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Sorry, but vaping is wreaking havoc on your oral health

Source: www.bodyandsoul.com.au Author: Jaymie Hooper To mark the start of Dental Health Week, oral medicine specialist Dr Sue Ching Yeoh explains the hidden dangers of vaping – and why it's time to quit. No matter which way you slice it, vaping is just not very good for you. Not only has it been shown to cause an onset of seizures, it’s also been linked to numerous deaths, and vaping liquids containing nicotine are so troubling they were recently banned in Australia. The bad press doesn’t end there, either. While we usually associate tooth decay and gum disease with cigarettes, vaping can also take a significant toll on your oral health. According to Dr Sue Ching Yeoh, an oral medicine specialist and spokesperson for the Australian Dental Association, vaping also changes the composition and balance of your oral flora (bacteria and fungal organisms that live in your mouth), which leads to an increased risk of oral fungal infections. “The most common oral side effects from vaping include dry mouth, burning, irritation, bad taste, bad breath, pain, oral mucosal lesions (lesions that affect the soft lining of the mouth), black tongue and burns,” Dr Yeoh explains. These side effects are a result of the chemicals used in vaping liquids, which are usually created by heating glycerol, glycol and nicotine to extremely high temperatures under intense pressure. “This process produces extremely toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, which are known carcinogens," Dr Yeoh adds. “As the mouth is the first site in [...]

Non-irritating foods to eat when you have mouth sores: what you can do about oral mucositis

Source: www.verywellhealth.com Author: Suzanne Dixon, MPH, RD The loss of appetite is common when undergoing cancer treatment, particularly if you get a common side effect called oral mucositis which causes mouth sores. To ensure proper nutrition to help you heal, you need to find non-irritating foods that you can eat even if you have mouth sores. This article explains why mouth sores occur in people undergoing cancer treatment. It also lists the types of food you can and cannot eat—as well as the way to eat—to better cope with treatment-induced oral mucositis. Over 40% of people undergoing certain cancer treatments will develop oral mucositis. It is most commonly associated with chemotherapy but can also occur with radiation therapy to the head or neck.1 Oral mucositis is an especially common occurrence when exposed to the chemotherapy drugs 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) or Evomela (melphalan). Other chemotherapy drugs can do the same.2 Treatment-induced oral mucositis is the result of the following processes: Whenever cells are damaged by chemotherapy or radiation, they release unstable atoms called free radicals. This, in turn, triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines and metalloproteinase that break down a structural protein called collagen, causing tissues to thin and form ulcers. When this occurs in the mouth, natural bacteria quickly colonize the sores, causing infection, inflammation, and pain. The sores can often be extremely painful, making it difficult to eat, talk, and swallow. The sores may even extend into the esophagus that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. [...]

Merck’s Keytruda shores up head and neck case with first-line trial win

Author: Carly Helfand Source: www.fiercepharma.com Merck’s Keytruda may just be on its way to earlier use in head and neck cancer, an area where it once faced some questions. On Wednesday, the New Jersey drugmaker said that in a phase 3 trial in previously untreated patients, Keytruda topped a standard-of-care regimen that includes Eli Lilly’s Erbitux at extending overall survival in patients with tumors expressing a certain level of biomarker PD-L1. The data came from an interim analysis of the trial that also showed Keytruda hadn’t yet met the study’s other primary endpoint, which measures time to cancer progression. But overall survival is often considered the gold standard in cancer trials, and Merck will be taking the win in that department to regulators worldwide. Right now, Keytruda bears an approval in head and neck cancer but only in patients whose disease has worsened on or after chemo. And after snagging that conditional approval, last July it failed to prove that it could extend the lives of patients in that group. As analysts pointed out at the time, though, that miss was narrow, coming just shy of statistical significance. The FDA kept the approval in place, and now, Merck has the data to back it up. If Merck can win a new indication from the FDA, it could gain access to a patient pool that grows by about 63,000 U.S. cases per year. And that's a group Keytruda's rival, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo, can't currently treat: Its approval only extends to previously [...]

Thousands of volunteers in the West Midlands join NHS trial to spot deadly cancers

Source: www.england.nhs.uk Author: staff Over 140,000 people, of which almost 18,500 are from the West Midlands, have volunteered to take part in the world’s largest trial of a blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer, as part of the latest National Health Service (NHS) drive to catch the disease when it is generally easiest to treat. In just one year since the NHS-Galleri trial began, volunteers from across the country have come forward to have a blood test at mobile clinics in convenient locations, including supermarket and leisure centre car parks and places of worship. Participants will now be invited to attend two further appointments, spaced roughly 12 months apart. The NHS Long Term Plan committed to increasing the proportion of cancers caught early, when they are easier to treat, from half to three in four. NHS ‘one stop shops’ have also already delivered 190,000 additional tests in the Midlands, including for cancer, since the rollout began, with seven community diagnostic centres (CDCs) in the West Midlands offering a range of diagnostic tests and other services closer to patients’ homes, often in the heart of local communities. More CDCs are also in development and will become operational over the next three years. This trial is part of radical NHS action to tackle cancer, that also includes the successful rollout of targeted lung trucks across the country, with thousands of people invited for checks every month in mobile vehicles, and hundreds of cancers diagnosed earlier. Initial research [...]

Study of novel drug combo in head and neck cancer closed after several patient deaths

Source: www.curetoday.com Author: Ryan McDonald MacroGenics Inc. recently announced that it discontinued a phase 2 trial investigating the safety and efficacy of a cancer treatment regimen consisting of enoblituzumab in combination with either retifanlimab or tebotelimab. The regimen was being investigated as a first-line treatment option in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The company announced that it stopped the trial after conducting an internal review of the safety data. Of the 62 patients treated in the study, seven died while enrolled on the trial. The deaths, according to a news release from MacroGenics may have been linked to hemorrhagic events, which is the loss of blood from a damaged blood vessel. These events, according to information from the Cleveland Clinic, can be minor or major. Some of the major events — such as bleeding in the brain — may lead to the occurrence of a stroke. Investigators assessed the deaths and attributed six of the seven to be associated with disease progression or unrelated to any of the study drugs. However, the investigators determined that one death may have been possibly related to study treatment. The number of deaths reported in the trial were higher than what has been previously reported in additional studies of this patient population, according to the release. The manufacturer noted that it informed the Food and Drug Administration of its decision and told investigators to discontinue enrolling any new patients onto the trial. The investigators, according to [...]

Viome scores FDA breakthrough label for cancer-screening, microbiome-sequencing AI platform

Source: www.fiercebiotech.com Author: Andrea Park The secret to enabling early cancer detection could be hidden in the microbiome, and, now, gut-testing startup Viome has the backing of the FDA to prove it. Viome was initially launched as a direct-to-consumer service that used an artificial intelligence-powered platform to sequence the RNA in an individual’s stool sample to produce insights into their overall health and provide accompanying diet and lifestyle recommendations. More recently, however, the startup has set its sights on using the technology to screen for cancer. In a study published last August, Viome researchers used the platform to analyze saliva samples from oral cancer patients and discovered biomarkers in the resulting analysis that were directly linked to cancer signatures. The diagnostic was able to spot early signs of oral cancer with a sensitivity of about 83%—and over 93% for stage 1 cancers—and a specificity of nearly 98%. As a result of that and other ongoing research, Viome’s saliva test has received the FDA’s breakthrough device designation for use in early screening for oral squamous cell carcinoma and oropharyngeal cancer, both of which are typically only diagnosed in a manual examination and are therefore often overlooked until their later stages. “Today’s standard of care to detect oral and throat cancer is severely outdated. Everyone relies on a primary care clinician to examine their mouths and look for lesions. This subjective and qualitative approach is a key reason why oral and throat cancer are detected at stage three or four, when many [...]

OmniPathology announces the launch of its oropharyngeal HPV PCR test

Source: www.globenewswire.com Author: press release OmniPathology, an independent, physician-owned and operated pathology lab, today announced the launch of a new oral test for human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cancer. The Oral HPV Test is a lab-developed test (LDT) performed on a Roche cobas® 6800 and 8800 high-throughput platforms. The Oral HPV Test detects 14 high-risk strains of HPV. It is performed via a throat swab submitted to OmniPathology, a CLIA-certified laboratory in Pasadena, for testing. Patients who test positive are advised to undergo a thorough examination by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor and may require close follow-up. Detection and removal of early oral and oropharyngeal premalignant lesions can help significantly reduce the risk of progression to cancer. This test will be offered to primary care and GYN physicians, LGBTQIA+ clinics, dentists, oral surgeons, and ENT practices across the country as part of routine examinations of patients. “Launching this oropharyngeal HPV test is an exciting milestone for OmniPathology, especially since this is an underserved area for diagnostic testing. As an organization led by science and driven by service, OmniPathology continues to offer state-of-the-art molecular testing that can impact patient care and enhance the quality of the services our physician clients offer to their patients,” said Mohammad Kamal M.D., founder and CEO of OmniPathology. “We continue to build our testing menu to target sexually transmitted infections and other viral diseases.” Oral HPV has no symptoms and is spread through skin-to-skin contact. Risk factors for oral HPV include oral sex, [...]

Personalised cancer vaccine trials produce ‘really hopeful’ results

Source: news.sky.com Author: Thomas Moore, Science correspondent @SkyNewsThomas A personalised cancer vaccine made from individual patients' own DNA has produced "really hopeful" early results. The ground-breaking jab, created using technology perfected in the COVID pandemic, is being given to patients after they complete conventional treatment for head and neck cancers. Patients have a high chance of the cancer returning. Preliminary data from a clinical trial being run at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre show that none of the first eight patients given the jab have relapsed, even after several months. But the cancer has returned in two of eight patients who weren't immunised. The numbers are far too small to draw firm statistical conclusions. But Professor Christian Ottensmeier, a consultant medical oncologist and director of clinical research at the centre, told Sky News he was "cautiously optimistic". "I am really hopeful, yes," he said. "I am quite excited about it. All the data are pointing in the right direction." A small clinical trial of the vaccine on patients with ovarian cancer in France and the US is also showing promising results How does the vaccine work? The jab, codenamed TG4050, is made by a French company called Transgene using similar technology that produced AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine. DNA from an individual patient's tumour is cut and pasted into a harmless virus. When the genetically modified virus is injected into the body, it trains the immune system to be on watch for cancer cells, hopefully destroying them at an early stage before there [...]

How MRI and CT predict flap failure after head and neck reconstructive cancer surgery

Author: Noah Fromson Source: labblog.uofmhealth.org A composite picture from MR perfusion of a free flap demonstrating measurements made within the flap. Credit: Michigan Medicine When a patient with head and neck cancer has surgery to remove it, they often need reconstructive surgery in the form of a “free flap”, which is skin and tissue taken from a different part of the body and connected to the blood vessels of the wound in need of repair. This free flap method, called microvascular reconstruction, carries around a 10-40% risk of wound complications, with 10% of cases requiring another surgery. A Michigan Medicine study finds that early postoperative CT scans and MRIs can help predict whether a flap will fail, which could allow surgeons to intervene earlier. The results are published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology. “All patients who have this procedure can be investigated with non-invasive post-operative CT or MRI perfusion, and these two methods show a lot of promise as accurate biomarkers of predicting free flap viability,” said Ashok Srinivasan, M.D., FACR, senior author of the paper and neuroradiologist at University of Michigan Health. “By seeing how much blood is flowing in and out of the tissue, we may be able to predict if the flap will succeed and if the patient can be discharged earlier, or it may be able to tell us sooner that surgical intervention is needed to repair the flap. Radiologists have used CT and MRI perfusion with contrast to look at blood perfusion [...]

Scientists hacked a locust’s brain to sniff out human cancer

Source: www.technologyreview.com Author: Jessica Hamzelou Cyborg locust brains can help spot the telltale signs of human cancer in the lab, a new study has shown. The team behind the work hopes it could one day lead to an insect-based breath test that could be used in cancer screening, or inspire an artificial version that works in much the same way. Other animals have been taught to spot signs that humans are sick. For example, dogs can be trained to detect when their owners’ blood sugar levels start to drop, or if they develop cancer, tuberculosis, or even covid. In all cases, the animals are thought to be sensing chemicals that people emit through body odor or breath. The mix of chemicals can vary depending on a person’s metabolism, which is thought to change when we get sick. But dogs are expensive to train and look after. And making a device that mimics a dog’s nose has proved extremely difficult to do, says Debajit Saha, one of the scientists behind the latest work, which has not yet been peer-reviewed. “These changes are almost in parts per trillion,” says Saha, a neural engineer at Michigan State University. This makes them hard to pick up even with state-of-the-art technologies, he adds. But animals have evolved to interpret such subtle changes in scents. So he and his colleagues decided to “hijack” an animal brain instead. Courtesy of researchers The researchers chose to work with locusts because these insects have been well studied [...]

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