series for their children. Using data from a nationally representative survey of U.S. adolescents, the study authors estimated national-level and state-level parental intent to initiate and complete the HPV vaccine series for their kids. In states including Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah, more than 65 percent of parents of unvaccinated adolescents had no intention to initiate the HPV vaccine series. According to the most recent data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wyoming and Mississippi have the lowest HPV vaccine rates at roughly 50 percent. The new study found of parents of unvaccinated adolescents in these states, almost 62 percent and 57 percent, respectively, did not intend to initiate the HPV vaccine for them. Lack of parental intent to complete the vaccine series was lowest in the District of Columbia, at nearly 11 percent, and Rhode Island, at 20 percent. HPV vaccination is mandated in both regions. In Philadelphia, HPV vaccine coverage is among the highest in the country — roughly 71 percent in 2018, according to CDC data. Still, in Pennsylvania, between 60-65 percent of the parents of unvaccinated [...]

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