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New MSK radiation approach means fewer side effects for more patients with HPV-related head and neck cancer

Source: www.mskcc.org Author: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Robert Rosenfeld thought the lump he felt in his neck in late 2018 was just a symptom of a cold that wouldn’t go away. He visited an ear, nose, and throat specialist who saw nothing upon first examination, but Robert knew something was wrong and asked for a CT scan. The specialist called him with the bad news: It was almost certainly cancer. A biopsy confirmed he had stage 2 cancer at the base of his tongue and 2 nearby lymph nodes. The tumor was positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV). Robert, then a 69-year-old car salesman on Long Island, met with cancer doctors near his hometown of Hauppauge, New York, to learn about treatment options. He realized he faced a tough road: Standard treatment would be 7 weeks of radiation, during which he also would receive 3 rounds of chemotherapy. The standard radiation dose would likely cause mouth sores, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth (from damage to salivary glands), loss of taste, and nausea. Robert wanted a second opinion, and his medical oncologist strongly recommended Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. When Robert called, he was able to get in to see radiation oncologist C. Jillian Tsai the very next day. “When I met Dr. Tsai, she was amazing,” Robert says. “She told me what I was up against but also that the cancer I had was curable.” There was another major plus: Dr. Tsai was able to offer a significantly reduced radiation [...]

Multimedia education platform appears effective in head and neck cancer

Source: www.cancernetwork.com Author: Ariana Pelosci Use of a multimedia education platform appeared to compliment traditional education methods and provide complementary information on treatment and recovery for those with head and neck cancer. Multimedia education platforms appear to be effective in conveying information on treatment, recovery process, mental health, family life, and supplementary services for patients with head and neck cancer, according to a study (NCT04048538) published in JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Patients who were given information via the education platform had an 11.3-point (Cohen d = 1.02; control group score, 61.1 of 80; treatment group score, 72.4 of 80) difference in 1 month in postoperative satisfaction. Despite both patients groups reporting to have received an adequate amount of information with regard to their disease, those in the treatment arm reported having more satisfaction with information regarding medical tests, treatments, and other services. “This randomized clinical trial found that use of a multimedia patient education platform increased patient satisfaction in individuals who were undergoing head and neck surgery. Leveraging novel information technologies during the perioperative period is a feasible, accessible, and effective intervention to address existing inadequacies in traditional, clinician-led surgical counseling,” the investigators wrote. At baseline, 121 patients completed the evaluations. Among this population, 100 patients, including 50 in the treatment and 50 in the control arm, completed the postoperative questionnaire 1 month following surgery and were included in the statistical analysis. Patients had similar characteristics between groups, but those in the control arm had fewer patients who [...]

Alcohol should have cancer warning labels, say doctors and researchers pushing to raise awareness of risk

Source: www.cbc.ca Author: Ioanna Roumeliotis & Brenda Witmer · CBC News It's not a secret, but it may as well be. Few Canadians know the truth, and few may want to hear it: alcohol, any amount of alcohol, can cause cancer. There is no safe amount, and the calls to inform Canadians are growing. "Even drinking one drink a day increases your risk of some cancers — including, if you're a woman, breast cancer — but also cancers of the digestive system, the mouth, stomach," said Tim Stockwell, a senior scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria. "The risk increases with every drink you take." Alcohol has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans) for decades by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It's right up there with tobacco and asbestos. Alcohol is also a top cause of preventable cancer after smoking and obesity. But the vast majority of Canadians have no idea of the risk. Stockwell wants to change that, and he and other health experts are advocating for cancer warning labels on alcohol containers. People need to know, he says, that though there are other genetic and lifestyle factors that contribute to developing cancer, every drink comes with a risk. "The risk from alcohol, it's a dose response. The bigger and more frequent the dose, the higher your risk." Kathy Andrews had no idea that the wine she enjoyed most nights before she got pregnant was [...]

Using artificial intelligence to help cancer patients avoid excessive radiation

Source: medicalxpress.com Author: by Case Western Reserve University A Case Western Reserve University-led team of scientists has used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify which patients with certain head and neck cancers would benefit from reducing the intensity of treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The researchers used AI tools similar to those they developed over the last decade at the Center for Computational Imaging and Personal Diagnostics (CCIPD) at Case Western Reserve. In this case, they asked the computer to analyze digitized images of tissue samples that had been taken from 439 patients from six hospital systems with a type of head and neck cancer known as human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPCSCC). The computer program successfully identified a subset of patients who might have benefited from a significantly reduced dose of radiation therapy. While that analysis was retrospective—meaning the computer analyzed data from patients in which the eventual outcome was already known—the researchers said their next step could be to test its accuracy in clinical trials. Their research was published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The work was led by Anant Madabhushi, CCIPD director and the Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Case School of Engineering, along with Germán Corredor Prada, a research associate in the CCIPD lab. 'Overtreating patients' Although most others with HPV-driven cancer would still benefit from aggressive treatment—along with patients whose cancer was unrelated to the virus—the researchers said their study revealed a significant group was [...]

Molecular profiling identifies potential prognostic biomarker for treatment response in HNSCC

Source: www.ajmc.com Author: Matthew Gavidia Human papillomavirus surrogate marker p16 was identified as a potential prognostic biomarker for standard-of-care immune checkpoint blockade therapy response in non-oropharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Real-world overall survival among patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) and non-OP head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) differed significantly based on the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) surrogate marker p16, with further implications identified regarding time on treatment with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapies. Findings were published in Cancers. Identified as the sixth most common cancer worldwide with incidence expected to increase by 32% in the next 2 decades, patients with recurrent and/or metastatic HNSCC typically have a poor prognosis. Although diagnosis of HNSCC is typically related to tobacco and alcohol use, incidence of HPV-associated HNSCC has risen substantially, in which those positive for the virus whose HNSCC stems in the oropharynx have exhibited better survival outcomes. Researchers sought to further investigate the association of HPV and/or its surrogate marker p16 with response to standard-of-care ICB therapies in patients with OPSCC and non-oropharyngeal (non-OP) HNSCC. “We also investigated other potential biomarkers and mutations that may predict improved response to ICB in both HPV-positive and -negative patients with HNSCC,” they added. Patients registered in the Caris Life Sciences CODEai database with non-OP HNSCC and OPSCC were recruited and identified by comprehensive molecular profiling to be positive or negative for p16. In total, 2905 HNSCC (OPSCC, n = 948) cases were identified. Of those tested for [...]

Head and neck cancer survivors with dysphagia prone to anxiety, depression

Source: www.oncologynurseadvisor.com Author: Jennifer Larson Symptoms of anxiety and depression are increased in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) who experience symptoms of dysphagia, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). These findings were published in Oncology Nursing Forum. For this cross-sectional analysis, 228 survivors of head and neck cancer were recruited between October 2018 and January 2020. Participants completed questionnaires that assessed for outcomes such as swallowing dysfunction and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Patient-reported symptoms of dysphagia were measured with the 10-item Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10), which assessed issues such as difficulties with consistencies, food sticking, coughing, and swallowing-related weight loss. Participants also completed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) to assess for recent symptoms of anxiety and the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8) to assess for recent symptoms of depression. Patients who self-reported symptoms of dysphagia were also more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression. Overall, 23% of the participants reported symptoms of anxiety and 29% reported symptoms of depression. “When comparing anxiety and depression levels in survivors who reported symptoms of dysphagia versus those who did not, statistical analysis showed a substantial positive correlation between increased swallowing dysfunction and more severe symptoms of anxiety and depression,” the researchers reported. The study was limited by its cross-sectional nature, and a causal association between patient-reported symptoms of dysphagia and psychological distress cannot be inferred by these data. Self-report questionnaires are intended to screen for certain symptoms, not diagnose [...]

“Sleeping” cancer cells could prevent tumour metastasis

Source: www.drugtargetreview.com Author: Anna Begley (Drug Target Review) Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, US, have developed a new therapeutic approach by preventing the growth of metastatic tumours in mice to force cancer cells into a dormant state in which they are unable to proliferate. They hope that their findings will lead to new treatments that prevent the recurrence or spread of various cancer types, including breast cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In a previous study, scientists discovered that the ability of cancer cells to remain dormant is controlled by a protein called NR2F1. This receptor protein can enter the cell nucleus and turn numerous genes on or off to activate a programme that prevents the cancer cells from proliferating. NR2F1 levels are usually low in primary tumours but are elevated in dormant disseminated cancer cells. Levels of the NR2F1 protein then decline once more when cancer cells start proliferating again and form recurrent or metastatic tumours. “We therefore thought that activating NR2F1 using a small molecule could be an attractive clinical strategy to induce cancer cell dormancy and prevent recurrence and metastasis,” explained Dr Julio Aguirre-Ghiso. In the new study, detailed in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), the researchers used a computer-based screening approach to identify a drug, named C26, that activates NR2F1. The researchers found that treating patient-derived HNSCC cells with C26 boosted the levels of NR2F1 and arrested cell proliferation. The researchers then tested whether C26 would prevent metastasis [...]

Scientists discover new layer of the masseter muscle – study

Source: www.jpost.com Author: Aaron Reigh Do humans have a body part that has never been seen before? According to this academic study, the answer is yes. This jaw-dropping discovery focuses, fittingly enough, on the jaw – specifically the masseter: a muscle in the lower jaw that is essential for chewing. If you place your fingers on your cheeks and clench your teeth, you would feel the masseter tightening. While our current scientific understanding of the human anatomy had, until now, known that the masseter has a deep layer and a superficial layer, this new study, published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Annals of Anatomy, has revealed the existence of a third layer in the middle. The existence of a third layer was noted by the 38th edition of Gray's Anatomy – the British anatomy reference book written in 1858 by Henry Gray, not the similarly named American medical drama series. However, this merely referenced an even older observation, made in the 1784 German text Grundriss der Physiologie für Vorlesungen. Nonetheless, it had never been properly identified, and whether it existed at all in humans wasn't considered. But the researchers behind the study sought to clarify the masseter structure and resolve the inconsistencies in the scientific literature. So they began investigating. The scientists had taken 12 human heads from corpses that had been preserved in formaldehyde in order to dissect them. Further, they examined 16 fresh corpses through the use of a CT scan. Finally, they looked at a living subject [...]

2021-12-27T07:47:20-07:00December, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Resident launches campaign after lack of access to NHS dentists leaves him with cancer

Source: www.winsfordguardian.co.uk Author: Jessica Farrington A Winsford resident who was diagnosed with tongue cancer after being unable to access NHS dentistry has launched a campaign to improve local services. Philip Carden faced ‘unacceptable barriers’ when trying to get an NHS dentist appointment within his hometown. The 60-year-old was eventually diagnosed with cancer of the tongue following months of infection, pain and delay and does not want this to happen to anyone else. This lack of accessibility locally pre-dated the Covid dentistry crisis as Philip had been unable to access NHS dentistry within Winsford prior to the first lockdown. In the end, it was a doctor who saw Philip, after he was given no other option, other than travelling on 12 different buses to be seen by an NHS dentist. Philip said: “I was trying to find a dentist in the town – I had broken my tooth and it hit my tongue. “I went to the doctors and they saw me straight away. “The doctor had a look and she was shocked, she said it looked like a tumour. “I was very, very lucky. “The doctors helped me out but it shouldn’t have been through them.” Philip approached local councillor Mandy Clare to help him launch a public campaign, who took advice from the British Dental Association. Councillor Clare said: “The UK Government must urgently address the NHS dentistry crisis for everyone and they must also ensure equality of access to those on low incomes. “It’s not fair that being [...]

2021-12-25T08:06:21-07:00December, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

The ‘big three’ causes of mouth cancer

Source: www.hippocraticpost.com Author: staff By knowing the causes of mouth cancer, we can take positive steps to reduce our own level of risk, says a leading health charity. The Oral Health Foundation is raising awareness about the causes of mouth cancer, following new research that shows far too many people remain unaware of the main risk factors. The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK has doubled in the last 20 years, with tobacco, drinking alcohol to excess and the human papillomavirus, being the considered the most common causes. However, new data shows that awareness into the three big risk factors is as low as 15%. With more than half of all mouth cancer cases linked to lifestyle factors, the charity along with Denplan, part of Simplyhealth, are using November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month to shed light on the biggest risks factors associated with the disease. Tobacco Smoking tobacco increases your risk of developing mouth cancer by up to ten times. This includes smoking cigarettes, pipes or cigars. Around two-in-three mouth cancers are linked to smoking. Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation says: “Despite the number of smokers continuing to fall, it remains the leading cause of mouth cancer. Our focus must be on providing smokers with the support and information they need in order to kick tobacco for good. It’s never too late to quit and by making this positive step, the health of your mouth and body will see both instant [...]

2021-12-22T13:06:29-07:00December, 2021|Oral Cancer News|
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