Breath analysis for effective detection of cancer

Source: Author: Jonathan Edwards By analyzing a breath sample, it seems possible to successfully identify different types of cancer, according to the results of the new study involving researchers from Flinders University. The study was published in the English language journal British Journal of Cancer. Researchers have now made significant progress in developing a breath analysis to detect cancer. The new method has made it possible to effectively identify cancer of the head and neck. Six percent of all cancers worldwide are head and neck cancers, which kill more than 300,000 people every year. Tobacco, alcohol and poor oral hygiene are known major risk factors for this form of cancer. The increase in head and neck cancer is associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) and also affects younger population groups, the research team continued. Current therapies are effective in treating early-stage disease, but such diseases are often detected in the late stages and are often associated with a poorer prognosis and high morbidity. It is therefore important to identify dangerous diseases such as head and neck cancer as quickly as possible. Cancers of the neck and head are widespread The global effort to use a person’s breath analysis for fast, inexpensive and accurate testing for cancer and other early-stage diseases could take a big step forward with the new method. For the study, breath samples were taken from 181 people suspected of having early head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. By examining exhalation profiles, the newly developed method made [...]

Thousands of Britons with deadly mouth cancer will be spared gruelling chemotherapy thanks to immune-boosting drug

Source: Author: Eve Simmons for The Mail on Sunday Thousands of Britons with deadly mouth cancer will now be spared grueling chemotherapy thanks to an immune-boosting drug. The treatment, given the green light by health chiefs last week, offers fresh hope to patients whose cancer has either spread or deemed inoperable. Currently, these patients have two options to prolong their life – chemotherapy and weekly infusions of potent cancer drugs, which often leave patients debilitated and confined to bed for the short time they have left. But now immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab can help some patients with the disease live up to 30 per cent longer than they would with chemotherapy, with 50 per cent fewer side effects. Last week's ruling by UK health watchdog NICE, which was based on the results of final-stage international trials, permits the treatment not only for advanced mouth cancer but also cancers of the nose, sinuses and salivary glands, known collectively as head and neck cancers. Doctors must first test patients' tumours for a protein called PD-L1, which limits the immune system's ability to find and destroy the cancer. Immunotherapy drugs such as pembrolizumab blocks PD-L1, helping the body's fighter cells to attack tumours.The majority of people with advanced head and neck cancer will test positive for PD-L1. Roughly 12,000 Britons are diagnosed with these cancers every year – mostly men over the age of 70. In the majority of cases, head and neck cancers are spotted at a late stage as they are [...]

Oral cancer pain linked to disease spread

Source: Author: Robert Dillard Oral cancer is more likely to spread in patients who experience high levels of pain, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. When oral cancer spreads to lymph nodes in the neck, a patient’s chance of survival is cut by half, the researchers noted. However, it’s often unclear through imaging and physical assessment if oral cancer has spread, leaving surgeons struggling with whether to preemptively perform prophylactic neck dissection to remove the cancer when research shows that up to 70% are unnecessary. Researchers documented the pain experienced by 72 oral cancer patients before surgery by way of an oral cancer pain questionnaire developed by the investigators. While most patients reported some pain, researchers observed that patients with the most pain were more likely to have cancer that spread to lymph nodes in the neck. This observation suggests that patients with less pain are at low risk of metastasis, and will rarely benefit from a neck dissection. “I have been investigating the underlying cause of oral cancer pain for two decades. This is the first time that we have demonstrated a correlation between a patient’s pain and the clinical behavior of the cancer,” said Brian L. Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD, director of the NYU Oral Cancer Center and one of the study’s authors via a press release. Aditi Bhattacharya, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at NYU College of Dentistry added: “While we need to undertake a [...]

With 3 new movies on the horizon, Val Kilmer is an inspiration to anyone facing cancer

Source: Author: staff Val Kilmer, 60, is stepping back into Hollywood in full force. The actor took a hiatus from the red carpet after his battle with throat cancer, but now it’s clear he doesn’t plan to stop again. Kilmer has been recently cast in upcoming biopic Canyon Del Muerto, following the real-life story of Ann Axtell Morris — one of America’s first female archeologists and leading discoverers of North America’s primary civilizations in Arizona. So far, it’s unclear what character Kilmer will be portraying, but we have no doubt he’ll rise to the occasion. He took a hiatus from acting due to his battle with throat cancer a few years back, but now he’s back and taking on new roles. In addition to the biopic, Kilmer is preparing for the long anticipated Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. The film is set to premiere in July 2021, and Kilmer will be reprising his role as iconic Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. Additionally, he’ll be starring alongside his daughter Mercedes in Pay Dirt, set to release in October. It’s so nice to see Kilmer return to the big screen, since before his throat cancer diagnosis, he was known as quite the Hollywood heartthrob. His hiatus from acting is likely due to the side-effects he suffered as a result of his tracheotomy — a surgical procedure that connects the windpipe to a hole in the front of the neck. This is a common part of treatment for throat cancer patients, but [...]

Smell of a person’s breath may help identify early cancers

Source: Author: staff Cancer researchers from Flinders University have reported significant progress in developing a method to test exhaled breath profiles which accurately differentiate head and neck cancer from non-cancer patients. Previous studies elsewhere have indicated that the exhaled breath condensate can reveal gene mutations or DNA abnormalities in patients with lung cancer. The global quest to use a person's breath analysis for rapid, inexpensive and accurate early-stage testing for cancer and other diseases has taken a leap forward. The Australian researchers collected breath samples from 181 patients suspected of having early-stage head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) before any treatment began. "We sought to determine the diagnostic accuracy of breath analysis as a non-invasive test for detecting head and neck cancer, which in time may result in a simple method to improve treatment outcomes and patient morbidity," says lead researchers Dr Roger Yazbek and Associate Professor Eng Ooi. Worldwide, head and neck cancer accounts for 6 percent of all cancers, killing more than 300,000 people per year globally. Tobacco, alcohol and poor oral hygiene are known major risk factors for this cancer. A surge in human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated head and neck cancers is seeing these cancers affecting a much younger population, the researchers say. Current therapies are effective at treating early-stage disease, however late-stage presentations are common, and often associated with poor prognosis and high treatment-related morbidity. In the Australian study, a selected ion flow-tube mass spectrometer was used to analyse breath for volatile organic compounds. [...]

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