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Research to examine possible links between periodontal disease and oral cancer

Source: eu.dental-tribune.com
Author: Dental Tribune International staff

As worldwide oral cancer rates continue to climb, our understanding of what causes the disease to occur, thankfully, also continues to grow. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption have been established as primary risk factors, and researchers are now investigating another potential source for this condition: the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

The research is being led by Dr Louise Belfield, a lecturer in biomedical science at the University of Plymouth’s Peninsula Dental School, in collaboration with the university’s Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine. Since cancer requires blood vessels to grow and metastasise, the research team is planning to build on existing evidence that shows how certain bacteria that cause periodontal disease are linked to angiogenesis.

To do so, the research team will develop miniature tumours and blood vessels in a laboratory setting, adding the bacteria with the aim of clarifying how they function and what effect they have on the blood vessels.

According to a press release from the university, if the research ascertains that the bacteria make the blood vessels grow more rapidly and similarly to those associated with tumours and identifies the process by which this is achieved, the results could form the basis of a new screening programme to detect oral cancer risk earlier. This would make it possible to begin treatment in a more timely manner.

“We know that tumours in the mouth, unlike many other tumours, are in constant contact with bacteria, but we don’t know exactly how the bacteria affect tumour and vessel growth yet,” said Belfield.

“The bacteria may not cause the cancer, but they may do something to make the progression of the cancer speed up. One way they could do this is via the blood vessels, encouraging them to grow more rapidly or in a way which helps the tumour to grow. So if we find out what this is and how it works, it can help us develop and put screening processes in place to detect and reduce the numbers of those bacteria,” she continued.

Dental Tribune International (DTI) has previously reported on a study which confirmed the crucial role of dental professionals in detecting oral cancer early. This early detection can greatly improve the prognosis of sufferers.

“Oral cancer is a horrific disease with poor survival rates—only around 50% of those diagnosed are alive five years later. It is an in-your-face, no-hiding, disfiguring disease, and the treatment can be very protracted, complex and costly,” said Dr David Conway, Professor of Dental Public Health at the University of Glasgow’s School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, in an interview with DTI last year.

“The earlier it is detected, however, the better the outcome can be,” Conway added.

November, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Oral sex blamed for rise of mouth cancer in UK

Source: www.medicaldaily.com
Author: Darwin Malicdem

The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer has significantly increased by 135 percent over the past 20 years in the United Kingdom. Experts believe the increase comes amid the growing number of Brits engaging in oral sex.

Nonprofit Oral Health Foundation (OHF) issued a report showing oral cancer rates “have more than doubled in a generation” across the U.K. In 2018 alone, seven people died every day from the disease in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“While most cancers are on the decrease, cases of mouth cancer continue to rise at an alarming rate,” Nigel Carter, chief executive of the OHF, told the Daily Mail. “It changes how somebody speaks, it makes eating and drinking more difficult, and often changes a person’s physical appearance.”

The foundation said the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) caused 73 percent of the oropharyngeal mouth cancers. But drinking alcohol also contributed to the higher rates of the disease in the U.K.

OHF said 33 percent of mouth cancer diagnoses over the past decades were linked to consumption of alcoholic beverages. Smoking was associated with 17 percent of the cases.

The foundation launched Mouth Cancer Action Month in early November that aims to spread awareness of mouth cancer and its signs and symptoms.

“We want everyone to be more mouth aware during this year’s campaign,” Carter said in a press release. “This means being able to identify the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer, understand what is more likely to put us at greater risk, and importantly, know where to go if you spot anything out of the ordinary.”

He added early diagnosis has been effective to prevent deaths in the past years. Philip Lewis, of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, also highlighted that public awareness programs and self examination would help address the health issue.

In the U.S., the number of mouth cancer is also increasing. The Oral Cancer Foundation reported that nearly 54,000 Americans are being diagnosed with the disease every year.

Mouth cancer kills one person per hour in the country, leading to 13,500 deaths every year.

November, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Study shows checkpoint inhibitor prolongs survival in patients with certain head and neck cancers

Source: medicalxpress.com
Author: Anne Doerr, Yale University

The checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) increases the survival time of patients with advanced head and neck cancers, according to a new global study led by Yale Cancer Center (YCC). The data was published today in the journal The Lancet.

The findings of the phase 3 study show that, compared to the standard therapy, overall survival was significantly improved for participants with previously untreated recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancers.

“This research demonstrates that this checkpoint inhibitor, with or without chemotherapy, should be the first drug used for these types of cancers,” said the study’s lead investigator, Barbara Burtness, M.D., a professor of medicine (medical oncology) and co-leader of developmental therapeutics at YCC. “This is a very positive advance in treatment for our patients.”

Burtness added that early results from this clinical trial, KEYNOTE-048, led to FDA approval earlier this year of pembrolizumab as first-line therapy in untreated recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma, which include cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx.

While the median survival benefit was calculated in months, some patients treated with pembrolizumab lived much longer and did significantly better than patients who were not treated with the checkpoint inhibitor, Burtness noted.

The study looked at 882 participants enrolled in 200 medical centers in 37 countries, who were randomly assigned to one of three different groups: those receiving pembrolizumab, those treated with pembrolizumab and chemotherapy, and those getting the standard therapy with cetuximab and chemotherapy. Cetuximab is a drug designed to shut down a protein which makes cancer cells more responsive to growth factors. The chemotherapy used was platinum and 5-fluorouracil.

Pembrolizumab used alone improved average survival to 14.9 months, compared to 10.7 months for standard therapy. Use of pembrolizumab combined with chemotherapy improved survival to an average of 13 months.

Furthermore, survival differences between patients treated with pembrolizumab and those who weren’t remained apparent years after treatment.

Investigators found that at three years, 33 percent of patients treated with pembrolizumab monotherapy were alive, as well as about 26 percent of participants in the pembrolizumab/chemotherapy groups, compared with only 8 percent of those in the standard treatment group.

“The difference with immunotherapy is the durability of the effect it has on survival,” Burtness said. “These agents seem to change the tumor microenvironment, altering the natural history of the cancer.”

Patients treated with pembrolizumab alone experienced fewer side effects, and participants in the other two groups experienced about the same level of adverse effects.

November, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Tiny cancer tracers could boost survival rates

Source: www.bignewsnetwork.com/
Author: PanArmenian.Net staff

Nanoparticles that can detect complex cancer cells and potentially improve five-year survival rates are headed for human trials.

South Australian company Ferronova has developed the nanoparticles that are designed to identify early stage tumor and related cancer cells, Medical Xpress says. Ferronova Chief Executive Stewart Bartlett said the tiny cancer tracers were expected to be trialled on oral cancer patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in April 2020, pending key approvals.

Bartlett said once Ferronova’s polymer-coated iron oxide nanoparticles were injected into patients they would show up on an MRI within about 15 minutes.

‘The way they work in cancer is they’re designed to be detected around a solid tumor’ he said.

‘They’ll actually be picked up by your lymphatic system as a foreign body and follow the same pathway as any cancer spread from a primary tumor would follow.

‘If you can actually know where those particles are going you can also determine where the cancer would have gone.’

Ferronova was spun out of a nanoparticles research collaboration between the University of South Australia and New Zealand’s Victoria University, with backing from IP investors Powerhouse Ventures and UniSA Ventures. Bartlett said preclinical trials at the Mawson Lakes lab had given the company confidence to use the particles on humans. He said the treatment was expected to be 90 percent accurate.

‘We’ve added a molecule to the particles so they go to the first lymph node and they are retained in the first lymph node, which no other magnetic particles do,’ Bartlett said.

‘The advantage of that is you can do these injections and do an MRI after 15 minutes. But if you don’t have surgery for another two or three days that’s OK because they [the particles] stay in the first node.’

He said the technique had so far been used in cancers such as breast and melanoma.

‘If you look at the patients who are diagnosed with localized cancer, their five-year survival rates are pretty much 100 percent,’ Bartlett said.

‘Our technology was to make this possible in complex cancers.

‘A good example would be lung cancer. In the early stage lung cancers, that are assumed to be localized, the five-year survival rate is about 50 percent.

‘Our objective is to really improve the five-year survival rate for those more complex cancers that don’t take advantage of that method.’

University of South Australia biomedical engineer Professor Benjamin Thierry and Ph.D. student Valentina Milanova are collaborating on the trial. Prof Thierry has previously led a study investigating the impact of radiotherapy on the body’s tissues.

November, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Oral mucositis: preventing the side effect before undergoing cancer treatment

Source: www.curetoday.com/
Author: Katie Kosko

Oral mucositis can be painful and, in some cases, require hospitalization of patients being treated for cancer with chemotherapy and other radiation therapies. However, along with your care team, you can take steps to prevent this uncomfortable side effect.

In an interview CURE®, Dr. Alessandro Villa, assistant professor in oral medicine and dentistry at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, spotlighted the number of patients with cancer who are affected by oral mucositis, explained the benefits of two agents approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for intervention and explored how patients can control the side effect from the comfort of their homes.

CURE®: Can you explain what types of cancer treatment cause oral mucositis?
Villa: Oral mucositis is an iconic toxicity of cancer therapy and remains one of the most painful and disrupting side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. When I talk about radiation therapy, I talk about patients with head and neck cancer. In these patients, usually 100% receiving radiation therapy develop oral mucositis. We also see mucositis in approximately 60% to 80% of patients who undergo bone marrow transplants. And finally, we see it in 20% to 40% of patients who receive conventional chemotherapy for any cancer.

What are the consequences of oral mucositis?
Oral mucositis is one of the most painful toxicities in patients receiving radiation therapy to the head and neck. It’s the number one cause of hospitalization in these patients. It can sometimes be so severe and painful that patients can’t speak, swallow or eat. It’s a very debilitating toxicity. If they are not able to eat, they may end up receiving a feeding tube. The cost associated with oral mucositis is higher than $17,000 per patient. There is still a huge unmet need out there for patients.

What questions should patients and/or caregivers ask their health care team about oral mucositis?
The first question I would have them ask is, what can I expect? Because it can be different between radiation and chemotherapy. And as we have discussed, they can also ask: What can I do at home to minimize this risk? And what are the preventative measures?

How can oral mucositis be prevented?
The FDA has approved two agents for mucositis intervention. One is called palifermin, which is approved for the prevention of severe oral mucositis in patients who receive certain treatment in preparation for bone marrow transplant. The second agent, which is for mitigation of mucositis in patients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer, is a rinse called benzydamine hydrochloride.

Cryotherapy is recommended by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in patients who receive a specific chemotherapy, 5-fluorouracil or more commonly 5FU. Patients can swish on ice chips for about 30 minutes starting about five minutes before the drug is administered. And to control mucositis pain, morphine may be used in patients who undergo stem cell transplantation.

What can patients do at home to help avoid the side effect or reduce its severity?
There are specific recommendations that patients should follow to minimize oral mucositis. One of them is maintaining good oral hygiene using a soft toothbrush. Patients can also use a saline solution 3-4 times a day, then rinse and spit. Cleansing of the mouth and good lubrication of the inside of the cheeks and lips can help with the pain and inflammation. The reason behind it is that, from a scientific standpoint, the microbiome (the bacteria and all the bugs that we have in the mouth) can contribute in the development and worsening of the mucositis. The cleaner the mouth, the better it is. Of course, patients may be sensitive to certain toothpastes, so it’s important to use mild-flavored fluoridated toothpaste when brushing. In some cases, patients should avoid spicy, acidic or hot foods because these may trigger symptoms for the patient.

How is the side effect monitored?
This depends on the type of treatment they are receiving. If they are receiving radiation, they come in the hospital Monday through Friday, so they are monitored daily.

For those with chemotherapy, most of these drugs are administered through IV in the hospital. However, there are some new chemotherapies given by mouth and patients take these at home, but they can give different side effects.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about oral mucositis?
Right now, this is a huge unmet clinical problem for patients and a devastating toxicity, but the development for oral mucositis is pretty robust with a wide range of new agents. This is promising, and there are some good results in current clinical trials with some of these new agents in progress. If I’m being optimistic, I think that there should be new options ready for approval in the next 5-10 years. There is a lot in the pipeline.

November, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Health department official on HPV vaccine: “What are we waiting for?”

Source: www.mynews13.com
Author: Rebecca Turco

Despite studies from the CDC showing the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine at preventing certain types of cancer, some parents are still hesitant to get their children vaccinated.

  • 92% of almost 35,000 cancers could be prevented by vaccine
  • Doctor: Some parents may think vaccine promotes sexual behavior
  • County Health Departments offer HPV vaccine for free

Dr. Raul Pino, the interim administrator of the Orange County Health Department, wants to change that.

Among the estimated 34,800 cancers probably caused by the human papilloma virus between 2012 and 2016, an estimated 92% could be prevented by the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We have a vaccine that prevents some type of cancers, and now we’re questioning if we should take the vaccine,” he said. “It will not only prevent penile cancer or vaginal cancer or cervical cancer, but also oral, esophagus and tonsils.

“So what are we waiting for?”

Pino thinks some parents might be hesitant because of the widely spread, but disproven, belief that vaccines are linked to autism. Then, there are other parents who think giving their child the vaccine is promoting sexual behavior. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection.

“The reality is, I think what the parents have to present to themselves in this debate, is what is the paramount objective here?” Pino said. “Is the paramount objective to offer protection to the individual, or is the paramount objective to prevent the behavior?”

Officials recommended that children receive the multi-dose HPV vaccine years before becoming sexually active, anywhere from 9 to 12 years old. A little more than half of teens, 51 percent, received all recommended doses of the vaccine last year, according to the CDC.

The HPV vaccine is not a required immunization for students in Florida. County health departments offer the vaccine for free.

October, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Does HPV vaccine reduce HIV-positive men oral cancer risks?

Source: www.precisionvaccinations.com
Author: Don Ward Hackett, Fact checked by Robert Carlson, MD & Danielle Reiter, RN

Does the HPV vaccine protect against oral infections?

That’s the question a new National Cancer Institutes (NCI) funded clinical trial of the Gardasil 9 vaccine hopes to answer.

This extensive study will determine whether the Gardasil 9 vaccine can prevent persistent oral HPV infections among men who are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive, said the NCI online on October 8, 2019.

Oral HPV infections and HPV-related oral cancers are common in men and among HIV-positive individuals.

Gardasil 9 is the most recent formulation of the Human Papolivirus (HPV) vaccine, which covers 5 additional cancer-causing HPV types. There are over 100 types of HPV.

“We are hoping that if we show the efficacy of the vaccine, that vaccinating both males and females will ultimately reverse” the rising incidence of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers, said one of the trial’s lead investigators, Anna Giuliano, Ph.D., of Moffitt Cancer Center.

The trial is one of several within the US–Latin American–Caribbean Clinical Trials Network (ULACNet), an NCI-led effort to reduce the burden of HPV-related cancers in HIV-positive individuals.

This new study intends to build relevant insights upon a June 2017 study found that vaccination against HPV may sharply reduce oral HPV infections that are a major risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer, a type of head and neck cancer, says the NCI.

The 2017 study found that the prevalence of oral infection with 4 HPV types, including two high-risk, or cancer-causing, types, was 88 percent lower in those who reported receiving at least 1-dose of an HPV vaccine, than in those who said they were not vaccinated.

The ULACNet international collaborative research network brings together institutions in the United States and counterparts in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region.

Funded in Fall 2019 via a U54 Partnership Centers Cooperative Agreement mechanism, ULACNet comprises of 3 Partnership Centers, each collaboratively conducting a multidisciplinary Clinical Trials Program supported via an infrastructure of an Administrative and Coordinating Core, a Data Management and Statistical Core, and a Central Laboratory Core.

ULACNet investigators collaborate with the NCI to design and conduct clinical trials on three key scientific areas across the continuum of prevention interventions for HPV-related cancers in people living with HIV, including:

  • optimizing dosing and delivery and evaluating new indications for HPV prophylactic vaccines
  • evaluating new biomarkers and technologies for improving the accuracy of cervical and anogenital cancer screening and triage
  • evaluating novel non-excisional treatments for HPV-related precancerous lesions

Outcomes of ULACNet clinical trials are expected to influence the development of clinical practice guidelines to improve preventive clinical care and reduce the burden of highly preventable HPV-related cancers in people living with HIV.

The three ULACNet Partnership Centers include the following collaborations between institutions in the United States and partners in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Peru, and the Dominican Republic:

  • University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in San Francisco, CA (PI: Joel Palefsky, MD) in partnership with University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico (PI: Anna Patricia Ortiz, PhD, MPH) and National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (PI: Jorge Salmeron, MD, DSc)
  • Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, NY (PI: Timothy Wilkin, MD, MS) in partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa, FL (PI: Anna Giuliano, PhD, MPH), University of Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil (PI: Luisa Villa, PhD), National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (PI: Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce, MD, PhD), and the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico (PI: Jorge Santana-Bagur, MD)
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA (PIs: Margaret Madeleine, PhD, MPH, and Ann Duerr, MD, PhD) in partnership with Asociacion Civil Via Libre in Lima, Peru (PI: Robinson Cabello, MD), National Institute of Infectious Diseases Evandro Chagas-Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (PI: Beatriz Grinsztejn, MD, PhD), PATH in Seattle, WA (PI: Silvia de Sanjose, MD, PhD), and Instituto Dermatologico Dominicano y Cirugia de Piel (IDCP) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (PI: Yeycy Donastorg, MD).

For more information about this important clinical trial, please contact the ULACNet Program Director is Vikrant Sahasrabuddhe, MBBS, DrPH in the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention.

References:
US-Latin American-Caribbean Clinical Trials Network (ULACNet) for Prevention of HPV-related Cancers in People Living with HIV
HPV Vaccine May Provide Men with “Herd Immunity” against Oral HPV Infections
HPV Vaccination Linked to Decreased Oral HPV Infections
HPV-Related Cancer Prevention and Control Programs at Community-Based HIV/AIDS Service Organizations: Implications for Future

October, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Does your toothbrush have an app yet?

Source: www.nytimes.com
Author: Janet Morrissey

A classroom at the Touro College of Dental Medicine in Hawthorne, N.Y., displaying images of software that shows patients how they will look after treatment. CreditCreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

When Theresa Gucciardo-Perry discovered a cracked crown in her mouth in April, she dreaded the idea of going to a dentist to get it replaced.

The Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., resident has undergone more than 18 root canal procedures; she also has five implants, with crowns on all but her front teeth. She hated the procedure in which trays of a gag-producing, putty-like substance were stuffed into her mouth to make impressions.

“The putty material is just absolutely gross — I want to throw up,” said Ms. Gucciardo-Perry, 55. “And the crown never fit right. I always had to go back.”

But this time, she sought care at the Touro Dental Health clinic, part of the Touro College of Dental Medicine in Hawthorne, N.Y., where students learn the latest state-of-the-art techniques. There, her teeth were digitally scanned with the wave of a wand — rather than a bulky goop-filled tray — and a crown was built digitally. It fit perfectly.

“I was amazed — totally amazed,” said Ms. Gucciardo-Perry.

Digital scanning is among a number of advances being adopted by the dental industry as the sector undergoes a technological metamorphosis.

Among the latest innovations: The use of digital scanners and 3-D printers to offer same-day crown replacements, smart toothbrushes that talk back to you via a phone app when you’ve missed an area while brushing, lasers that eliminate the need for an anesthetic, and digital tools that detect oral cancer.

Some of these advances had been around for a number of years but had not been widely adopted because of high equipment costs, lack of training or dentists who were more comfortable with older, traditional equipment.

Sensing this trend, the Touro College of Dental Medicine opened at New York Medical College in 2016 to train students in both established and cutting-edge technologies.

“We designed the school to address the practice world of 2030 — not the practice world of 1985,” said Edward Farkas, Touro’s vice dean and chairman of dentistry. And demand has been soaring.

“We have 3,600 applicants for 113 spaces this year,” he said. Larger schools, like New York University, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, offer similar state-of-the-art training but at a much higher tuition price. Touro charges $57,000 a year, compared to $78,854 at New York University and more at Ivy League schools.

Until recently, dentistry has largely lagged the medical field when it came to using artificial intelligence and other technology to diagnose or treat medical conditions. For researchers, dentistry didn’t attract the big headlines, fame and potentially lucrative windfalls that came with big medical advances, said Jeff Becker, senior analyst of health care strategy at Forrester Research.

But that changed as social media took off.

“These days, people want brighter, whiter, straighter teeth,” said Eric Payne, founder and chief executive of TEKagogo, a digital start up that connects dentists with technicians for same-day repairs. And dentists are jumping in, plastering before-and-after photos of their work all over the internet to attract new patients.

Around the same time that social media took off, cardiologists were starting to preach the connection between oral health and heart disease. Conditions like gingivitis and gum disease can raise red flags.

“The heart is pumping that bacteria from the oral cavity throughout your body,” said Mr. Payne. “If you don’t take care of your teeth, all that nastiness in your mouth is going to pump through your body.”

Suddenly, dentistry became trendy, and young researchers who saw opportunity started bringing tech advances to the dental world. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the top prize in the Cozad Competition for student start-ups went to dental-related technologies in both 2018 and 2019 — a first in the contest’s 20-year history, said Laura A. Frerichs, director of the University of Illinois Research Park, a technology hub for start-up companies.

So, which technologies are leading the dental industry’s transformation?

Digital scanners, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and 3-D printers are among the game changers.

A digital scanner is a wandlike device that captures three-dimensional images of the teeth, bite and surrounding tissue in real time. It’s fast and eliminates the need for clunky, goop-filled impression trays and messy plaster molds. The images can be sent electronically to a lab within minutes, which speeds up the wait time for patients needing crowns or bridges.

 

A CAD/CAM system allows dentists to make same-day crowns, veneers and bridges right in their offices. The system captures the digital images, designs the crown virtually and then sends the design to a milling machine or 3-D printer in the office.

Dr. Barbara Jurim, assistant director of digital dentistry at Touro, recalls recently treating a patient who was about to travel out of the country for three months and needed a new crown. She scanned the patient, designed the crown, manufactured it and cemented it in the office that day. “We’re talking about a treatment timeline that was two and a half hours as opposed to two visits over the course of two weeks,” she said.

Then there’s cone beam technology, which captures high-resolution, three-dimensional X-ray images through a machine that rotates around a patient’s head. The cone beam and scanner data allow a surgeon to create surgical guides, which are 3-D printed maps that pinpoint exactly how and where dental implants are placed during surgery, said Dr. Akshay Kumar, a periodontist in Hackensack, N.J., who uses scanners and cone beam technology in his practice.

“It’s changed the way we do dental implants” and cut the surgery time in half, said Dr. German Gallucci, associate professor and chairman of the department of restorative dentistry and biomaterials sciences at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

But finding dentists who use the technology is a challenge given the price: A digital scanner costs between $30,000 and $50,000, while a cone beam devices runs $80,000 to $100,000, Dr. Kumar said.

Fewer than 10 percent of dentists have milling machines or 3-D printers in their offices, and only 15 percent to 20 percent have digital scanners, estimates Dr. Ronnie Myers, dean and professor of dental medicine at Touro.

3-D milling machines can produce models of a patient’s teeth.CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

 

The machines can also produce surgical guides to aid in procedures.CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

As the price of digital scanners, milling machines and other technology comes down, more dentists will likely start adopting the technology, Dr. Kumar said.

The field of orthodontics has seen some of the biggest advances. Technology that uses augmented reality, scanners and 3-D printers can show patients how they would look with new crowns or straightened teeth. And clear aligners can do the job of traditional braces.

“Instead of going to the orthodontist and getting your braces adjusted, a new set of 3-D printed aligners are made and mailed to your home, and they progressively shift the teeth into alignment for you,” Mr. Becker said.

Technology by Mechanodontics, a start-up, straightens teeth from behind.

Another start-up called Mechanodontics has developed a technology that straightens without the use of braces and aligners. Instead, tiny springs and brackets are placed behind a patient’s teeth, with no regular adjustments required. The technology can cut treatment time in half, the company says.

Then there’s the smart toothbrush, which uses 3-D motion sensors and artificial intelligence to track the time, frequency, duration and location of brushing, and alerts the user to areas that have been missed through a Bluetooth-connected phone app.

Thomas Serval, a co-founder of Kolibree, which makes the artificial intelligence toothbrush, came up with the idea in 2014 when trying to find ways to motivate his daughter, Heloise, to brush her teeth. He added mobile games to the phone app, giving virtual awards for good brushing.

In 2018, Mr. Serval licensed the technology to Colgate, which sells it as the Colgate Smart Electric toothbrush. A new version aimed at children, called Magik, is also being rolled out in the United States.

Colgate’s Smart Electric toothbrush sends data to the Colgate Connect app.

Ms. Gucciardo-Perry, said that after her experience being treated with new technology at the Touro clinic, she’s never going back to old-school treatments.

“I’ll absolutely be going back to Touro,” she said. “And my children will be going there too.”

October, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Anti-malarial drug can make cancer chemotherapy more effective

Source: medicalxpress.com
Author: Emma McKinney, University of Birmingham

Scientists at the University of Birmingham have found an anti-malarial drug was effective in treating head and neck cancer in mice.

The drug quinacrine was used extensively to prevent and treat malaria in soldiers fighting in mosquito-ridden areas during World War Two. It is similar to the quinine that makes tonic water glow, has minimal side-effects, and is now used for treating parasite infections and other conditions.

Each year around 11,900 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer in the UK. Current treatment relies heavily on debilitating surgery and toxic chemotherapy, but despite this, it has a poor outcome with three to seven in 10 people surviving their disease for five years or more.

The drug, quinacrine, was tested through a number of methods, including on cell cultures, in tumour biopsies from patients with head and neck cancer, and in mice.

The research results, published in Oncotarget, show that in mice quinacrine can make standard chemotherapy more effective—suggesting a lower dose may be used, reducing toxic side effects.

The results also showed the drug to be effective at reducing the growth of cancer cells grown in the lab, and in tumors.

Significantly, the research in mice showed a combination therapy of quinacrine and chemotherapy, and so allowed for the chemotherapy dose to be halved while still maintaining the same impairment of tumor growth.

Lead author Dr. Jennifer Bryant, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education, said: “This is important research in the laboratory and demonstrates the real potential in repurposing drugs.

“The team is now looking to translate these research findings into a clinical trial for head and neck cancer patients.”

Corresponding author Professor Hisham Mehanna, Director of the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education at the University of Birmingham and Consultant Head, Neck and Thyroid Surgeon at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said drug repurposing is particularly exciting due to known safety in humans and low cost, which mean they can be rapidly translated from the lab to the clinic.

He added: “Head and neck cancer patients have limited treatment options, often associated with severe, potentially life-threatening, side effects, it is important, therefore, that we find different treatments.

“My team has developed a drug repurposing platform called “AcceleraTED’ which assesses drugs that treat other non-cancerous conditions and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to see if they have the potential to be effective anti-cancer agents against head and neck cancer.

“This research is an example of the success we are having in the laboratory through this platform in identifying promising drugs that can be candidates to be used in patients in clinic.”

October, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Radiation for head and neck cancer may cause problems years later

Source: www.usnews.com
Author: Steven Reinberg

Ten years after radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, some patients may develop problems speaking and swallowing, a new study finds.

These problems are related to radiation damage to the cranial nerves, the researchers explained. The condition is called radiation-induced cranial neuropathy.

“We had always thought that radiation did not damage cranial nerves because they get treated in every patient with head and neck cancer, and we do not see cranial neuropathy that commonly,” said Dr. Thomas Galloway, of the department of radiation oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

“What our data is suggesting is that a small percentage of people do get cranial nerve damage from treatment, but it occurs after a long latency period,” Galloway said.

For the study, the researchers collected data on 1,100 patients who had radiation for head and neck cancer between 1990 and 2005. Among these patients, 112 were followed for at least 10 years.

Of the 112 patients, 14% developed at least one cranial neuropathy. The median time until the condition was seen was more than seven years. It took some patients more than 10 years to develop the problem, the findings showed.

Curing the initial cancer is the most important concern, Galloway said. But these patients need to be followed for the rest of their lives, if possible, he added.

The report was published recently in the journal Oral Oncology.

October, 2019|Oral Cancer News|