Liquid biopsy provides accurate, fast Dx of HPV-associated head and neck cancer

Source: www.medpagetoday.com Author: Mike Bassett, Staff Writer, MedPage Today The use of liquid biopsy for the diagnosis of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) was more accurate, faster, and less expensive than standard tissue-based biopsies, according to a prospective observational study. The sensitivity and specificity of this circulating tumor HPV DNA-based approach were 98.4% and 98.6%, respectively, with positive and negative predictive values of 98.4% and 98.6%, reported Daniel L. Faden, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues. The diagnostic accuracy of this non-invasive approach was significantly higher than standard of care (Youden index 0.968 vs 0.707, P<0.0001), they noted in Clinical Cancer Research. In addition, liquid biopsy reduced the time to diagnosis from a median of 41 days to 15 days, and estimated costs associated with this method were about 36% to 38% less than the traditional biopsy approach. "Currently the way we diagnose HPV-associated cancer is either with a needle biopsy of a neck lymph node or a tissue biopsy from the oropharynx -- and these approaches have a couple of different limitations," Faden told MedPage Today. Not only are they invasive and painful for patients, but needle biopsy of a neck lymph node has high failure rates due to a lack of adequate cellular material. "So, patients might have to undergo a repeat biopsy to get the diagnosis we are waiting for," he noted. "That adds time to diagnosis, and we know that time from presentation to [...]

2021-12-03T05:54:26-07:00December, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Two markers help predict head and neck cancer prognosis

Source: labblog.uofmhealth.org Author: news release, University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center A new study from the University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center finds circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA, levels can predict as early as two weeks after starting treatment which patients are likely to have good outcomes. At the same time, specialized MRI and PET scans two weeks after starting chemoradiation also correlated with outcomes. “Rates of throat cancer have steadily increased in recent years, driven by HPV infections, fueling the need for biomarkers to help guide treatment decisions, especially for locally advanced disease,” said senior study author J. Chad Brenner, Ph.D., associate professor of otolaryngology at Michigan Medicine. “Quantitative imaging of metabolism, local blood volume density and cell density from PET and MRI scans have shown both prognostic value in predicting treatment outcome as well as utility in selecting patients for additional focal radiation treatment,” said study author Yue Cao, Ph.D., professor of radiation oncology and radiology at Michigan Medicine. The researchers conducted a randomized trial of patients with stage 3 oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. In total, 93 patients had imaging and 34 also had blood tests before starting chemoradiation and again at two, four and seven weeks after treatment. The study found that HPV ctDNA clearance at two weeks, but not at four weeks, predicted outcomes. The metabolism, local blood density and cell density before radiation therapy or at two weeks after starting treatment predicted outcomes as well. These early predictor biomarkers could help determine which [...]

2021-11-17T07:43:52-07:00November, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Saliva testing may allow early detection of human papillomavirus–driven head and neck cancers

Source: medicalxpress.com Author: Elsevier Cancer causing high-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPV) are responsible for the rising incidence of HR-HPV–driven head and neck cancers (HNC), particularly oropharyngeal cancers (OPC, or throat cancers). Investigators have determined that HR-HPV DNA can be detected in saliva in most patients with HPV-driven OPC at the time of diagnosis. This work highlights a potentially life-saving screening program based on salivary HR-HPV DNA testing for early cancer detection and patient monitoring. Their findings appear in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. "Despite the upsurge in HPV-driven HNC, there are no early detection methods or screening strategies for this cancer type, unlike cervical cancer, which is caused by the same virus. Biomarkers enabling early detection, monitoring and disease prognostication are warranted to combat the rising incidence of HPV-driven OPC," observed lead investigator Chamindie Punyadeera, Ph.D., head, Saliva & Liquid Biopsy Translational Laboratory, School of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Dr. Punyadeera and her colleagues investigated the efficacy of salivary HPV detection as a biomarker of HPV-HNC and survival patterns in patients with OPC to evaluate the utility of salivary HR-HPV as a prognostic biomarker for OPC. Saliva testing was performed on 491 patients at the time of first diagnosis of HNC and 10 patients with recurring HNC. Forty-three percent were positive for salivary HR-HPV DNA. HPV16, a high-risk strain of the virus, was detected in 92% of the HPV-positive saliva samples. The vast majority of HPV-HNC had arisen [...]

2021-09-22T09:38:25-07:00September, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

World’s largest trial Of “Game-Changer” early cancer test begins in UK

Source: www.iflscience.com Author: Maddy Chapman Yesterday, England's National Health Service (NHS) launched the world’s largest trial of a blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear. The trial aims to recruit 140,000 volunteers from different ethnic backgrounds, aged between 50 and 77, and living in eight areas across England. The test itself, the Galleri test, is a simple blood test that checks for the earliest signs of cancer. Ideally, it can be used to identify cancers at their earliest stages – stage one or two. When it comes to detecting cancer, the earlier the better. A diagnosis at stage one can increase chances of survival by five to 10 times, compared to a diagnosis at stage four. The new test, developed by healthcare company GRAIL, is particularly effective at identifying cancers that are difficult to diagnose early – head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic, and throat cancers, for example. “This quick and simple blood test could mark the beginning of a revolution in cancer detection and treatment here and around the world,” NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said in a statement. “By finding cancer before signs and symptoms even appear, we have the best chance of treating it and we can give people the best possible chance of survival.” The Galleri test works by identifying fragments of DNA that have been shed by tumors into the bloodstream. Participants in the trial, who must not have received a cancer diagnosis in the last three years, [...]

2021-09-15T06:09:46-07:00September, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy issues: What audiologists need to know

Source: journals.lww.com Author: A. Croutch, Carl AuD With hearing loss, tinnitus, and imbalance as among the numerous side-effects of cancer treatment,1 audiologists play a critical role in monitoring patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) attributed to chemotherapy and radiation therapy is usually permanent, making audiometric monitoring essential to detect its early occurrence.2 Cisplatin, carboplatin & radiation therapy Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, control the growth and spread of cancer cells, and ease cancer symptoms. Cisplatin and carboplatin are two common antineoplastic agents used to treat testicular, ovarian, breast, esophageal, lung, and head and neck cancers among others. Besides hearing loss, these can cause other side effects including kidney, gastrointestinal disorders, allergic reactions, decreased immunity to infections, and hemorrhaging. Cisplatin was first found to have cytotoxic properties in the 1960s, and in 1978 was the first platinum compound approved by the FDA for cancer treatment.3 On the other hand, carboplatin is less potent than cisplatin and does have fewer side effects, especially on kidney problems.3 Both drugs work by interfering with DNA repair mechanisms causing DNA damage and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Cancerous cells cannot limit cell division as do normal cells. Normal cells cease dividing when they encounter similar cells whereas cancerous cells do not. The effectiveness of chemotherapy is determined by its ability to damage the RNA or DNA that gives the cell instructions to copy itself. The cells will die if they are unable to divide. The more quickly they are dividing, [...]

2021-09-09T06:48:49-07:00September, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

UArizona clinical trail expanding after early results with personalized cancer vaccine

Source: www.kold.com Author: Karly Tinsley Despite the pandemic, groundbreaking research has not stopped at the University of Arizona. Researchers with the UArizona Health Sciences are working to help treat cancer by using personalized vaccines. It works in combination with the immuno-therapy drug Pembrolizumab. According to the UArizona, Julie E. Bauman, MD, MPH, deputy director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, presented preliminary data on the first 10 patients with head and neck cancer, seven of which were treated at Banner – University Medicine, the clinical partner for the UArizona Cancer Center. Five of the 10 patients experienced a clinical response to the personalized cancer vaccine, and two patients had a complete response after the treatment (no detectable disease present). Molly Cassidy is one of the 10 who went through the trial. “I was a young healthy woman, so it was a big shock to get diagnosed,” said Cassidy. She was first diagnosed with oral cancer after complaining of an ear ache. Dentists initially found a tumor in her tongue that was later identified as cancer. She then went through treatment for the tumor, but her cancer came back aggressively. “I had tumors throughout my neck, in my lungs, I was really really ill,” said Cassidy. At this time she was seeing Dr. Bauman, who said they both understood her chances of survival were slim at that point. [...]

2020-11-21T10:33:28-07:00November, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

New blood test can detect wide range of cancers, now available to at risk individuals in clinical study at Dana-Farber

Source: www.dana-farber.org Author: news release In a study involving thousands of participants, a new blood test detected more than 50 types of cancer as well as their location within the body with a high degree of accuracy, according to an international team of researchers led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic. The results, published online today by the Annals of Oncology, indicate that the test – which identified some particularly dangerous cancers that lack standard approaches to screening – can play a key role in early detection of cancer. Early detection can often be critical to successful treatment. Developed by GRAIL, Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., the test uses next-generation sequencing to analyze the arrangement of chemical units called methyl groups on the DNA of cancer cells. Adhering to specific sections of DNA, methyl groups help control whether genes are active or inactive. In cancer cells, the placement of methyl groups, or methylation pattern, is often markedly different from that of normal cells – to the extent that abnormal methylation patterns are even more characteristic of cancer cells than genetic mutations are. When tumor cells die, their DNA, with methyl groups firmly attached, empties into the blood, where it can be analyzed by the new test. “Our previous work indicated that methylation-based tests outperform traditional DNA-sequencing approaches to detecting multiple forms of cancer in blood samples,” said Dana-Farber’s Geoffrey Oxnard, MD, co-lead author of the study with Minetta Liu, MD, of the Mayo Clinic. “The results of this [...]

New blood test capable of detecting multiple types of cancer

Source: www.sciencedaily.com Author: Materials provided by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A new blood test in development has shown ability to screen for numerous types of cancer with a high degree of accuracy, a trial of the test shows. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators will present the results of the multi-center trial during a session today at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress. The test, developed by GRAIL, Inc., uses next-generation sequencing technology to probe DNA for tiny chemical tags (methylation) that influence whether genes are active or inactive. When applied to nearly 3,600 blood samples -- some from patients with cancer, some from people who had not been diagnosed with cancer at the time of the blood draw -- the test successfully picked up a cancer signal from the cancer patient samples, and correctly identified the tissue from where the cancer began (the tissue of origin). The test's specificity -- its ability to return a positive result only when cancer is actually present -- was high, as was its ability to pinpoint the organ or tissue of origin, researchers found. The new test looks for DNA, which cancer cells shed into the bloodstream when they die. In contrast to "liquid biopsies," which detect genetic mutations or other cancer-related alterations in DNA, the technology focuses on modifications to DNA known as methyl groups. Methyl groups are chemical units that can be attached to DNA, in a process called methylation, to control which genes are "on" and which are "off." Abnormal [...]

2019-09-29T06:38:28-07:00September, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

HPV blood test shows promise for tracking head and neck cancer after treatment

Source: www.eurekalert.org Author: from UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center A new blood test developed by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers shows promise for tracking HPV-linked head and neck cancer patients to ensure they remain cancer-free after treatment. Researchers will present preliminary findings at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology in San Antonio on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Their study evaluated a blood test for HPV-linked oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, which is a cancer of the back of the throat. The findings demonstrated the test could be an effective and less costly alternative for monitoring for cancer recurrence after radiation treatment. "The goal of this study was to evaluate whether this test can be used to track patients who are completely asymptomatic, and thought to have no active cancer," said UNC Lineberger's Gaorav P. Gupta, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology. "We already knew that our test was very sensitive and specific, but we did not know the degree to which it would be useful in early detection of disease recurrence in patients who are otherwise thought to be disease-free." HPV, or the human papillomavirus, is the most common cause of sexually transmitted infection in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection with certain strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer in women, genital cancers in both men and women, and cancer of the oropharynx, which is the [...]

E-cigarettes ‘could give you mouth cancer by damaging your DNA’

Source: metro.co.uk Author: Zoe Drewett Researchers say vaping could lead to an increased risk of developing mouth cancer. A study carried out by the American Chemical Society found evidence to suggest using e-cigarettes raises the level of DNA-damaging compounds in the mouth. If cells in the body are unable to repair the DNA damage after vaping, the risk of cancer can increase, the study claims. The long-term effects of e-cigarettes are not yet known but researchers say they should be investigated further (Picture: PA) The researchers admit the long-term health effects of using electronic cigarettes are still unknown. Researcher Dr Romel Dator said: ‘We want to characterize the chemicals that vapers are exposed to, as well as any DNA damage they may cause.’ Since they were introduced in 2004, e-cigarettes have been marketed as a safer alternative to smoking. But the team carrying out the study claim genetic material in the oral cells of people who vape could be altered by toxic chemicals. E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid – which usually contains nicotine – into an aerosol that the user inhales. It is often flavoured to taste like fruit, chocolate or bubblegum. ‘It’s clear that more carcinogens arise from the combustion of tobacco in regular cigarettes than from the vapor of e-cigarettes,’ Silvia Balbo, the project’s lead investigator said. ‘However, we don’t really know the impact of inhaling the combination of compounds produced by this device. ‘Just because the threats are different doesn’t mean that e-cigarettes are completely [...]

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