Novel therapy promising for radiation-induced oral mucositis

Source: Author: Mike Bassett, Staff Writer, MedPage Today The first-in-class uridine phosphorylase inhibitor TK-90 almost completely eliminated severe oral mucositis (SOM) in patients with non-metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck who underwent radiation therapy, a small randomized study showed. None of the 12 patients treated with TK-90 developed SOM by the end of treatment at week 7, compared with six of 12 treated with placebo (0% vs 50%, P=0.14), reported Nabil F. Saba, MD, of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. At week 9 follow-up after the end of dosing, just one patient treated with TK-90 had developed SOM compared with nine in the placebo group (8.3% vs 75%, P=0.003). The duration of SOM in the patient treated with TK-90 was 12 days compared with a mean duration of 35 days in patients who developed SOM in the placebo arm (P=0.026). "Parenteral administration of TK-90 appears to be an effective strategy for preventing radiation-induced mucositis," Saba said during a session at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposiumopens in a new tab or window in Phoenix. "These results merit additional validation in larger trials." Mucositis is a debilitating complication of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, leading to weight loss, mouth ulcers, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially fatal infections. "Uridine is essential to the preservation of the health of the normal mucosa," Saba explained. "By inhibiting uridine phosphorylase, uridine levels are restored in the mucosa, basically reducing the leakage in the mitochondria and, by doing [...]

Case Western Reserve University-led research team discovers new method to test for oral cancer

Source: Author: staff Oral cancers and precancerous mouth lesions are considered especially difficult to diagnose early and accurately. For one, biopsies are expensive, invasive, stressful for the patient and can lead to complications. They’re also not feasible if repeated screenings of the same lesion are required. But a team of researchers, led by a clinician scientist at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, has discovered a noninvasive, low-cost test to detect oral cancer, monitor precancerous lesions and determine when a biopsy is warranted. Their findings, published online March 4 in the journal Cell Reports Medicine are based on a scoring system linked to the levels of two proteins in cells brushed from suspicious oral lesions of patients at dental clinics or the ear, nose and throat department at University Hospitals (UH). One of the proteins (human beta defensin 3 or hBD-3) is expressed at high levels in early-stage oral cancer, while the second (hBD-2) is low or unchanged. The ratio of hBD-3 to hBD-2 in the lesion site—over the ratio of the two proteins on the opposite, normal site—generates a score, called the beta defensin index (BDI). A score above a predetermined threshold implies cancer; anything below does not. Determining the levels of the proteins and quantifying the BDI is done routinely in a lab. The BDI was independently validated using identical protocols at CWRU/UH, University of Cincinnati Medical Center and West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Aaron Weinberg “When we first discovered hBD-3, we saw it [...]

Exposure to secondhand smoke during chemotherapy makes treatment less effective, study finds

Source: Author: staff, University of Oklahoma People who are diagnosed with head and neck cancer often receive a standard type of chemotherapy as part of their treatment. If they are exposed to secondhand smoke during chemotherapy—even if they have never smoked themselves—the treatment may be far less effective at killing cancer cells. That finding, considered the first of its kind, was revealed in a study recently published by researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences. Tobacco use is a well-established risk factor for cancer and a signal of poor outcomes, especially if a person continues to smoke during treatment. However, researchers have understood much less about the effects of secondhand smoke on cancer treatment. Lurdes Queimado, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of otolaryngology at the OU College of Medicine, led the investigation into secondhand smoke exposure, which was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Her findings have major implications for cancer patients and the physicians who treat them. "Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and is prevalent in Oklahoma, where we also have a high rate of smoking. This is the first time that researchers have examined the impact of secondhand smoke exposure on cancer patients and the mechanism of why it is happening." "Our studies will continue, but we think it is important to raise awareness now that people who are exposed to secondhand smoke during treatment will likely have a worse prognosis," said Queimado, who also directs the Tobacco Regulatory [...]

2024-02-28T08:44:27-07:00February, 2024|Oral Cancer News|

Squamous cell carcinoma survivor thankful he chose proton therapy

Source: Author: Valerie Jones A routine dentist visit prompted a series of tests that led to Jay Rusovich’s squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis in early 2023. “My dentist was cleaning my teeth when he saw something in my throat,” says Jay. “He told me to get it checked out.” Jay visited his primary care doctor and took a multi-cancer early detection blood test. While awaiting the results, Jay visited an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. The ENT didn’t find anything, but Jay’s primary care doctor called him with the results of his blood test. “He said the test showed that there was cancer in my bloodstream coming from my throat,” says Jay, who was 67 at the time. He went back to his ENT and had a biopsy. It showed Jay had HPV-related squamous cell carcinoma. It was early-stage and located on his left tonsil. Jay hadn’t had any symptoms before his diagnosis. He had been going to the gym six days a week and eating organic foods. He didn’t drink or smoke. After the initial shock of his cancer diagnosis, Jay focused on getting treated. He lived in Houston and knew of MD Anderson’s reputation as a leader in cancer care. So, he requested an appointment. Determined to find the best squamous cell carcinoma treatment Jay first visited MD Anderson West Houston to learn about treatment options. After hearing about traditional radiation therapy and chemotherapy, Jay was hesitant about the possible side effects. After speaking to oral oncologist [...]

2024-02-26T14:32:26-07:00February, 2024|Oral Cancer News|

Gadget that shines bright red LEDs to mend cancer scars now being used to treat debilitating scarring and swelling in the mouth caused by radiotherapy

Source: Author: Beth Kennedy A 'Lollipop' gadget that emits red light is being used to treat debilitating scarring and swelling in the mouth caused by radiotherapy cancer treatment. The device's light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can repair damaged tissue, calm the body's response to injury and reduce inflammation – and patients simply need to pop it in their mouth for a few minutes to feel the benefits. It is believed that the wavelength of light being produced, called near-infrared, is absorbed by damaged cells and helps to repair them. The therapy – known as photobiomodulation – is being offered to NHS patients in Nottingham, where experts claim it has proved remarkably successful. But there are now hopes it could be rolled out more widely in a bid to improve the lives of cancer survivors across the UK. Radiotherapy most often involves shooting high-energy X-ray beams into the body to destroy tumours. The treatment is highly effective, but there can be collateral damage to healthy surrounding tissue, which causes scarring to develop both on the skin and internally. Also known as fibrosis, this affects one in ten patients who undergo radiotherapy, and the problem can occur months or even years after initial treatment. It can cause discomfort and leads to difficulty in moving the affected areas. In the case of head and neck cancers, patients may be left unable to turn their head fully or, in the worst scenarios, powerless to chew or speak properly. The LED treatment is already approved by [...]

2024-02-25T14:26:01-07:00February, 2024|Oral Cancer News|

How to look after your teeth in midlife and beyond

Source: Author: staff Our teeth and gums go through as many changes as the rest of our body as we age, yet our daily dental routine is often something we ignore. There are also several health risks associated with poor mouth hygiene, so we asked the experts what to watch out for and how to tweak our dental regime. This is what they told us. Watch Out For Changes As we get older, our teeth and gums go through lots of changes, some that are inevitable and a natural part of ageing, and others that can be avoided. “Tooth wear and receding gums are the main issues as we age,” says Dr Mahsa Nejati, general and cosmetic dentist and founder of the Nejati Clinic and MAHSA oral products. When this occurs, it’s the enamel, or the protective outer layer of the tooth, that’s being worn away, which is problematic because it shields the rest of the tooth from cavities and damage. “As we get older our enamel can wear down and become thinner and this can expose the inner part of your tooth called dentine,” explains Dr Tom Crawford-Clarke, general and cosmetic dentist, owner and founder of LUCE. “Dentine is not as hard wearing and therefore does not offer as much protection, making teeth more susceptible to developing future problems. As the enamel wears down and thins, it unfortunately becomes more susceptible to chipping and breaking.” In addition to being more structurally vulnerable, the dentine itself is darker than [...]

2024-02-20T08:12:51-07:00February, 2024|Oral Cancer News|

Medical Mysteries: How a sore throat led to life-threatening bleeding

Source: Author: Sandra G. Boodman A Florida man spent months consulting doctors baffled by stabbing pain that radiated to his neck and shoulder. For more than a year, Arthur L. Kimbrough had done everything he could think of to find out what was causing the stabbing sensation that radiated from his throat to his neck and down his left shoulder. He had seen anesthesiologists, an ear, nose and throat doctor, a neurologist and neurosurgeons in Florida and Maryland; undergone tests and scans; and taken a variety of drugs that failed to alleviate the intensifying pain that baffled his doctors. It wasn’t until February 2022, after Kimbrough suffered a life-threatening hemorrhage in a hospital waiting room, that the cause was finally identified. Two years later, Kimbrough, now 76, attributes his survival to being in the right place at the right time. He says he feels lucky to be alive and is not angry his illness wasn’t diagnosed earlier. Doctors “missed some things clearly, [but] it wasn’t because they weren’t looking,” said Kimbrough, an executive coach who lives in the Florida Panhandle and owns funeral homes and cemeteries in Florida and Mississippi. “They were very responsive.” “The blinders we had on was that it turned out to be the fundamentally wrong place to be looking,” he said. Unusual sore throat Kimbrough first noticed the pain — a tender spot under the left side of his tongue in the back of his mouth — in mid-December 2020. It didn’t seem like a [...]

2024-02-18T13:41:55-07:00February, 2024|Oral Cancer News|

3D printed facial reconstruction research receives $700,000 grant

Source: Author: Edward Wakefield Dr. Xiao Liu, a researcher at the University of Wollongong, in Australia, has received $700,000 in funding to develop vital research into facial reconstruction methods for head and neck cancer patients. Funding for the 3D printed resorbable scaffold jaw implant is the latest in a series of ‘Mid-Career Fellowships’, collectively worth nearly $4 million, granted by the Passe and Williams Foundation. Dr. Xiao Liu, “Oral cancer ranks among the most prevalent cancers globally, often needing surgical intervention involving the partial removal of the jaw. Unfortunately, this procedure can have a huge impact on the patient’s quality of life post-treatment, and many often struggle to reintegrate into their work and personal lives,” said Dr. Xiao Liu. “Our aim is to significantly improve the quality of life for post-cancer patients. We want to develop a hybrid 3D printed scaffold that not only facilitates rapid osteogenesis, or bone growth, but is also partially resorbable – meaning it will naturally integrate with the surrounding tissue.” The latest figures from the Cancer Council estimate that more than 5,300 Australians were newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2023. “Receiving this Mid-Career Fellowship from the Passe and Williams Foundation is a testament to the importance of advancing research in the field of oral rehabilitation”, said Liu. “Oral cancer was not something I had ever heard of before my diagnosis, as it’s not something that’s often talked about. It was only after visiting the dentist that I was referred [...]

2024-02-04T11:14:30-07:00February, 2024|Oral Cancer News|

Potential new treatment for head and neck cancers

Source: Author: Charlotte Schubert, Ph.D. Treatment for head and neck cancers is largely stuck in the past. Patients typically receive some combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, treatment approaches that have not changed much over the decades. About 450,000 people die of head and neck cancer worldwide each year. A new study delves into the molecular underpinnings of some of these tumors and posits a more targeted approach toward treatment. The study provides evidence that some head and neck cancers may respond to the drug olaparib or the combination of olaparib with decitabine. Both olaparib and decitabine are approved for use in other tumors but are not used routinely for head and neck cancers. “There has not been a rationale to test them in these tumors,” said study co-leader Lluis Morey, Ph.D., a scientist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The new study provides such a rationale. The findings are in cells and preclinical models of disease. But Sylvester scientists are already conducting further research that could potentially lead to clinical trials in certain head and neck cancer patients. The new study appeared in the journal Genes & Development. Targeting the Histone Molecule Dr. Morey became intrigued by an earlier study showing that about 20% of head and neck tumors had specific types of defects in a molecule called a histone. Histones associate tightly with DNA and help control everything from replication to cell division. Dr. Morey, an associate professor [...]

2024-02-02T09:51:03-07:00February, 2024|Oral Cancer News|

Revolutionizing oral mucositis treatment: Antibacterial light-activated therapy in future protocols

Source: Author: Nina Garlo-Melkas, MSc Recent research suggests that antibacterial dual-light therapy may be an effective method to manage the symptoms of oral mucositis. Here’s what you need to know about this promising treatment. Oral mucositis, an inflammation of the oral mucosa, often occurs in association with cancer treatments, particularly radiation and chemotherapy. It manifests as severe pain, redness, and swelling in the mouth, potentially impacting the success of cancer therapy. To date, no existing medication has effectively prevented the development of mucositis. But recent research suggests that antibacterial dual-light therapy may be an effective method to manage the symptoms of this condition. Traditional approaches to treating oral mucositis include preventive measures such as maintaining good oral hygiene and using ice therapy during chemotherapy. If bacterial infection is present, doctors may consider the use of antibiotics. Corticosteroids are also a treatment option to alleviate pain and the inflammatory response associated with mucositis. However, corticosteroid use poses risks as it can suppress the immune system, making cancer patients more susceptible to infections.1,2 Ongoing research explores novel methods for preventing and treating oral mucositis. Mitochondria-stimulating red-light therapy has proven to be very effective in treating oral mucositis, particularly as a preventive measure. Although light therapy is estimated to be the most effective treatment modality, its widespread implementation faces challenges such as availability and practical issues.3 The latest studies investigate antibacterial treatments to preventively address oral mucosal ulcers originating from mucositis, aiming to mitigate the adverse effects of aggressive cancer treatments. In [...]

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