Manitoba expands HPV vaccination program to include boys

Source: www.rapidnewsnetwork.comAuthor: Cody Griffin While most HPV infections go away over time with no treatment, a few can go on to cause cancer. Health Minister Sharon Blady said the province’s vaccine program will be expanded next year to include Grade 6 and Grade 9 boys as part of Manitoba’s cancer strategy. The province will also be doing a catch-up period in grade 9. About 59 percent of the physicians recommended HPV vaccination more often for adolescents who they perceived to be at higher risk for getting an HPV infection, as opposed to recommending it routinely for all adolescents. “Human papillomavirus can cause abnormal cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer, as well as cancer of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, mouth and throat”, said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba. A study in Texas found that a more rigorous, information driven outreach program increased the number of children receiving the vaccine, and other recent studies have reinforced the efficacy of the vaccine to prevent cancer and not promote promiscuity among teenagers. Any girl or boy who misses the vaccine in Grade 6 will be eligible to get it in later years free of charge under the province’s “once eligible, always eligible”, program. But now we know it causes cancer in men as well. Gilkey and colleagues found that 27 percent of physicians across the country reported that they do not strongly endorse HPV vaccination, and 26 percent and 39 percent reported that they do not provide timely recommendations [...]

2015-10-23T11:47:34-07:00October, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

The case for funding the HPV vaccine for boys

Source: www.thespec.com Author: Camilla Cornell, Hamilton Spectator If Tiffany Bond could have had her 25-year-old son inoculated against the human papilloma virus (HPV), she'd have done it in a heartbeat. After all, Bond knows well the pain HPV virus can cause. Eight years ago, at age 39, Bond flicked back her long hair and touched a lump in her throat. Her doctor's diagnosis? Bond had oral pharynx cancer — a type of throat cancer caused by the HPV virus. Worse, the cancer had spread into her lymph nodes. She began a seven-week regimen of radiation and chemotherapy treatments so intense that Bond couldn't eat a thing. She was fed through tubing in her stomach for months and lost about a third of her body weight. "I was sick to my stomach every day for seven weeks," Bond says. "There came a point where I just gave up — I wanted to die. It was horrific for my son to watch." The good news, says Joanne Di Nardo, a spokesperson for the Ontario branch of the Canadian Cancer Society: There is an HPV vaccine that is 100 per cent effective against many forms of HPV. The bad news? Although all provincial governments administer the vaccine free to girls, in many provinces boys don't have the same privilege. Only Alberta, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and P.E.I. (either currently or will soon) offer the vaccine free to boys. "We really need to do some catching up here in Ontario," says Di Nardo. "Boys [...]

Professor Harald zur Hausen: Nobel scientist calls for HPV vaccination for boys

Source: www.independent.co.ukAuthor: Charlie Cooper & Gloria Nakajubi  The UK should vaccinate all boys against the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered the link between HPV and cancer has said. Professor Harald zur Hausen, the German virologist whose theory that HPV could be a cause of cervical cancers led to global efforts to vaccinate girls against the virus, said that boys should also be protected. There is now a wealth of evidence that HPV also causes cancers in men, including anal, penile and throat cancer. Professor zur Hausen added that there was now a chance to “eradicate” HPV viruses altogether if the world developed global vaccination programmes for all children. Since 2008 the UK has offered free vaccinations against HPV to girls aged 12 to 13 – a programme that had an almost 87 per cent uptake from 2013 to 2014 and has led to falls in the number of pre-cancerous abnormalities of the cervix, according to research carried out among vaccinated girls in Scotland. Vaccine authorities in the UK, traditionally an international leader in the field of immunisation, are yet to make a judgement on a publicly funded vaccination programme for boys, which would follow in the wake of those already in place in Australia, Austria, Israel and parts of Canada. HPV is the name for a common group of viruses that can affect the moist membranes of the cervix, anus, mouth and throat. It is usually spread through sexual contact. Most sexually active people [...]

Merck immunotherapy appears effective in head and neck cancer – study | Reuters

Source: www.firstpress.comAuthor: Bill Berkrot  A Merck & Co drug that helps the immune system fight cancer was about twice as effective as the current standard therapy for patients with recurrent or advanced head and neck cancers, according to study data released on Friday. A quarter of the 132 patients who received the drug, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), saw their tumors shrink by at least 30 percent. Fifty-six percent of patients experienced at least some tumor shrinkage in the ongoing single drug Phase I study dubbed Keynote-012, researchers reported. "This is remarkable because we don't usually see this level of activity with new agents. We have a track record of failure," said Dr. Tanguy Seiwert, lead investigator of the study from the University of Chicago. Advanced head and neck cancer is currently treated with Eli Lilly's Erbitux, known chemically as cetuximab, which typically has a response rate of 10 percent to 13 percent. "The only thing that works is cetuximab and this looks at least twice as good," said Seiwert, who was presenting the Keytruda data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. ADVERTISING Merck shares rose more than 1 percent to $60.43 on the New York Stock Exchange. Keytruda and Opdivo from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co are at the forefront of a promising new class of drugs called PD-1 inhibitors that block a mechanism tumors use to evade the immune system. Keytruda is approved to treat advanced melanoma and awaits a decision for use in lung cancer. It is being [...]

Cure Possible for Some HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancers

Source: www.medscape.com Author: Fran Lowry In a subset of patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal cancer, the goal of achieving a "cure" is a realistic one, even in patients who have limited distant metastases, a prospective study has shown. Of the patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer and distant metastases, 10% survived more than 2 years after intensive treatment, which the researchers defined as a cure. The study was presented at the 5th International Conference on Innovative Approaches in Head and Neck Oncology (ICHNO) in Nice, France. The research was praised by Jean Bourhis, MD, head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Centre Hospitalier Université Vaudois in Lucerne, Switzerland, and cochair of the ICHNO conference scientific committee. "This important piece of research adds substantially to what we know about the role and the importance of the human papillomavirus in oropharyngeal cancers and gives real hope of improvement in both diagnosis and treatment to those who are affected by the condition," he said in a statement. This study, from a world-leading group of head and neck cancer experts, is very interesting, and related to relevant clinical and interdisciplinary questions," said Daniel Zips, MD, professor of radiation oncology at the University of Tübingen in Germany. "HPV status is also important for the management of metastatic disease," he told Medscape Medical News. He agrees that for some patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer, using the researchers' definition, a cure is possible. "I also agree that the results from this study might begin to change [...]

HPV vaccination does not increase promiscuity among adolescents: It’s a vaccine against sexually transmitted cancer

Source: reason.com Author: Ronald Bailey On February 3, 2015, libertarian radio host Andrew Wilkow invited me to discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination. We disagreed: Mr. Wilkow is considerably more worried about the risks than is warranted by the scientific evidence. During the segment, Mr. Wilkow stated that he did not plan to have his two-year old daughter vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV). Infection with human papilloma virus is responsible for about 11,967 new cases of HPV-associated cervical cancer and for about 2,370 new cases of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers in women and nearly 9,356 new cases in men each year in the United States. During the radio segment, I mentioned that a male friend had recently died of HPV-associated head-and-neck cancer. I failed to mention that another male friend is being treated for that cancer now. Mr. Wilkow argued that since the vaccine immunizes against a sexually transmitted disease that he saw no reason to have his daughter vaccinated against it. The series of three HPV injections is recommended to start after age 9, so Mr. Wilkow has time to reconsider. Mr. Wilkow is, however, not alone in his opposition to HPV vaccination. A 2014 study in Clinical Pediatrics reported the results of a survey of parents' actions regarding HPV vaccination. The researchers found: A significantly higher proportion of parents of girls who were non-Hispanic white, lived in households with higher incomes, and had mothers with higher education levels, delayed and/or refused vaccination. Another of the early [...]

2015-02-11T08:16:00-07:00February, 2015|Oral Cancer News|

Inherited factors linked to head and neck cancers in young adults

Source: www.news-medical.net Author: Oxford University Press An article published online today in the International Journal of Epidemiology pools data from 25 case-control studies and conducts separate analyses to show that head and neck cancers (HNC) in young adults are more likely to be as a result of inherited factors, rather than lifestyle factors such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Approximately 550,000 new cases of HNC are diagnosed worldwide annually, with an increased incidence in young adults (YA) also being reported. In particular, reports indicate an increase in tumours affecting the tongue and oropharynx among young adults in Europe, the United States, India, and China. Dr Tatiana Natasha Toporcov and colleagues pooled data from 25 studies from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium to compare the role of major risk factors and family history in HNC for YA (45 years of age or younger) and older adults (over 45 years of age). Participants were surveyed about their history of cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and diet, as well as family history of cancer. In total, there were 2,010 cases and 4,042 controls in YA, and 17,700 cases and 22,704 controls in older adults. The attributable fraction (an estimate of the proportion of cases which could be avoided if the exposures were eliminated) for smoking on the risk of HNC was 20% in young women, 49% in older women, 46% in young men, and 64% in older men. The attributable fraction for drinking alcohol on the risk of HNC was [...]

In one study, lower dose treatment for HPV oropharyngeal cancers is successful

Author: Anthony Cmelak, M.D.Source: medicalnewstoday.com  A new study suggests that lowering the dose of radiation therapy for some head and neck cancer patients may improve outcomes and cause fewer long-term side effects. The research was presented by lead author Anthony Cmelak, M.D., professor of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), during the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held recently in Chicago. The study focused on patients with newly-diagnosed oropharyngeal cancers related to the human papilloma virus (HPV). More than two-thirds of new head and neck cancer patients have HPV-positive tumors and the number of these patients is on the rise. Cmelak's prior cooperative group study found that patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer have significantly longer survival rates than patients whose tumors are HPV negative. For the new study, 80 HPV-positive patients with stage III, or IVa,b squamous cell cancer of the oropharynx received inductionchemotherapy, including paclitaxel, cisplatin and cetuximab. After chemotherapy, 62 of the patients showed no sign of cancer and were assigned to receive a 25 percent lower dose of intensity-modulated radiation therapy - an advanced technology that targets the radiation beam more accurately to treat the tumor without harming surrounding tissue. The rest of the patients received a standard IMRT dose. The drug cetuximab was also given to both groups of patients along with the IMRT treatment. Two years after treatment, the survival for the low-dose IMRT patients was 93 percent. Those who did not have complete resolution of cancer following induction and went on to [...]

2014-06-25T16:35:42-07:00June, 2014|Oral Cancer News|

Prognosis of tumors positive for human papilloma virus in head and neck cancers varies according to the site

Source: www.sciencecodex.com Author: staff Patients with cancer of the throat and who are positive for the Human Papilloma virus (HPV+) have a good prognosis, but until now the effect of being HPV+ on the prognosis of tumours located elsewhere in the head and neck was unknown. Danish researchers have now shown that HPV status appears to have no prognostic effect on the outcome of primary radiotherapy in head and neck cancer outside the oropharynx (the part of the throat located behind the mouth, and which contains the soft palate and the base of the tongue), the ESTRO 33 congress will hear today (Sunday). Presenting her results to the congress, Dr Pernille Lassen, MD, PhD, from the Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, will say that head and neck cancers located outside the oropharynx should probably not be treated with the less intensive treatment strategies that are currently being investigated in clinical trials for HPV+ oropharyngeal tumours. "HPV status has a very potent prognostic impact in radiotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer, and DNA from HPV has been found in all types of head and neck cancer, although it is far more common in oropharyngeal tumours. We decided to investigate the impact of HPV status in non-oropharyngeal cancers in the DAHANCA database, which includes all Danish head and neck cancer patients," Dr Lassen will say. The researchers searched the database to identify patients with locally advanced cancers who had been treated primarily with radiotherapy, and identified 1606 patients with larynx and pharynx carcinomas. Overall, [...]

Anti-seizure medications prevent cancer

Source: guardianlv.com Author: Lindsey Alexander A recent report came out from the journal Cancer indicating a new finding that anti-seizure medications might prevent some forms of cancer. Drugs like valporic acid (Depakote), are one form of prescription in this classification. Though also used as a mood-stabilizer, Depakote can prevent seizures from occurring, and has been investigated for cancer prevention. These particular anti-seizure medications have been found to inhibit genetic changes that lead to cancer of the head and neck. The study included nearly 440,000 veterans, including 27,000 who were taking valporic acid for various disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, seizures, and migraines. The overall findings suggested that veterans who were on the prescription were 34 percent less likely to develop cancers of the head and neck, than those who were not taking the drug. The risk decreased in those subjects who took higher doses or for longer periods of time. Dr. Johann Brandes with Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center was the team leader of this study. He claims that this 34 percent statistic means 16,000 new cases, and between 3,000 and 4,000 cancer deaths can be prevented every year. Though there is a strong association, the study did not form a direct cause-and-effect relationship between cancer prevention and anti-seizure medications. The National Cancer Institute describes cancers of the neck and head as usually squamous cell cancers that line mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck. This can affect the mouth, the throat, and the nose. This is a [...]

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