Head and neck cancer cells hijack nearby healthy tissue, promoting further invasion of cancer cells

Source: www.eurekalert.org Author: University of Michigan news release Up to half of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma will experience tumor recurrence or new tumors--tumors that often spread and are difficult to treat. A team of scientists led by the University of Michigan School of Dentistry identified a mechanism by which head and neck cancer cells subvert adjacent normal tissue, allowing small clusters of cancer cells to burrow beneath the healthy tissue. The team decided to look at this particular mechanism in head and neck cancer because a specific gene, DMBT1, appeared on a screen of genes that are silenced during oral cancer, said principal investigator Nisha D'Silva, the Donald A. Kerr Endowed Collegiate Professor of Oral Pathology. Researchers from the D'Silva lab found that when DMBT1 was suppressed in head and neck cancer cells, it promoted aggressive invasion and metastasis in laboratory studies and was associated with metastasis in patients. They also found that two proteins secreted by head and neck cancer cells suppress DMBT1 in nearby healthy tissue, subverting it to promote invasion of a small amount of cancer cells, which burrow under healthy tissue. Researchers looked at this mechanism in mice, chick embryos and cultures of human cancer cells. "In the chick embryos, none of the tumors that overexpressed DMBT1 metastasized, whereas most of the control tumors that had low DMBT1 metastasized", D'Silva said. "The importance of this paper is that loss of DMBT1 in cancer cells and adjacent normal tissue benefits cancer cells, allowing [...]

Chemical changes to peptide siRNA-carrier enhance gene silencing for future cancer drugs

Source: web.musc.edu Author: Caroline Wallace MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researchers are exploring the use of peptide carriers for the delivery of small RNA drugs as a novel treatment for cancer. The team’s recent work, published online March 19 in the Molecular Therapy — Nucleic Acids journal, lays the foundation for developing a clinically relevant peptide carrier RNAi-based drug treatment strategy for human oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the estimated risk of developing oral cancer in the U.S. is 1 in 60 for men and 1 in 140 for women. Cancer therapies face multiple challenges, including off-target side effects and low efficacy. RNAi-based therapeutics have great potential to overcome these specific treatment challenges. Andrew Jakymiw, Ph.D., who is also an associate professor in the Oral Health Sciences Department at MUSC, focuses on the study of RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapies for oral cancer. RNAi is a method of gene silencing that specifically targets, or tags, messenger RNA (mRNA) for degradation. mRNA contains the genetic code needed to make proteins. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) are the pieces of RNA that can bind to specific regions on mRNA that stop proteins from being made. Scientists are figuring out how to use this to target and silence disease-causing genes. Decades of research have shown that certain proteins are overexpressed in cancer and drive cancer cell growth. The goal of the RNAi drug treatment strategy is to “turn off” the proteins that promote cancer development. Jakymiw said that although the principle is biologically [...]

Henderson throat cancer patient rallies after cutting-edge treatment

Source: www.reviewjournal.com Author: Mary Hynes, Las Vegas Review-Journal In February, a cancerous tumor caused extreme swelling in Ruben Solis’ neck and face, blocking his airway. After an emergency tracheotomy, an incision to his windpipe that allowed him to breathe, Solis had to decide whether he wanted to enter a clinical trial to receive an experimental treatment. The 54-year-old Henderson resident was skeptical. But with stage 4 laryngeal cancer that had spread to his lungs, he was running out of options. Three months later, after three treatments, the tumors in his throat and lungs have dramatically shrunk and the swelling subsided. “I feel much better,” Solis said Monday. The father and grandfather, who worked in banquets and as a food and beverage manager on the Strip before falling ill, is the first person in the world to receive a combination of two experimental drugs, Enoblituzumab and Retifanlimab, as part of a new clinical trial for head and neck cancer, according to Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, the local site participating in the global study. Solis and his oncologist, Dr. Anthony Nguyen, spoke with reporters prior to the patient receiving his fourth infusion of the two drugs. The treatment is a new form of immunotherapy, which boosts the body’s immune system to combat the cancer. “So his immune system is actually being manipulated, turned on, to actually fight the cancer from inside,” Nguyen said. In this way it is different from traditional chemotherapy. “When we think of chemotherapy and cancer medicine, we [...]

Head and neck cancer patients paying tens of thousands for unnecessary imaging and radiologist reads

Source: radiologybusiness.com Author: Marty Stempniak Head and neck cancer patients are paying tens of thousands of dollars for unnecessary imaging surveillance and radiologist professional charges, according to a new single-center analysis published Thursday. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends follow-up imaging within six months after treatment for the disease, with further scans necessary only if patients show any signs of recurrence. Yet, providers often subject asymptomatic individuals to repeated rounds of costly imaging anyway, experts noted in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. Wanting to understand this concern at their own institution, NorthShore University HealthSystem looked to the data. Across 136 patients treated for head and neck cancer, the average individual received 14 imaging studies during a surveillance period of 3.2 years at an average cost of $36,800. Patients who lacked any symptoms received four imaging exams each year at an annual cost of $9,600, the authors concluded. Only 10.3% of patients developed a recurrence. “One could argue that such examinations were unnecessary and clearly not cost-effective,” Cheryl Nocon, MD, an otolaryngologist who worked with NorthShore at the time of the study but now practices in Los Angeles, and co-authors wrote May 13. “The amount of money spent on imaging in patients who ultimately proved to be disease free is substantial and should be carefully considered in the context of the current healthcare financial setting.” The Evanston, Illinois-based hospital system certainly isn’t alone. One recent study pegged annual U.S. spending on head and neck cancers at $4.2 billion, with per-individual expenditures [...]

New therapy shortens treatment for HPV-related cancers of the tonsils, tongue

Source: medicalxpress.com Author: From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network Patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer who undergo surgery and are treated with chemotherapy, may be able to forgo significant radiation therapy without increasing the risk of their cancer spreading, according to the results of a clinical trial led by researchers at Mayo Clinic. "We found that decreasing the amount of radiation therapy after a minimally invasive robotic surgery improved the quality of life of patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer while delivering excellent cure rates," says Dr. Eric Moore, a Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist. "In essence, we found exactly the right amount of treatment to deliver without over-treating these patients." Dr. Moore and his colleagues compared 79 patients treated at Mayo Clinic for HPV-related tonsil and tongue cancer with surgery and two weeks of radiation therapy to a group of 115 patients with the same cancer who were treated with surgery, and the standard six weeks of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Dr. Moore and his colleagues found no decrease in survival or cancer recurrence in the group that received two weeks of radiation therapy, compared to the group that received six weeks of radiation therapy. He says that by decreasing the amount of radiation therapy after minimally invasive robotic surgery, physicians were able to improve the quality of life of patients and achieve excellent cure rates. "In essence, we found exactly the right amount of treatment to deliver without overtreating," says Dr. Moore. Dr. Moore says Mayo Clinic now offers [...]

HPV vaccine leads to more than 80% drop in infections: What parents need to know

Source: Good Morning, America Date: April 2nd, 2021 Author: Katie Kindelan   A new study has shown the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine, and found a dramatic decline in human papillomavirus infections in both vaccinated and unvaccinated teen girls and young women in the United States. "This study shows that the vaccine works very well against a common virus, HPV," Dr. Hannah Rosenblum, lead author of the study and medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told "Good Morning America." "HPV can cause serious health problems later in life, including some cancers in both women and men," she said. "HPV vaccination is cancer prevention -- by vaccinating children at age 11 or 12, we can protect them from developing cancers later in life." HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and can cause health problems like genital warts in addition to cancer, which are most commonly cervical cancer in women and throat cancer in men, according to the CDC. The HPV vaccine was first authorized in the U.S. for females in 2006, and for males in 2011. There has since been a more than 80% decline in HPV infections nationally, according to the CDC study. The newly-released data from the CDC shows an 88% decrease in HPV infections among 14 to 19-year-old females and an 81% decrease among 20 to 24-year-old females. There has also been a drop in unvaccinated females, according to Rosenblum, who warned that does not mean people [...]

2021-05-11T10:31:22-07:00May, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

New saliva oral and throat cancer diagnosis test receives FDA approval

Source: medicalxpress.com Author: Rose Trapnell, Queensland University of Technology A QUT researcher's identification of saliva as an early detection liquid biopsy for oral and throat cancer has been realized by the development and commercialization of a diagnostic device by US-based biotech company Viome. Viome's early detection device has been designated a Breakthrough Device by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. QUT Associate Professor Chamindie Punyadeera has spent a decade researching the possibility of saliva being the optimum diagnostic liquid for the early detection of oral and throat cancer. Professor Punyadeera was driven to this field of research after her young brother-in-law passed away within six months of being diagnosed with oral cancer. Her systematic collection of saliva samples from oral and throat cancer patients, establishment of saliva collection and optimisation protocols, identification of a key unmet-clinical need and work with clinicians provided the foundations for the commercialisation of the new device. "This test could save many lives because until now early-stage oral cancer has been hard to detect because effective diagnostic tools have not been available," Professor Punyadeera said. "This has led to late diagnosis, a poor prognosis and low survival rates." Professor Punyadeera said the risk of oral cancer increased with age and increased more rapidly after the age of 50. "The salivary metatranscriptome as an accurate diagnostic indicator of oral cancer" has been accepted for publication in npj Genomic Medicine.

How Big Pharma Finds Sick Users on Facebook

Source: The MarkUp Date: May 6th, 2021 Author: Colin Lecher If you’re a drug manufacturer looking for patients, one company has become a major destination in the past few years: Facebook. The social media giant, through its power to target users based on their interests, is especially attractive to pharmaceutical companies looking to sell drugs to potential patients. The Washington Post reported last year that health and pharmaceutical companies spent almost $1 billion on just Facebook mobile ads in 2019. The draw? Unlike a traditional TV or radio ad, Facebook’s ad categories help those companies target their drug ads at users who likely suffer from a specific illness the drug treats. And data from The Markup’s Citizen Browser project—which collects Facebook data from thousands of users—shows how precise and wide-ranging that targeting is. Though Facebook does not offer advertisers categories that explicitly identify people’s health conditions, The Markup identified dozens of ads for prescription pharmaceuticals targeted at people with “interests” in topics like “bourbon,” “oxygen,” and “Diabetes mellitus awareness.” Indeed, The Markup found, “awareness” of a disease is a frequent proxy for illness in targeting decisions made by advertisers. Zejula, a drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, for example, is prescribed to treat advanced ovarian cancer. We found the drug targeted at users who Facebook determined had shown an interest in “cancer awareness.” Piqray, another cancer treatment, manufactured by Swiss company Novartis, was shown to users with an interest in “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Several drugs were targeted at either [...]

2021-05-07T10:54:17-07:00May, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Study: Secondhand smoke exposure significantly increases risk of developing mouth cancer

Source: www.studyfinds.org Author: Stephen Beech, SWNS writer When most people think about the dangers of smoking, they probably consider the risks of cancer for the smoker. Although it’s common knowledge secondhand smoke is also dangerous, a new study is revealing just how devastating that exposure can be. Researchers say exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of oral cancer by a staggering 51 percent. Oral cancer, or cancers of the mouth, include those affecting the lip, oral cavity, and throat. These cancers account for almost 450,000 new disease cases and more than 228,000 deaths every year globally. Scientists say that significant risk factors for these forms of cancer include tobacco smoking and use of smokeless tobacco products. Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of oral cancer. Tobacco smoke represents the largest amount of human exposure to chemical carcinogens and causes a fifth of cancer-related deaths worldwide. However, active smokers are not the only people who suffer from these chemicals. Researchers examining data from 192 countries find 33 percent of male non-smokers, 35 percent of female non-smokers, and 40 percent of children have experienced exposure to involuntary smoking through inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke. Previous research also shows that inhaling secondhand smoke can cause several other diseases, including lung cancer. Although tobacco smoking can cause oral cancer, there is less evidence proving whether or not secondhand smoke also leads to the disease. Long-term smoke exposure doubles cancer risks A team from Britain, Portugal, Spain, and the United States evaluated the [...]

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