WVU Medicine Head and Neck Cancer Team works to increase tonsil cancer awareness

Source: wvumedicine.org Author: staff, WVU Medicine News Head and neck surgical oncologists at WVU Medicine, the WVU Cancer Institute, and across the country are seeing increased incidences of tonsil cancer. “The majority of tonsil cancers, nearly 70 percent, are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV),” Meghan Turner, M.D., head and neck surgeon in the WVU Medicine Department of Otolaryngology, said. “In the last 10 years, tonsil cancer caused by HPV has become more common than cervical cancer caused by the same virus.” In most cases of HPV infection, the body fights off the virus like it would the common cold. In other cases, the virus remains in the body, increasing the risk of both tonsil and cervical cancer. Unlike cervical cancer, there is no regular screening for tonsil cancer. Most commonly, tonsil cancer is first diagnosed as a nontender mass in the neck. “Another common presentation for tonsil cancer is actually recurrent or persistent tonsil pain in spite of treatment for a throat infection,” Dr. Turner said. “This happens between the ages of 50 and 60. It may seem like recurrent strep throat, but it is uncommon for people in that age range to develop recurrent strep throat. If you’re having pain that isn’t resolved after a course of antibiotics, you should ask your doctor if it could possibly be something like tonsil cancer.” It is also regularly discovered during routine dental visits, appearing as asymmetrical tonsils. Those who have had their tonsils removed by tonsillectomy are not immune to [...]

2022-02-05T10:20:45-07:00February, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

The ‘big three’ causes of mouth cancer

Source: www.hippocraticpost.com Author: staff By knowing the causes of mouth cancer, we can take positive steps to reduce our own level of risk, says a leading health charity. The Oral Health Foundation is raising awareness about the causes of mouth cancer, following new research that shows far too many people remain unaware of the main risk factors. The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK has doubled in the last 20 years, with tobacco, drinking alcohol to excess and the human papillomavirus, being the considered the most common causes. However, new data shows that awareness into the three big risk factors is as low as 15%. With more than half of all mouth cancer cases linked to lifestyle factors, the charity along with Denplan, part of Simplyhealth, are using November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month to shed light on the biggest risks factors associated with the disease. Tobacco Smoking tobacco increases your risk of developing mouth cancer by up to ten times. This includes smoking cigarettes, pipes or cigars. Around two-in-three mouth cancers are linked to smoking. Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation says: “Despite the number of smokers continuing to fall, it remains the leading cause of mouth cancer. Our focus must be on providing smokers with the support and information they need in order to kick tobacco for good. It’s never too late to quit and by making this positive step, the health of your mouth and body will see both instant [...]

2021-12-22T13:06:29-07:00December, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Naveris’ new saliva test detects head and neck cancer

Source: www.biospace.com/ Author: staff A new clinically-validated saliva test has been shown to detect HPV-associated head and neck cancer with high accuracy, a first-of-its-kind study result. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis used the Naveris, Inc. test to analyze saliva for sequences of the human papilloma virus (HPV) genome that are specific for HPV DNA released from malignant tumors. The test successfully distinguishes this tumor-tissue modified virus from non-cancerous sources of HPV DNA and precisely measures the number of tumor-tissue modified viral HPV (TTMV-HPV) DNA strands present in a saliva sample. The study results point to the potential for a significant improvement in early detection of the most common type of head and neck cancer, HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. “Naveris’ patient-friendly saliva test has the potential to radically advance early detection of HPV-positive head and neck cancer, which has been growing rapidly among men in the United States. Early detection of these cancers would make a dramatic difference in patient outcomes,” said Piyush Gupta, PhD, CEO of Naveris. The study quantified participants’ tumor-tissue modified viral HPV DNA in saliva samples and compared it to the levels found in their blood by utilizing Naveris’ NavDx® test. The results showed that TTMV-HPV DNA was commonly found in the saliva of HPV-associated head and neck cancer patients (44/46 cases), and at 18 times higher levels in the saliva samples than in the blood samples. One sample had undetectable TTMV-HPV and one was indeterminate for HPV DNA. Washington University [...]

National Vaccination Program Leads To Marked Reduction In HPV Infections

Source: Forbes Date: January 28th, 2020 Author: Nina Shapiro While widespread vaccination continues to be a source of contention in this country and others, one of the newer vaccines has begun to demonstrate remarkable positive impact, which will hopefully become harder and harder to dispute. The HPV vaccine, with trade name GardasilR, is recommended for both boys and girls, ideally sometime between ages 11 and 12 years, given in two doses at a six month interval. It can be given as early as age 9, and as late as age 26. Older adults, even up to age 45, can receive the vaccine, although it is more likely that these adults have already been exposed to the virus, and are less likely to be protected by the vaccine. The vaccine prevents infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause health problems ranging from nuisance-causing warts to cancer-causing lesions of the cervix, throat, and anorectal area. When HPV-related cancers hit Hollywood, with Michael Douglas publicly attributing his throat cancer to HPV, it became clear that this disease can no doubt affect both men and women. When Marcia Cross announced that her anal cancer was due to HPV infection, it raised yet another red flag that HPV can affect the lower gastrointestinal tract, not just the female reproductive tract. Indeed, HPV can affect any of us, at any age, from stem to stern. As I wrote in an earlier Forbes piece, the vaccine to prevent HPV can prevent not only sexually transmitted [...]

2020-01-30T12:16:44-07:00January, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

Test that looks at your spit to tell if you have mouth or throat cancer caused by HPV ‘could save thousands of lives if rolled out for doctors to use’

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk Author: Connor Boyd, Health Reporter A saliva test that diagnoses mouth and throat cancer caused by HPV could save thousands of lives each year, a study suggests. Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina discovered the test was 80 per cent accurate at spotting the killer diseases. Doctors say it is able to detect the cancers early on, giving patients much higher hopes of surviving their battle. Before it can be used in hospitals around the world, further trials will be needed to confirm the technology works. But the researchers are hopeful, claiming the cheaper test - which gives results in as little as 10 minutes - has significant 'potential'. Rates of oral cancers are soaring in the Western world, with the number of patients diagnosed in the UK having doubled in a generation. US doctors have also seen a similar spike in the diseases, which can be caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). The infection – spread through oral sex, as well as anal and vaginal intercourse – is thought to cause around 70 per cent of all cases. Other risk factors include drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over long periods of time and smoking cigarettes. Professor Tony Jun Huang, study co-author, said there are around 115,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancers each year across the world. He said it is 'one of the fastest-rising cancers in Western countries due to increasing HPV-related incidence, especially in younger patients'. Orophayngeal cancer starts in the oropharynx, the back of the [...]

2019-12-14T11:12:24-07:00December, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

Health department official on HPV vaccine: “What are we waiting for?”

Source: www.mynews13.com Author: Rebecca Turco Despite studies from the CDC showing the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine at preventing certain types of cancer, some parents are still hesitant to get their children vaccinated. 92% of almost 35,000 cancers could be prevented by vaccine Doctor: Some parents may think vaccine promotes sexual behavior County Health Departments offer HPV vaccine for free Dr. Raul Pino, the interim administrator of the Orange County Health Department, wants to change that. Among the estimated 34,800 cancers probably caused by the human papilloma virus between 2012 and 2016, an estimated 92% could be prevented by the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We have a vaccine that prevents some type of cancers, and now we're questioning if we should take the vaccine," he said. "It will not only prevent penile cancer or vaginal cancer or cervical cancer, but also oral, esophagus and tonsils. "So what are we waiting for?" Pino thinks some parents might be hesitant because of the widely spread, but disproven, belief that vaccines are linked to autism. Then, there are other parents who think giving their child the vaccine is promoting sexual behavior. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. "The reality is, I think what the parents have to present to themselves in this debate, is what is the paramount objective here?" Pino said. "Is the paramount objective to offer protection to the individual, or is the paramount objective to prevent the behavior?" Officials recommended that children [...]

Antibodies against HPV16 can develop up to 40 years before throat cancer is diagnosed

Source: www.eurekalert.org Author: news release An international group of researchers has found that antibodies to the human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV16) develop in the body between six to 40 years prior to a clinical diagnosis of throat cancer, and their presence indicates a strong increased risk of the disease. The study, which is published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology [1] today (Wednesday), also found that having HPV16 antibodies increased the risk of throat cancer far more in white people than in black: nearly 100-fold in white people, but 17-fold in black people. Patients with HPV-associated throat cancer tend to respond better to treatment than those whose cancer is not associated with the infection; the researchers say this may partly explain the worse survival rates among black patients. The main causes of throat cancer (known as oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, OPSCC) are smoking, alcohol use and infection with HPV16. In the USA the proportion of OPSCCs attributable to HPV16 is around 70%; in some European countries a similar proportion is caused by HPV16, although this varies from country to country. [2] Dr Mattias Johansson, a cancer epidemiologist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, who led the research, said: "Importantly, the proportion of throat cancers caused by HPV16 has been increasing over the past few decades, particularly in men, and in some countries the overwhelming majority are now caused by the virus. "Investigating the range in time prior to diagnosis in which [...]

HPV infection may be behind rise in vocal-cord cancers among young nonsmokers

Source: www.eurekalert.org Author: Public Release Massachusetts General Hospital A remarkable recent increase in the diagnosis of vocal-cord cancer in young adults appears to be the result of infection with strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) that also cause cervical cancer and other malignancies. Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describe finding HPV infection in all tested samples of vocal-cord cancer from 10 patients diagnosed at age 30 or under, most of whom were non-smokers. Their report appears in a special supplement on innovations in laryngeal surgery that accompanies the March 2019 issue of Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology. "Over the past 150 years, vocal-cord or glottic cancer has been almost exclusively a disease associated with smoking and almost entirely seen in patients over 40 years old," says Steven Zeitels, MD, director of the MGH Division of Laryngeal Surgery, senior author of the report. "Today nonsmokers are approaching 50 percent of glottic cancer patients, and it is common for them to be diagnosed under the age of 40. This epidemiologic transformation of vocal-cord cancer is a significant public health issue, due to the diagnostic confusion it can create." The researchers note that the increase in vocal-cord cancer diagnosis appears to mimic an earlier increase in the diagnosis of throat cancer, which has been associated with infections by high-risk strains of HPV. After initially attributing incidents of vocal-cord cancer in nonsmokers, which they began to see about 15 years ago, to increased travel and exposure to infectious diseases, Zeitels and his [...]

No De-escalation of Therapy for HPV+ Throat Cancer

Source: www.medscape.com Author: Alexander M. Castellino, PhD Another trial has shown that de-escalating therapy does not work in patients with good prognosis human papillomavirus-positive (HPV+) oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma or throat cancers. Results from the De-ESCALaTE HPV study show that using the targeted drug cetuximab with radiotherapy does not improve side effects and, more importantly, has worse survival compared with the standard of care — chemotherapy with cisplatin and radiotherapy. The finding echoes the results from the US National Cancer Institute's Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 1016 trial, the top-line results of which were released earlier this year, and details of which were presented this week at the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 meeting. "Do not change your clinical practice of using cisplatin with radiotherapy in these patients," cautioned Hisham Mehanna, MBChB, PhD, chair of head and neck surgery at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and lead investigator of the De-ESCALaTe study. He presented the results during a presidential session here at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress (abstract LBA9). "Cetuximab did not cause less toxicity and resulted in worse overall survival and more cancer recurrence than cisplatin. This was a surprise — we thought it would lead to the same survival rates but better toxicity. Patients with throat cancer who are HPV+ should be given cisplatin, and not cetuximab, where possible," Mehanna said in a statement. Hope for Fewer Side Effects Cetuximab with radiation is already approved by the US Food and Drug [...]

2018-10-28T11:45:33-07:00October, 2018|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Patients with HPV-positive oropharynx cancer should receive chemoradiation

Source: medicalxpress.com Author: provided by European Society for Medical Oncology Patients with human papilloma virus (HPV)-positive throat cancer should receive chemoradiotherapy rather than cetuximab with radiotherapy, according to late-breaking research reported at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich. "Many patients have been receiving cetuximab with radiotherapy on the assumption that it was as effective as chemotherapy with radiotherapy and caused less side effects but there has been no head-to-head comparison of the two treatments," said study author Prof Hisham Mehanna, Chair, Head and Neck Surgery, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK. Throat cancer is rapidly becoming more common in Western countries. For example in the UK, incidence was unchanged in 1970 to 1995, then doubled in 1996 to 2006, and doubled again in 2006 to 2010.The rise has been attributed to HPV, a sexually transmitted infection. Most throat cancer was previously caused by smoking and alcohol and affected 65-70 year-old working class men. Today HPV is the main cause and patients are around 55, middle class, working, and have young children. HPV-positive throat cancer responds well to a combination of cisplatin chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and patients can survive for 30-40 years, but the treatment causes lifelong side effects including dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, and loss of taste. Patients deemed unable to tolerate chemotherapy, for example because of poor kidney function or older age, receive cetuximab, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, and radiotherapy. This study compared side effects and survival with the two treatments in [...]

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