Exploring the link between HPV infection and head and neck cancers

Source: www.targetedonc.com Author: Jordyn Sava In an interview with Targeted Oncology for Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, Noel Laudi, MD, MRCP, discussed the link between human papillomavirus infection and head and neck cancers. There is a complex relationship that exists between human papillomavirus (HPV) and head and neck cancers. According to Noel Laudi, MD, MRCP, “no one is immune to HPV-related head and neck cancers, with certain demographics at higher risk.” Common areas of occurrence for HPV-related head and neck cancer are in the mouth, including tonsils, soft palate, oropharynx, and base of tongue. HPV can cause cancer by staying in the system for 1 to 3 years and affecting lymphatic tissue in fertile areas of the mouth. HPV-related head and neck cancers often present late due to silent growth. Those at a higher risk of developing HPV-related head and neck cancer include those with more sexual partners and those exposed to oral sex. Additionally, smoking increases the risk of cancer for those with HPV, creating a double risk with the virus and smoke. Laudi, of Allina Health Cancer Institute, emphasized that the HPV vaccine is effective in preventing these cancers, with the ideal age for vaccination being around 11 to 13 years old. However, there is an unmet need for better screening methods and higher vaccination rates of children to prevent HPV-related cancers. “I think the vaccine has been a huge move in the right direction. The treatment is very tough, and if we can prevent the cancer [...]

The growing role for cfHPV-DNA testing in OPSCC therapeutic development

Source: www.biopharmadive.com Author: Sysmex Inostics,sponsored content Human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a key role in the development of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Approximately 80% of all OPSCC cases in the U.S. are associated with HPV.1 In fact, the incidence of HPV-associated OPSCC in men has surpassed that of cervical cancer in women, making OPSCC the most common cancer caused by HPV in the U.S.2 As pharmaceutical companies seek to develop targeted therapeutics for HPV-associated cancers, access to robust biomarkers can prove invaluable for drug development. cfHPV-DNA in plasma meets this need and represents an attractive biomarker for grading treatment response and recurrence surveillance. Here, we’ll discuss the growing role for cfHPV-DNA as a biomarker in developing novel therapeutics targeting HPV-associated OPSCC and how HPV-SEQ — a quantitative, ultrasensitive test for cfHPV-DNA — can be leveraged during development for such therapies. The rise of cfHPV-DNA as a biomarker for HPV-associated OPSCC It has long been known that HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers shed HPV-DNA into the circulatory system. However, drug developers now have an opportunity to not only detect but also quantify cfHPV-DNA in plasma to assess the effectiveness of therapeutics during development. “With real-time insights, you can get a very keen sense of how the tumor is responding to intervention during a clinical trial, including de-escalation clinical trials,” explained Nishant Agrawal, MD, co-director, head and neck surgical oncology at University of Chicago Medicine. “In the past, measuring responses has taken months or even years. But with cfHPV-DNA testing, you can do it [...]

Squamous cell carcinoma survivor thankful he chose proton therapy

Source: www.mdanderson.org 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|

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

Source: www.washingtonpost.com 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|

Common local anesthetic may be effective against head and neck cancers

Source: newatlas.com Author: Paul McClure A new study has uncovered how the commonly used local anesthetic drug, lidocaine, activates bitter taste receptors to exert an anti-cancer effect in head and neck cancers. Given its low cost and ready availability, the drug could easily be incorporated into the treatment of patients with this challenging form of cancer. Anyone who’s had a cut sutured up or a dental procedure such as a filling will probably be familiar with lidocaine (also known as lignocaine). While it’s known how the local anesthetic drug exerts its pain-inhibiting effects, it’s been suggested that lidocaine also has a beneficial effect on cancer patients, although how is not fully understood. Now, a study led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has solved a long-standing mystery of how lidocaine causes the death of certain cancer cells. “We’ve been following this line of research for years but were surprised to find that lidocaine targets the one receptor that happened to be mostly highly expressed across cancers,” said Robert Lee, a corresponding author of the study. That ‘one receptor’ is T2R14, a bitter taste receptor that’s expressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs), cancers with a high mortality and significant treatment-related morbidity. HNSCCs arise in the mucosa of oral and nasal cavities due to exposure to environmental carcinogens and/or the human papillomavirus (HPV). In addition to their role in bitter taste perception, bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) are involved in innate immunity, thyroid function, cardiac physiology, [...]

2023-11-29T18:20:42-07:00November, 2023|Oral Cancer News|

Yes, really – the HPV vaccine is essential for men, too

Source: uk.news.yahoo.com Author: Rhod Gilbert Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert was diagnosed with stage four cancer last year. The cancer was in his head and neck and was caused by a virus known as HPV. HPV virus is often associated with cervical cancer and with good reason. The virus is responsible for over 15% of cases of cervical cancer. However, as Gilbert’s diagnosis proves, HPV can affect anybody. In his documentary, Rhod Gilbert: A Pain In The Neck For SU2C, the comic spoke about why he’d decided to invite a film crew to watch him experience treatment for his condition and HPV, it seems, was a huge part of the reason. Gilbert said: “I knew I wouldn’t be well enough to go on stage or TV, but I thought I might be well enough to lie in bed and talk to a documentary team about how ill I was. I thought, ‘It will give me something to do’. “Also, by that point, I’d found out my cancer had been caused by the HPV virus, something we vaccinate kids for. At every turn, I thought, ‘I can do something here, which might actually change things.’” Who the HPV vaccine is for According to the NHS, the HPV vaccine reduces your chances of getting the virus which is spread through skin contact – usually during sex, but not always. The vaccine protects against an increased risk of cervical, mouth, anal, and penile cancer. HPV can also cause genital warts. The vaccine is recommended [...]

2023-11-01T14:40:50-07:00November, 2023|Oral Cancer News|

Throat cancer is becoming an epidemic, and sex could be why

Source: www.sciencealert.com Author: Hisham Mehanna, Professor, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham Over the past two decades, there has been a rapid increase in throat cancer in the west, to the extent that some have called it an epidemic. This has been due to a large rise in a specific type of throat cancer called oropharyngeal cancer (the area of the tonsils and back of the throat). The main cause of this cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which are also the main cause of cancer of the cervix. Oropharyngeal cancer has now become more common than cervical cancer in the US and the UK. HPV is sexually transmitted. For oropharyngeal cancer, the main risk factor is the number of lifetime sexual partners, especially oral sex. Those with six or more lifetime oral-sex partners are 8.5 times more likely to develop oropharyngeal cancer than those who do not practice oral sex. Behavioral trends studies show that oral sex is very prevalent in some countries. In a study that my colleagues and I conducted in almost 1,000 people having tonsillectomy for non-cancer reasons in the UK, 80 percent of adults reported practicing oral sex at some point in their lives. Yet, mercifully, only a small number of those people develop oropharyngeal cancer. Why that is, is not clear. The prevailing theory is that most of us catch HPV infections and are able to clear them completely. However, a small number of people are not able to get rid [...]

2023-09-15T06:24:29-07:00September, 2023|Oral Cancer News|

New classification method for HPV-associated head and neck cancers

Source: www.techexplorist.com Author: Vidya Nagalwade Over the past few decades, the number of cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) related to the human papillomavirus (HPV+) has risen significantly and is still rising. The human papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to an increase in cancer of the throat and tonsils, which is projected to become the most common form of head and neck cancer by 2030. Identifying the right patients with HPV-related cancers is a major challenge in reducing treatment intensity. A new study identifies a subclass of HPV+ head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). It shows that treatment depends on the tumor type. The data show two distinct subtypes of HPV+ HNSCC, each with its features and treatment responses. The researchers examined data from 104 HPV+ HNSCC tumors and two publically available sources to find gene expression patterns that might reliably distinguish distinct tumor types. Among the 22 modules tested, one accurately classified HPV+ HNSCC tumors based on a different gene expression pattern. The NFKB classifier accurately predicted a favorable result in patients treated in the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group trial E1308, even with low-dosage radiation. Barbara Burtness, a Professor of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, said, “This discovery opens new opportunities for treatment personalization, as we can now better understand the distinct requirements for tumor development in each subclass.” The findings have significant clinical implications. Clinicians treating HPV+ HNSCC are constantly looking for biomarkers that can be used to determine treatment intensity. The new [...]

Cancer research specialist believes uptake in HPV vaccine should be higher

Source: www.mayonews.ie Author: Anton McNulty Parents are potentially harming their children's health by not signing them up to receive the HPV vaccine, which protects against cancer in both males and females. That is the opinion of Martin Clynes, Emeritus Professor of Biotechnology in Dublin City University, who has spent his life researching cancer cells and how they develop in the body. The HPV vaccine is currently available free of charge to all second level students to protect against cervical cancer in women as well as other cancers. The free school-based vaccination programme started in 2010 but uptake of the vaccine slowed around 2016 when some parents established lobby groups because of concerns raised about the vaccine's safety. The current uptake is at 76 percent for the first dose and 65 percent for the second dose. Last year the scheme was extended to women under 25 years of age following a campaign from Bernie and Larry Brennan, parents of the late Laura Brennan who campaigned for higher uptake of the HPV vaccine before her death from cervical cancer in 2019, aged 26. Despite the European Medicines Agency (EMA) dismissing any long-term effects caused by the vaccine, Prof Clynes believes that the uptake is not as good as it should be. Speaking to The Mayo News ahead of a talk he gave on cancer as part of the Féile Chill Damhnait festival on Achill last Wednesday evening, Prof Clynes said parents should get their children to take the vaccine. Scare stories “I [...]

Meet the ‘Young Tongues’— including suburban mom, 48, part of shocking tongue cancer diagnosis boom

Source: www.survivornet.com Author: Danielle Cinone Understanding Head & Neck Cancers Tongue cancer is on the rise among young people in the United States, according to a recent Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program analysis, and among those a diagnosed were a 48-year-old mom from Connecticut and a 22-year-old from England, both who are part of the “Young Tongues” group. Dr. Diana Kirke, an otolaryngologist at Mount Sinai Hospital who recently presented an analysis on “geographic trends in oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma among young individuals,” told TODAY.com, “since 2010, there seems to be a national shift to younger patients developing oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma. There is a very clear rise in patients that are non-smokers and non-drinkers.” Tongue cancer can be caused by a sexually-transmitted virus called HPV, and top experts suggest getting young adults vaccinated. “If I had any advice for you following a cancer diagnosis, it would be, first, to seek out multiple opinions as to the best care,” National Cancer Institute Chief of Surgery Steven Rosenberg told SurvivorNet in an earlier interview, “because finding a doctor who is up to the latest of information is important.” A recent Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program analysis has revealed an oral tongue cancer boom is underway in the United States. Included in this increased incidence is Susan Smith, a 48-year-old mom from Fairfield, Connecticut, who is part of the “Young Tongues” group. Smith didn’t receive her tongue cancer diagnosis until she saw a fourth doctor who [...]

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