Head and Neck Cancers: Understanding Risk Factors, Advances in Treatment, and the HPV Vaccine.

Author: John Fernandez Source: baptisthealth.net The classification is known as “head and neck cancers” — but these cases don’t involve the brain and spine. They do involved just about everything else above the collarbone. April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, when cancer specialists take extra time to remind the public of the top risk factors: tobacco, alcohol, sun exposure and HPV (human papillomavirus). It’s also the time of year when specialists relay the importance of screenings and healthy living. That’s because head and neck cancers are preventable, said Geoffrey Young, M.D., Ph.D., chief of head and neck surgery at Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health. Head and neck cancers are more treatable today. “There are been significant developments in surgery, radiation therapy and systemic therapy,” explains Dr. Young. “These include transoral robotic surgery, targeted proton radiation, and immunotherapy. All are changing the face of head and neck cancer with new protocols and clinical trials coming out every day.” Head and neck cancers can involve the mucosal lining of upper aero-digestive tract, including nasal cavity/sinuses, oral cavity (tongue, palate, gums), pharynx (back of the throat) and the voicebox (larynx). Head and neck cancer specialists also treat salivary gland cancers, skin cancers and thyroid cancers. “The treatment of head and neck cancer is very complex and multidisciplinary consultation with head and neck surgery, medical oncology, and radiation oncology is often necessary,” adds Dr. Young. The HPV Vaccine Over the last few years, HPV has been making headlines because of the promising development [...]

2022-04-18T09:53:05-07:00April, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Researchers find new treatment combo effective for head and neck cancer

Source: nocamels.com Author: Simona Shemer Israeli researchers have helped to develop a new treatment combination for patients with advanced or metastatic head and neck cancer (HNC). The treatment, which uses both a targeted drug and immunotherapy following a certain sequence and within a specific time frame, blocks a signaling pathway that suppresses the immune system and keeps it from fighting tumor cells. The research was conducted by an international team of scientists led by PhD student Manu Prasad in the laboratory of Prof. Moshe Elkabets of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Their findings were just published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer in a study co-authored by Israeli, Chinese, French, German, and US researchers. The researchers targeted an aggressive type of HNC which is driven by the hyperactivation of a specific signaling pathway that will not allow the immune system to kill tumor cells. This was found in more than 40 percent of HNC cases. Head and neck cancers include cancer in the larynx (voice box), throat, lips, mouth, nose, and salivary gland, or malignant tumors that arise from the lining of the head and neck regions. The treatments currently available treatments are ineffective, Prof. Elkabets tells NoCamels. HNC develops in multiple sites on a person and existing treatments, which include chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy have a relatively low response rate of about 20 percent. The average survival rate for patients in Stage III or IV of the disease is only about [...]

Early warning signs of oral cancer

Author: MetroCreative Connection Source: www.washtimesherald.com Oral cancer is a significant threat across the globe. Data from the World Health Organization indicates that more than 450,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year. The Oral Cancer Foundation notes that oral cancers are part of a group of cancers referred to as head and neck cancers. All cancers in that group are potentially dangerous, but oral cancers account for roughly 85 percent of all head and neck cancer diagnoses, which underscores the importance of routine oral health checkups. The Moffitt Cancer Center® in Florida notes that many dentists perform oral cancer screenings during routine checkups, which dispels the notion that checkups are unnecessary for individuals who practice proper dental hygiene every day. The American Dental Association notes there is not a one-size-fits-all regimen for dental health. However, at least two visits to a dentist per year can ensure teeth stay clean and afford dentists opportunities to screen for oral cancers and detect other issues, including gingivitis. In addition to scheduling routine checkups, individuals can learn to spot the common symptoms of oral cancer. The Moffitt Cancer Center urges individuals to seek medical attention if any of these signs persist for more than two weeks: A sore, irritation or thickness in the mouth or throat • A white or red patch on the inside of the mouth • A feeling that something is caught in the throat • Hoarseness or other vocal changes • Persistent coughing • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or [...]

2022-04-05T07:38:47-07:00April, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

U.S. Tobacco Use at Lowest Level in Decades, CDC Says

Author: Carolyn Crist Source: www.webmd.com March 28, 2022 -- Tobacco use dropped among U.S. adults in 2020, hitting the lowest levels since the mid-1960s, according to a new study from the CDC. From 2019 to 2020, the percentage of adults who use any type of tobacco product decreased from 21% to 19%. The percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes dropped from 14% to 12.5%, and the percentage who use e-cigarettes or vaping devices decreased from 4.5% to 3.7%. “This is definitely positive news as these numbers are continuing a downward trend in tobacco use we’ve seen in the past few years,” Thomas Carr, the national director of policy at the American Lung Association, told UPI. “That said, tobacco use is a big cause of lung disease, so the problem isn’t solved,” he said. The research team analyzed data from more than 31,000 adults who took the 2020 National Health Interview Survey, which included questions about the use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, and smokeless tobacco. Current cigarette smoking was defined as smoking 100 or more cigarettes during one’s lifetime and now smoking cigarettes “every day” or “some days.” For other products, such as cigars and vaping pens, current smokers were those who used them “every day” or “some days” at the time of the survey. The researchers found that about 47 million U.S. adults reported using any tobacco product, making up 19% of the adult population. That included 12.5% for cigarettes, 3.7% for e-cigarettes and vaping products, 3.5% [...]

2022-04-02T11:05:58-07:00April, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

‘Powerful’: World’s first PCR test for mouth cancer developed – get result in 90 minutes

Author: Adam Chapman Source: www.express.co.uk A NEW weapon in the fight against cancer has arrived: the world's first PCR test for mouth cancer. How does it work and what are the implications for improving mouth cancer rates? Early detection is key to surviving cancer and researchers have developed an innovative tool to aid this effort. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have developed the world’s first PCR test for mouth cancer. The test's accuracy has been demonstrated on patients from China, India and the UK and the results are published in the international journal, Cancers. Named the Quantitative Malignant Index Diagnosis System (qMIDS) by inventor Doctor Muy-Teck Teh, it has the potential to relieve pressure on the NHS and may improve the early detection of oral cancer. How it works The test is quick and easy. It only needs the PCR machine used in Covid testing and a technician to operate it. A tiny sample (the size of half-a-grain of rice) is taken from the suspicious area in the patient’s mouth and the test only takes 90 minutes after reaching the technician – similar to a Covid PCR test. Until now there hasn’t been a perfect way to identify the lesions likely to develop into cancer. There is a grading system which highly skilled consultant oral pathologists use to assess the tissue samples through a microscope. However, this grading system does not always accurately predict or capture the lesions that will or have become cancerous. This is because early [...]

2022-04-02T10:41:06-07:00April, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Grim reaper tattoo used in throat cancer reconstruction

Source: www.bbc.co.uk Author: staff Surgeons used skin from a man's arm - including a tattoo of the grim reaper - to reconstruct his tongue and voice box in a life-saving operation. Colin Reilly from Bristol, had to record his own voice before surgery in case he lost the ability to speak in the operation to remove a tumour. As part of the operation his jaw had to be split and the lower half of his face reconstructed when it was completed. Mr Reilly said there is "not enough" he can do for the hospital that saved him. Mr Reilly, 50, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2020 and an endoscopy found a tumour at the back of his tongue. Between October and December 2020 he underwent six weeks of radiotherapy and was fed through a tube, but it became clear the tumour was very advanced and without treatment Mr Reilly would have six months to live. The grim reaper tattoo was taken from his forearm Mr Reilly amazed doctors when he was able to speak soon after the surgery Ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Oliver Dale said he was willing to carry out the surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, despite the position of the tumour making the surgery high risk - with the chance Mr Reilly would not be able to speak or eat again. "Mr Dale was amazing," said Mr Reilly. "He told us that he believed he could do the surgery, despite [...]

Your Healthy Family: Vaping puts teens at higher risk of oral cancer

Author: Lisa Greenburg Source: www.fox4now.com Many people think vaping isn't as bad for you as smoking, but health experts say that's a myth. A dentist says vaping has the same oral effects as tobacco, and puts teens at high risk of oral cancer. A team of researchers from the University of California found teens who vape had five times the cancer-causing chemicals in their bodies than teens who did not, especially from the fruit-flavored vaping cartridges. Dr. Fred Guerra of Guerra Dental said vaping negatively impacts your mouth in the same ways as tobacco. "It can be precancerous. It can lead to gum disease. It gives people bad breath. It gives people dry mouth, and dry mouth increases cavities, so while people may think it's safer for the rest of the body, it's not necessarily," Dr. Guerra said. He said all dentists need to be on the front lines of oral cancer and talk to teens and young adults about the dangers of vaping. "Dentists are in such a unique position to counsel our patients on never starting. Or if they have, to do it in a manner that's not threatening and not demeaning. To try to show them that they have control over the effects of some of these devices, so that they can make a rational decision to say 'OK, I need to quit. How can I quit?” Dr. Guerra said. Even if the vaping products have no nicotine, Dr. Guerra said it's still bad for your mouth. [...]

2022-03-05T11:56:48-07:00March, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

DNA biomarker test helps predict recurrence of HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer after treatment

Author: Emily Henderson, B.Sc. Source: www.news-medical.net A large, multi-institutional study demonstrates that a blood test to detect circulating tumor DNA can accurately predict recurrence of HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer following treatment. Results also indicate that the biomarker test may detect recurrent disease earlier than imaging or other standard methods of post-treatment surveillance, allowing physicians to personalize treatment more quickly for patients whose cancer returns. Findings from the study will be presented today at the 2022 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium. Roughly 15-25% of patients with HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer experience recurrence after treatment, often presenting as distant disease that has spread past the throat and neck. Currently, recurrence is detected primarily through imaging and physical exams, but there is wide variability in the use and frequency of these surveillance methods. In the study, researchers retrospectively examined data from 1,076 patients who had one or more tests to detect circulating tumor tissue modified viral (TTMV)-HPV DNA as part of their post-treatment surveillance. All patients were examined more than three months after completing standard treatment with surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Of the 80 patients (7% of the total sample) who tested positive for the biomarker in surveillance, 95% were confirmed through imaging, biopsy and/or endoscopy as having recurrent HPV-positive disease. The presence of TTMV-HPV DNA was the first indicator of recurrence for 72% of the patients whose cancer returned, and roughly half of the recurrences (48%) were found in patients tested more than 12 months after completing therapy. "Most patients had no [...]

2022-03-03T12:18:52-07:00March, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Tumor tissue modified viral-HPV DNA test predicts HPV-driven oropharynx cancer recurrence

Author: Ryan Lawrence Source: www.healio.com A blood test to detect circulating tumor DNA accurately predicted recurrence of HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer after treatment, according to research presented at Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium. In addition, findings from the retrospective clinical case series suggested the biomarker test may detect disease recurrence earlier than imaging or other surveillance methods, allowing clinicians to personalize treatment faster for patients whose cancer returns. "We believe that tumor tissue modified viral [TTMV]-HPV DNA testing should be incorporated into surveillance guidelines for monitoring patients treated for HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer," Glenn J. Hanna, MD, director of the Center for Salivary and Rare Head and Neck Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told Healio. Background Hanna and colleagues pursued the research because, despite favorable outcomes, up to 20% of patients with HPV-driven oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) experience recurrence within 5 years of curative-intent therapy, roughly half of whom present with distant disease. Meanwhile, current practices for surveillance after treatment rely on physical exams and imaging. “Because we now have ultrasensitive blood-based assays to detect HPV DNA in circulation, it made sense to evaluate the impact of testing throughout surveillance. This serves as a liquid biopsy of sorts to detect tumor tissue modified viral-HPV DNA,” Hanna said. “We hoped this would be more sensitive in detecting recurrence as compared with physical exam and/or imaging in follow-up. Detecting recurrence sooner could lead to early intervention for patients and improved outcomes.” Methodology The analysis included 1,076 consecutive patients [...]

2022-03-03T11:54:07-07:00March, 2022|Oral Cancer News|
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