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Wirral, UK cancer patient trials vaccine

Source: www.wirralglobe.co.uk Author: Craig Manning, Chief Reporter A Wirral man has become the first in the UK to trial a 'vaccine' that is hoped will stop his recurring head and neck cancer from returning. The clinical research team at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has given patient Graham Booth an injection of a therapy tailor-made to his personal DNA and designed to help his own immune system ward off cancer permanently. Graham first had head and neck cancer in 2011 and it then returned four times, each time meaning he needed grueling treatment, including facial surgery, reconstruction and radiotherapy. He is now hoping this new treatment – part of the Transgene clinical research study – will mean it does not come back. Dad-of-five Graham, 54, will have a year-long course of immunotherapy injections in a bid to keep him cancer-free, part of a research project designed to reduce deaths and recurrence in head and neck cancers, including of the throat, neck, mouth and tongue. Graham, from West Kirby, said he was not worried about being the first person in the UK to receive this pioneering treatment and that it "opened new doorways" which gave him hope that the cancer would not come back. He added: "When I had my first cancer treatment in 2011, I was under the impression that the cancer would not return. "My biggest fear was realised in 2016 when it came back and then in 2019 and then two cases in 2021. "Last year I had the [...]

2022-02-07T13:33:09-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

WVU Medicine Head and Neck Cancer Team works to increase tonsil cancer awareness

Source: wvumedicine.org Author: staff, WVU Medicine News Head and neck surgical oncologists at WVU Medicine, the WVU Cancer Institute, and across the country are seeing increased incidences of tonsil cancer. “The majority of tonsil cancers, nearly 70 percent, are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV),” Meghan Turner, M.D., head and neck surgeon in the WVU Medicine Department of Otolaryngology, said. “In the last 10 years, tonsil cancer caused by HPV has become more common than cervical cancer caused by the same virus.” In most cases of HPV infection, the body fights off the virus like it would the common cold. In other cases, the virus remains in the body, increasing the risk of both tonsil and cervical cancer. Unlike cervical cancer, there is no regular screening for tonsil cancer. Most commonly, tonsil cancer is first diagnosed as a nontender mass in the neck. “Another common presentation for tonsil cancer is actually recurrent or persistent tonsil pain in spite of treatment for a throat infection,” Dr. Turner said. “This happens between the ages of 50 and 60. It may seem like recurrent strep throat, but it is uncommon for people in that age range to develop recurrent strep throat. If you’re having pain that isn’t resolved after a course of antibiotics, you should ask your doctor if it could possibly be something like tonsil cancer.” It is also regularly discovered during routine dental visits, appearing as asymmetrical tonsils. Those who have had their tonsils removed by tonsillectomy are not immune to [...]

2022-02-05T10:20:45-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Trial underway for novel agent plus immunotherapy for HPV-related head and neck cancer

Source: www.curetoday.com Author: Brielle Benyon Results from a phase 2 clinical trial demonstrated promise for the combination of the novel agent PDS0101 plus Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in treating human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated head and neck cancer. As such, the trial will now progress to full enrollment of 54 patients who have not been previously treated with a checkpoint inhibitor. The trial, VERSATILE-002, involves two groups of HPV16-positive patients with head and neck cancer that is either metastatic or has returned after treatment. One group consists of patients who have no prior treatment with checkpoint inhibition immunotherapy, while the other group is made up of 21 patients whose disease failed checkpoint inhibition — assessment for this group is still ongoing. In the checkpoint inhibitor-naïve group, four or more of the 17 patients achieved an objective response, which was classified by a 30% or more reduction in tumor size. “The achievement of this important milestone in the VERSATILE-002 phase 2 clinical trial strengthens the evidence of our novel Versamune platform’s potential ability to induce high levels of tumor-specific CD8+ killer T-cells that attack the cancer to achieve tumor regression,” commented Dr. Lauren V. Wood, Chief Medical Officer of PDS Biotech, the developer of PFS101, in a statement. “The initial data solidifies our belief that PDS0101’s demonstrated preclinical efficacy when combined with Keytruda has the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes for patients with advanced HPV16-positive head and neck cancers.” PDS0101 works by inducing large quantities of CD4+ helper and CD8+ killer T cells, a [...]

2022-02-03T10:51:38-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Improving head and neck cancer treatment

Source: www.uc.edu Author: Tim Tedeschi, University of Cincinnati News When the medical community finds a treatment for a particular cancer, the work doesn’t stop. Researchers continue to study how treatments can be improved in order to reduce side effects and the possibility of the cancer recurring. University of Cincinnati researchers are leading a new clinical trial to examine if the combination of a more localized radiation treatment and immunotherapy can be a better treatment for patients with recurrent head and neck cancer. Chad Zender, MD, said head and neck cancers include cancers of the tongue, throat, tonsil and larynx, and about 30%-50% of patients treated through surgery and radiation will have their cancer return. Patients often then undergo additional surgery and/or radiation treatments, which can lead to side effects like problems with speech and swallowing. “The quality of life is significantly less in the patients that require [subsequent] surgery and then radiation with or without chemo,” said Zender, professor in the Department of Otolaryngology in UC’s College of Medicine, director of head and neck surgery and principal investigator for the new trial. Precision radiation Zender said the trial will test a more localized radiation delivery method through a radioactive seed, about the size of a grain of rice that emits an intense amount of radiation to the cancer and only minimal radiation outside to other areas. The radioactive Cesium-131 seeds are implanted directly into the operative site during surgery. This approach in early studies appears to give more localized radiation [...]

2022-02-03T10:44:13-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Light therapy fast-tracks healing of skin damage from cancer radiation therapy

Source: www.buffalo.edu Author: Marcene Robinson Light therapy may accelerate the healing of skin damage from radiation therapy by up to 50%, according to a recent UB-led study. The research found that photobiomodulation — a form of low-dose light therapy — lowered the severity of skin damage from radionecrosis (the breakdown of body tissue after radiation therapy), reduced inflammation, improved blood flow and helped wounds heal up to 19 days faster. The findings, published Dec. 28 in Photonics, follow prior reports on the effectiveness of light therapy in improving the healing of burn wounds and in relieving pain from oral mucositis caused by radiation and chemotherapy. The research was led by Rodrigo Mosca, visiting fellow from the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, both in Brazil. Carlos Zeituni, professor at IPEN and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, is a senior author. “To our knowledge, this is the first report on the successful use of photobiomodulation therapy for brachytherapy,” says senior author Praveen Arany, assistant professor of oral biology, UB School of Dental Medicine. “The results from this study support the progression to controlled human clinical studies to utilize this innovative therapy in managing the side effects from radiation cancer treatments.” Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy where a radiation source is implanted within the cancer tissue, exposing surrounding healthy tissue to lower doses of radiation than through teletherapy, a form that fires a beam of radiation through the skin to [...]

2022-02-01T13:09:33-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

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 [...]

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