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So far Charlotte Parker has created 2908 blog entries.

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|

Genetic changes in head and neck cancer, immunotherapy resistance identified

Source: MedicalXPress Date: April 26th, 2021 Author: University of San Diego-California A multi-institutional team of researchers has identified both the genetic abnormalities that drive pre-cancer cells into becoming an invasive type of head and neck cancer and patients who are least likely to respond to immunotherapy. "Through a series of surprises, we followed clues that focused more and more tightly on specific genetic imbalances and their role in the effects of specific immune components in tumor development," said co-principal investigator Webster Cavenee, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus at University of California San Diego School of Medicine. "The genetic abnormalities we identified drive changes in the immune cell composition of the tumors that, in turn, dictates responsiveness to standard of care immune checkpoint inhibitors." Reporting in the April 26, 2021 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers describe the role of somatic copy-number alterations—abnormalities that result in the loss or gain in a copy of a gene—and the loss of chromosome 9p in the development of human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative head and neck cancer. The loss of chromosome 9p and the deletion of JAK2 and PD-LI, two neighboring genes found on chromosome 9p, was associated with resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors, a type of cancer immunotherapy that uses antibodies to make tumor cells visible to a patient's immune system. "Although programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitors represent a major breakthrough in cancer treatment, only 15 percent of patients with HPV-negative head and neck cancer respond to treatment," said [...]

2021-04-27T10:01:12-07:00April, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Dental Professionals Should Remember the HPV Vaccine Too

Source: Dentistry Today Date: April 13th, 2021 Author: Jo-Anne Jones We live in a viral world as we patiently await the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people already have chosen to be vaccinated to protect themselves from getting the virus, or, at the very least, minimize its severity. The harsh nature of the pandemic has led to expediency in developing the vaccine, which has not been typical, historically speaking. While the COVID-19 vaccine took less than a year to develop, the mumps vaccine took four years. The polio vaccine took 13 years. The human papillomavirus (HPV), flu, and chicken pox vaccines took 17, 27, and 28 years, respectively. Looking back in the annals of history, we have the remarkable work of Edward Jenner to thank for his development of the first vaccine. His work involved deliberately infecting a human being with a mild dose of smallpox. His rigorous trials were controlled, repeatable, and documented in his 1798 publication, “An Inquiry Into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ Vaccinæ.” Jenner devoted the remainder of his life advocating for the safe and effective administration of the vaccine. In 1972, routine smallpox vaccination ended in the United States, followed by the World Health Organization declaring the disease’s elimination in 1980. Another such vaccine victory is the polio vaccine, which was first available in the United States in 1955. Thanks to its widespread use, the United States has been polio-free since 1979. And while the United States government has said that dentists [...]

2021-04-13T12:57:09-07:00April, 2021|OCF In The News|

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

Source: Good Morning, America Date: April 2nd, 2021 Author: Kathleen Kindalen   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 [...]

2021-04-05T10:31:43-07:00April, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

City offers Oral Cancer Screenings; Health Officials aim to reduce cancer rates, save lives

Source: El Paso Herald Post Date: April 1st, 2021 Author: Staff Reporter Thursday morning, city officials announced that they will be offering referral services and health screenings to decrease the rate of oral cancer diagnoses and save lives, in recognition of April’s National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. “Improving oral and oropharyngeal cancer awareness in our community is imperative,” said Angela Mora, Department of Public Health Director. “Oral cancer has an incidence rate of about 7.2 per 100,000 residents in El Paso County and affects males twice as much as females in the U.S., but we as a community can work to reduce the incidence rate by participating in Oral Cancer Awareness month.” Mora said residents can take part in Oral Cancer Awareness month by: Reducing the use of tobacco products Tobacco use and vaping significantly increases the risk of infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes oral or oropharyngeal cancer. Getting Screened Oral and oropharyngeal cancers occur most often in the tongue, soft and hard palate, tonsils, gums and back of the throat which is why regular oral and dental examinations by a health professional is important. Getting the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine According to the CDC, HPV is known to cause approximately 70 percent of oral and oropharyngeal cancer cases, and the HPV vaccine was developed to prevent infection by the high-risk types of HPV that cause cancers such as oral and oropharyngeal cancer. For more information on the services and health screenings provided by the Department [...]

2021-04-02T09:40:38-07:00April, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

UB awarded $1.5 million to reprogram white blood cells in fight against oral cancer

Source: Science Magazine Date: March 25th, 2021 BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo has received a $1.5 million grant from the United States Department of Defense to develop new therapies that help reduce chronic inflammation and immunosuppression in oral cancers. Through the three-year grant, the research will center on a type of white blood cell called a macrophage that – after migrating to oral tumors – triggers uncontrolled inflammation, which suppresses the body’s immune response and lowers the effectiveness of anticancer therapies. The researchers aim to reprogram the macrophages by targeting genes that regulate inflammation. By lowering inflammation, oral cancers will become more sensitive to new and traditional chemotherapies. If successful, the findings could help increase survivorship of oral cancers, which claim the life of roughly half of all oral cancer patients within five years, according to Keith Kirkwood, DDS, PhD, principal investigator, Centennial Endowed Chair and professor of oral biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine. “A change in behavior in the white blood cells within the tumor itself removes the ‘brakes’ in the system, causing more oral cancer growth,” says Kirkwood, also associate dean for innovation and technology transfer in the UB School of Dental Medicine. “We propose to reprogram the white blood cells to regain control of the brakes.” Additional investigators from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center include Wesley Hicks Jr., MD, DDS, chair of the Department of Head and Neck/Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; William Magner, PhD, scientist in the Department of Immunology; and Scott [...]

2021-03-26T10:35:32-07:00March, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Sunstar Americas, Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of GUM® Hydral Dry Mouth Relief Oral Spray Due to Possible Microbial Contamination

Source: Yahoo! Finance Date: February 18th, 2021 CHICAGO, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunstar Americas, Inc. (SAI) is voluntarily recalling GUM® Hydral Dry Mouth Relief Oral Spray products bearing an expiration date from 2021-11 through 2022-05 (see specific lots below) to the consumer level. This product may be contaminated with the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia. Use of the defective product in the immunocompetent host may result in oral and, potentially, systemic infections requiring antibacterial therapy. In the most at-risk populations, the use of the defective product may result in life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia and bacteremia. To date, no adverse events have been reported to SAI related to this recall. The oral spray, available through retail, is indicated for use for lubricating, moisturizing, soothing, and refreshing properties to help relieve and manage the symptoms of dry mouth: 1800R/1800RA GUM® Hydral Dry Mouth Relief Oral Spray is distributed in 2.0 fluid ounce Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles with white polypropylene caps and a separate spray nozzle. GUM® Hydral Dry Mouth Relief Oral Spray was distributed Nationwide to Grocery and Drug Wholesalers, Grocery and Drug chains, Web distribution and sales, and direct to consumers. SAI is notifying its direct distributors and customers by USPS Priority mail and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Patients, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities in possession of these products should stop using and dispensing immediately. Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact SAI by phone at 1-800-528-8537 or email us.pcr@us.sunstar.com on Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm CST. Consumers should [...]

2021-02-22T11:19:16-07:00February, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

How enlisting dentists can speed up Covid-19 vaccinations

Source: Knowable Magazine Date: February 3rd, 2021 Author: Mary E. Northridge OPINION: Dental care providers have the skills, the facilities and the trust of patients who might otherwise miss out   Even as the Biden administration has upped its Covid-19 vaccine goal to 1.5 million per day, early reports say vaccination rates are lagging in hard-hit Black and Latino communities. On both fronts, America’s dentists can help. Dental professionals — dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants — have been responding to the pandemic from the outset, even as many practices were shut down by the emergency. At the health center where I work in Brooklyn, dental providers first donated their personal protective equipment (PPE) to the affiliated hospital. Then many of them were redeployed to perform arterial blood gas measurements and even transport deceased patients to makeshift morgues. Today, the urgent need is to get millions of shots in arms. States should immediately authorize dental providers to administer Covid-19 vaccines. That would not only expand the trained immunization workforce, it would open up additional sites to dispense the vaccine and bolster vaccine acceptance among patients who do not routinely go to the doctor. This is not without precedent. In 2019, Oregon became the first state to allow dentists to offer any vaccine to patients. Other states, including Illinois and Minnesota, allow dentists to administer influenza vaccines. Since late 2020, Arkansas, Massachusetts and California have permitted dentists to administer Covid-19 vaccines. During this devastating public health emergency, this idea needs to be extended [...]

2021-02-08T12:25:34-07:00February, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Deadly Spread of Some Cancers May Be Driven by a Common Mouth Microbe

Source: Scientific American Author: Claudia Wallis Image courtesy of Fatinha Ramos When people hear that they might have cancer, perhaps the only thing more frightening than the C word is the M word. Metastatic disease—in which the malignancy has traveled beyond its primary site to other spots in the body—is responsible for nine out of every 10 cancer deaths. Recently an unexpected player in this process has emerged: a common bacterium. Fusobacterium nucleatum, which normally lives harmlessly in the gums, appears to have a role in the spread of some cancers of the colon, esophagus, pancreas and—possibly—breast. Laboratory studies and evidence in patients indicate that the microbe can travel through the blood and infect tumor cells by attaching to a sugar molecule on their surface. There it provokes a range of signals and immune responses known to cause tumor cells to migrate. If further confirmed, the work with F. nucleatum could add to a growing understanding of how the microbiome influences cancer progression and may even point the way to fresh approaches to treatment. In a healthy human mouth, F. nucleatum is a law-abiding member of the microbial community. With poor dental hygiene, uncontrolled diabetes and other conditions, however, it can go rogue and cause periodontitis, tonsillitis, appendicitis and even preterm labor. A connection to colorectal cancer was first hinted at about nine years ago, when two research groups discovered that the bacterium’s DNA was overrepresented in colon tumor tissue compared with normal tissue. Dozens of studies have since found [...]

2020-09-24T11:24:02-07:00September, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

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|
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