A man’s cancer vanished after he was injected with a weakened herpes virus in a promising clinical trial

Source: www.insider.com Author: Andrea Michelson A new cancer therapy that uses a modified herpes virus to attack tumor cells showed promise in early clinical trials abroad. The drug, called RP2, completely obliterated one patient's oral cancer. The 39-year-old told the BBC that he had cancer of the salivary glands, which continued to grow despite attempts at treatment. He was preparing for the end of his life when he learned about the experimental drug, which was available through a phase one safety trial at the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK. After a short course of the drug, the patient — Krzysztof Wojkowski of west London — has been cancer-free for two years and counting, he told the BBC. Other patients in the trial saw their tumors shrink, although the majority did not have a significant change: three out of nine patients who were given the trial drug alone, and seven of 30 who received a combined treatment, appeared to benefit from the experimental therapy. While more research needs to be done to see how RP2 compares to known therapies, the drug seemed to help some patients and only caused mild side effects, such as tiredness. These early results are promising, said Jonathan Zager of the Moffitt Cancer Center, who was not involved in the trial. "We'll see some more studies done in the very near future, and I'm excited — certainly not disheartened or skeptical," Zager told Insider. A modified virus delivers a 'one-two punch' to cancer cells The [...]

2022-09-30T07:46:28-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Doctor reveals best way to swallow pills without gagging – including correct head position

Source: www.mirror.co.uk Author: Freya Hodgson, Online Reporter The expression that something is ‘a hard pill to swallow’ isn’t just a metaphor. Many people have difficulty swallowing tablets, and this can be particularly distressing if you need to take medication on a daily basis. We naturally chew food before swallowing, but tablets and capsules require a conscious override to the normal chew and swallow reflex. According to Harvard, this causes one in three people to gag, vomit or choke. But one NHS doctor has shared the best way to swallow your medicine smoothly, without gagging. Taking to TikTok, Dr Karan Rajan responded to a post in which a user had found a hack to help swallow medicine. They put the capsule on their tongue, took a gulp of water but didn’t swallow. Then they put their head forward before swallowing the medicine, a method which Dr Rajan said works well. He explained: "Now the best way to swallow capsules is with the head tilted forwards. See youtube video describing technique. "This may seem strange, but capsules are light and float in water, so when the head is tilted forward, capsules float towards the throat. "But when the head position is neutral or slightly tilted back, the capsules float towards the teeth, making swallowing a bit more difficult. "Now, when it comes to tablets and pills, you want your head tilted slightly back. "This is because tablets and pills can be slightly heavier and denser - so the focus needs to be [...]

2022-09-25T10:59:23-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

POISON’s Rikki Rockett wants to get word out about immunotherapy after being declared cancer-free

Source: blabbermouth.net Author: staff Rikki Rockett, drummer for the band POISON, got the best news of his life last week: his cancer is gone. Rockett was diagnosed with oral cancer more than a year ago. Several months ago, he came to Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, where he underwent experimental cancer immunotherapy, which has now eradicated the tumor. Rockett says he joined the clinical trial not only out of concern about himself, but also about being around for his three-year-old daughter, Lucy, and his seven-year-old son, Jude. Immunotherapy is a relatively new form of treatment that boosts the body's immune system, better enabling it to attack cancer cells. Under the care of Ezra Cohen, MD, professor of medicine and associate director for Translational Science at Moores Cancer Center, Rockett participated in a clinical trial that is testing a combination of two immunotherapy drugs that remove defenses cancers use against the immune system. This type of treatment is only available at a few specific medical centers around the country. "We are delighted that Rikki responded so well to immunotherapy. He had already been through a lot with chemotherapy and radiation treatment before he came to us, but his cancer recurred," said Cohen, who also leads the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program at Moores Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. "That's the advantage of immunotherapy over traditional therapy — there are fewer side effects, we can specifically eradicate cancer cells almost anywhere in the body, and it's [...]

2022-09-24T06:56:37-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Pilot study to look at ctDNA results in cancer patients with extraordinary immunotherapy response

Source: web.musc.edu Author: Leslie Cantu Every once in a while, oncologist John Kaczmar, M.D., will have a patient following a course of immunotherapy whose cancer just seems to vanish. “In your heart of hearts, you’re like, ‘Man, I kind of think we might have cured this person,’” said the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researcher. “Cure” is a word that cancer doctors tend to shy away from, especially in those who have metastatic cancer he said. But Kaczmar is curious about whether those people whose cancer is quickly knocked down – he terms them “extraordinary responders” – could potentially stop immunotherapy treatments sooner. Right now, he said, immunotherapy treatments typically last two years, though there isn’t strong research indicating what the proper length of treatment should be. If doctors and patients were confident that the cancer was gone, they could stop treatment sooner. “Side effects are random in immune therapy. They can happen six months out. They can happen nine months out,” Kaczmar said. “Perhaps some can have a shorter treatment course and avoid immunotherapy toxicity and reduce financial toxicity.” To begin to pull together data, Kaczmar is running a pilot study to look at circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in these extraordinary responders. Circulating tumor DNA is DNA from the cancer that can be found in the patient’s blood. Once a specialized lab has a sample of the tumor, collected either from a biopsy or during surgery, the tumor tissue can be sequenced to find the likely cancer mutations and develop [...]

2022-09-22T05:43:34-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

A shift in focus for head and neck cancer treatment

Source: www.curetoday.com Author: Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN When Cindy Stemple of Westerville, Ohio, noticed a sore on her tongue, the last thing she imagined was that she may have head and neck cancer. After all, she was only 27 years old. She finally went to see her dentist when the sore wouldn’t heal. Since Stemple didn’t have any known risk factors for head and neck cancer, the dentist didn’t expect cancer either. After trying several treatments, they decided it was time for a biopsy. Stemple still wasn’t concerned. “It wasn’t even in the realm of possible things,” she says. “I didn’t even take anybody to the appointment when I got the results and found out it was cancer because it was the furthest thing from my mind.” She received a diagnosis of stage 3 oral squamous cell carcinoma — which is a cancer that occurs in the mouth and/or throat. Tremendous Change in Head and Neck Cancer Historically, head and neck cancer, the seventh most common cancer globally, was predominantly diagnosed in older individuals and was often linked to tobacco and alcohol use. As smoking rates began to decline, so did tobacco- and alcohol-related cases among older individuals. But head and neck cancer rates began rising in another group — younger and middle-aged adults — driven by HPV infections, predominantly HPV type 16, which has been shown to be a clear risk factor for head and neck cancer as well as cervical cancer. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers in the United States [...]

2022-09-21T06:29:44-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Administering immunotherapy drug before surgery for oral cavity cancer did not increase complications

Source: www.news-medical.net Author: Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc A University of Cincinnati study found administering an immunotherapy drug before surgery for oral cavity cancer did not lead to increased rates of complications during and after surgery. The findings were published Aug. 25 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. Alice Tang, MD, first author on the study, said the research built upon previous findings led by UC's Trisha Wise-Draper that found adding immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab to the standard of care increased survival rates for patients with head and neck cancer with intermediate risk features. Pembrolizumab, sold under the brand name Keytruda, is an antibody used in cancer immunotherapy that treats a variety of cancers, including head and neck. Researchers reviewed outcomes of 32 patients from Wise-Draper's clinical trial who received pembrolizumab before head and neck cancer surgery and 32 control patients to see if the drug led to increased adverse events, including tissue swelling, wound infections, improper wound healing and failure of reconstruction, during and after surgery. "What we found was that patients who received preoperative treatment with immunotherapy did not have an increase in morbidities around the time of surgery," Tang said. Tang said the findings are encouraging as immunotherapy drugs continue to be researched as treatments for head and neck cancer. "For patients who are treatment naïve, meaning that they have not previously received chemotherapy, radiation or surgery for their oral cavity cancer, we can feel reassured that their complication rate would not be different [...]

2022-09-09T04:30:13-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Risk factors for positive surgical margins in salivary gland cancers

Source: www.physiciansweekly.com Author: Craig Bollig, MD An analysis of patients with salivary gland cancers shows that risk factors for positive surgical margins include age, tumor stage, and treatment center. “Salivary gland cancers are rare malignancies in the oropharynx that are primarily treated with surgery because they are relatively resistant to other therapies, such as radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy,” Craig Bollig, MD, explains. “Surgical margins have been associated with cancer recurrence rates and survival in previous studies. However, because these tumors are so rare, there was not much information on risk factors for positive margins in this population prior to this study. Additionally, one of my primary clinical interests is transoral robotic surgery (TORS), which involves using a surgical robot to remove tumors located deep in the throat in a minimally invasive fashion through a patient’s mouth.” According to Dr. Bollig, previous research on the use of TORS in this population was limited, as were data on whether it was associated with similar positive margin rates compared with traditional surgical approaches. For a study published in American Journal of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery, Dr. Bollig and colleagues obtained data from the National Cancer Database on patients with oropharyngeal salivary gland malignancies (OPSGM) from clinical T stages 1 to 4a who underwent surgical resection between 2010 and 2017. The researchers analyzed risk factors for positive surgical margins (PSM) using logistic regression and overall survival (OS) using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models. “Our objectives were to determine the clinical factors [...]

2022-09-06T09:55:57-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Natural remedies for dry mouth (Xerostomia)

Source: www.mskcc.org Author: Memorial Sloan Kettering staff More than 80% of people with cancer experience dry mouth (called xerostomia) after radiation to the head and neck or from certain medicines. Patients can especially experience dry mouth while sleeping. The symptoms of dry mouth — sometimes called “cotton mouth” — should not be ignored. The parched sensation is not only distracting and painful but also can set the stage for infections, cavities, and tooth decay. Additionally, it can interrupt good eating habits that keep you strong and well nourished. “It’s important to take care of mouth dryness because it can affect your health and recovery from cancer,” says Jason Hou, a pharmacist in the Integrative Medicine Service (IMS) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). “We know what helps dry mouth.” Here, Dr. Hou, who manages MSK’s About Herbs database, offers some natural dry mouth treatments. How To Get Rid of Dry Mouth For dry mouth due to antihistamines, anti-nausea medicines, or pain relievers: Your doctor may be able to switch medications to give you relief. For dry mouth after radiation: There are prescription or over-the-counter treatments that may help, but they come with side effects. What helps dry mouth for you will partly depend on whether you can still make some saliva. It’s a good idea to get evaluated for xerostomia before trying one or more of these home remedies. To Fix Dry Mouth, Make Your Own Mouthwash Dr. Hou suggests making your own mouthwash out of salt and baking [...]

2022-09-06T09:43:11-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Oral health professionals promote ‘value of having a dentist on the cancer care team’

Source: www.healio.com Author: Jennifer Byrne When planning their next steps after a cancer diagnosis, most patients don’t put a trip to the dentist at the top of their to-do list. “When patients are diagnosed with cancer, they just want to put out the fire; they want to address the cancer,” Dalal Alhajji, DMD, MSD, clinical instructor of oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology and medicine at NYU College of Dentistry, said in an interview with Healio. “That’s when I say, ‘the reason you need to see a dentist is, we want to put out another potential fire — one you might not know about yet.” Alhajji and her colleagues at NYU College of Dentistry are part of a small but growing movement among oral health professionals seeking to close the gap between medical and dental care for patients with cancer. They see dentists as a vital component of any multidisciplinary oncology care team, offering infection treatment, protection of teeth during head and neck radiation treatments, and quality-of-life care for issues such as dry mouth and mouth sores. “I’ve been lucky — the oncologists I work with have been great about referring patients to me because they see the impact it has,” Alhajji said. “They see the value of having a dentist on the cancer care team.” Addressing preventable issues There are several reasons for a patient with cancer to see a dentist prior to initiating cancer treatment, but patients with head and neck cancers and those slated to undergo bone marrow [...]

Woman has tongue remade after devastating diagnosis

Author: The Bharat Express News Source: www.thebharatexpressnews.com A woman who was told her mouth ulcers were caused by growing wisdom teeth and a hectic lifestyle has had part of her tongue removed and remade using muscle from her leg. Charlotte Webster-Salter, 27, began suffering from recurring ulcers in 2018, but attributed it to long shifts as a flight attendant and felt “run down.” After several visits to the dentist and GP, Charlotte was finally referred to a specialist in the Ear, Nose and Throat Unit at St Richards Hospital, Chichester, in February 2021, for a biopsy after her tongue developed painful, white patches. Test results revealed Charlotte had oral cancer after a tumor was diagnosed on her tongue. Weeks later, she underwent nine-hour surgery at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, during which part of her tongue was removed and replaced with muscle from her leg. Having no idea if she would be able to talk or eat normally again, Charlotte spent the next two weeks having a tracheostomy — an opening in the neck with a tube inserted to help you breathe. Despite the grueling surgery, Charlotte amazed doctors with her speedy recovery, and was overjoyed to find that the cancer hadn’t spread further. She now hopes to help raise awareness about signs and symptoms of the disease. Charlotte, a student midwife, from Petersfield, East Hampshire, said: “My tongue is now a two-tone color – it looks like a drumstick lollipop. “There is even a freckle on my tongue of my [...]

2022-08-15T11:01:10-07:00August, 2022|Oral Cancer News|
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