Prevalidation of Salivary Biomarkers for Oral Cancer Detection

Source: Abstract Background: Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer with a 5-year survival rate of approximately 60%. Presently, there are no scientifically credible early detection techniques beyond conventional clinical oral examination. The goal of this study is to validate whether the seven mRNAs and three proteins previously reported as biomarkers are capable of discriminating patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) from healthy subjects in independent cohorts and by a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Early Detection Research Network (EDRN)-Biomarker Reference Laboratory (BRL). Methods: Three hundred and ninety-five subjects from five independent cohorts based on case controlled design were investigated by two independent laboratories, University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA) discovery laboratory and NCI-EDRN-BRL. Results: Expression of all seven mRNA and three protein markers was increased in OSCC versus controls in all five cohorts. With respect to individual marker performance across the five cohorts, the increase in interleukin (IL)-8 and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) was statistically significant and they remained top performers across different cohorts in terms of sensitivity and specificity. A previously identified multiple marker model showed an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for prediction of OSCC status ranging from 0.74 to 0.86 across the cohorts. Conclusions: The validation of these biomarkers showed their feasibility in the discrimination of OSCCs from healthy controls. Established assay technologies are robust enough to perform independently. Individual cutoff values for each of these markers and for the combined predictive model need to be further defined in large [...]

2012-03-29T16:06:49-07:00March, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., Receives AACR’s Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award

Source: AACR News CHICAGO — The American Association for Cancer Research will award Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., with the 36th Annual AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award during the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held here March 31 – April 4. Gillison is receiving this award in recognition of her significant contributions to the understanding of the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in head and neck cancers. Gillison’s award lecture, “Clinical implications of HPV in head and neck cancers,” will take place at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, April 4 in room S100 of the McCormick Place Convention Center. “It is an honor to be the recipient of this award,” said Gillison. “Our team strives to generate data that will improve the lives of individuals affected by head and neck cancers, and this is a wonderful validation that we are on the right track.” This award is designed to provide incentive to young investigators early in their careers. It was established in 1977 by the AACR and the Rosenthal Family Foundation to recognize research that has made, or promises to make, a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer. Gillison is a professor of medicine, epidemiology and otolaryngology and the Jeg Coughlin Chair of Cancer Research at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. She is also adjunct faculty at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Md. Her [...]

2012-03-23T09:31:04-07:00March, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Nearly 800,000 Deaths Prevented Due to Declines in Smoking

Source: National Cancer Institute Twentieth-century tobacco control programs and policies were responsible for preventing more than 795,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States from 1975 through 2000, according to an analysis funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. If all cigarette smoking in this country had ceased following the release of the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health in 1964, a total of 2.5 million people would have been spared from death due to lung cancer in the 36 years following that report, according to the analysis.  The results of this study were published online March 14, 2012, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. “These findings provide a compelling illustration of the devastating impact of tobacco use in our nation and the enormous benefits of reducing rates of smoking,” said Robert Croyle, Ph.D., director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at NCI.  “Although great strides have been made, we cannot relax our efforts.  The prevention and cessation of tobacco use continue to be vital priorities for the medical, scientific, and public health communities.” The researchers, part of the NCI-sponsored Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET), utilized a comparative modeling approach in which they constructed detailed cigarette smoking histories for individuals born from 1890 through 1970, and then related the histories to lung cancer mortality in mathematical models.  Using these models, the researchers were able to estimate the impact of changes in smoking patterns resulting [...]

2012-03-19T09:45:14-07:00March, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Red Meat Consumption Linked to Increased Risk of Total, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality

Source: Harvard School of Public Health Boston, MA -- A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers has found that red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. The results also showed that substituting other healthy protein sources, such as fish, poultry, nuts, and legumes, was associated with a lower risk of mortality. The study will be published online in Archives of Internal Medicine on March 12, 2012. “Our study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers in other studies,” said lead author An Pan, research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH. The researchers, including senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, and colleagues, prospectively observed 37,698 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for up to 22 years and 83,644 women in the Nurses’ Health Study for up to 28 years who were free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer at baseline. Diets were assessed through questionnaires every four years. A combined 23,926 deaths were documented in the two studies, of which 5,910 were from CVD and 9,464 from cancer. Regular consumption of red meat, particularly processed red meat, was associated with increased mortality risk. One daily serving of unprocessed red meat (about the size of a deck of cards) was associated with a 13% increased risk of mortality, and one daily [...]

2012-03-15T10:09:22-07:00March, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

HPV a gender-neutral killer

Source: Socially conservative lawmakers will likely repeal Virginia's requirement that schoolgirls get vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus called HPV that can, and now will, kill many of them. They're repealing it in the name of sexual abstinence, family values and apple pie. In the name of keeping government out of private health-care decisions — and, yes, they say that with a straight face. A body count doesn't bother them. Virtually all cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus, which infects about 80 percent of sexually active adults by age 40. Most don't even know they have it. But, in some women, the virus mutates cells lining the cervix, turning them into cancerous lesions. About 12,000 women each year are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 4,000 of them will die of it, according to the National Cancer Institute. This vaccine would prevent nearly all that cancer. All that death. Yet for moral reasons, not medical, the GOP-controlled House voted last month to eliminate the state's 2007 requirement that girls receive the vaccine before enrolling in sixth grade. (The vaccine is most effective before the onset of sexual activity.) The bill now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate, where it's also expected to pass. Lawmakers in Richmond weren't swayed by appeals to conscience, to logic or to medicine. They didn't care that the law already allows parents to decline the vaccine for their child for any reason whatsoever. They even rejected an amendment by a socially conservative colleague, Del. Chris [...]

2012-02-15T10:16:31-07:00February, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Adaptive radiotherapy may benefit patients with head and neck cancer

Source: Researchers led by a senior investigator at Hofstra-North Shore LIJ School of Medicine and The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have released initial findings from a first-of-a-kind clinical trial in adaptive radiotherapy (ART) for head and neck cancer. The trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, provides evidence that ART may benefit patients with less technical difficulty than previously believed. The findings of this trial were released online in advance of publication in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. Physicians commonly use radiotherapy to treat squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (back of throat). Current standard-of-care treatment is called intensity-modulated radiotherapy, or IMRT. IMRT allows physicians to "sculpt" radiation to fit the anatomy of individual patients. Although appealing, this technique has a crucial Achilles' heel - it is based entirely on a CT or MRI scan taken before actual treatment begins. Since a typical course of radiation treatment for oropharynx cancer lasts 6-7 weeks, standard IMRT cannot compensate for common changes that take place in a patient's body during this time, such as weight loss, shrinkage of tumor, or gradual movement of normal tissues. Recent work suggests that the inability of standard IMRT to keep up with these changes may lead to unanticipated toxicity, or potentially worse, missing of tumor. For this new trial, which was conducted at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, investigators started patients on standard IMRT. They then took CT scans while patients were lying in the radiation treatment room [...]

2012-02-10T10:40:11-07:00February, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Grape seed extract kills head and neck cancer cells, leaves healthy cells unharmed

Source: Colorado Cancer Blog Nearly 12,000 people will die of head and neck cancer in the United States this year and worldwide cases will exceed half a million. A study published this week in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and mouse models, grape seed extract (GSE) kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. “It’s a rather dramatic effect,” says Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. It depends in large part, says Agarwal, on a healthy cell’s ability to wait out damage. “Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” Agarwal says. “Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can’t grow, they die.” Grape seed extract creates these conditions that are unfavorable to growth. Specifically, the paper shows that grape seed extract both damages cancer cells’ DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow repair (as seen by decreased levels of the DNA repair molecules Brca1 and Rad51 and DNA repair foci). “Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice, themselves,” Agarwal says. Grape seed extract kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed (image courtesy of Flickr user Anders Ljungberg) Again, the grape seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy cells. “I think the whole point is that cancer cells have a lot of defective pathways and they [...]

2012-01-27T11:17:39-07:00January, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Prevalence of Oral HPV Infection Higher Among Men Than Women

CHICAGO -- The overall prevalence of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is approximately 7 percent among men and women ages 14 to 69 years in the United States, while the prevalence among men is higher than among women, according to a study appearing in JAMA. The study is being released early online to coincide with its presentation at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium. Oral HPV infection is the cause of a subset of oropharyngeal [relating to the mouth and pharynx] squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC).  Human papillomavirus positive OSCC are associated with sexual behavior in contrast to HPV-negative OSCC that are associated with chronic tobacco and alcohol use. At least 90 percent of HPV-positive OSCC are caused by high-risk (or oncogenic) HPV type 16 (HPV-16), and oral infection confers an approximate 50-fold increase in risk for HPV-positive OSCC. The incidence of OSCC has significantly increased over the last 3 decades in several countries, and HPV has been directly implicated as the underlying cause, according to background information in the article. Although oral HPV infection is the cause of a cancer that is increasing in incidence in the United States, little is known regarding the epidemiology of infection. Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, and colleagues examined the  prevalence of oral HPV infection in the United States. The researchers used data from a cross-sectional study as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2010, a statistically representative sample of the U.S. population. Men and women ages 14 [...]

2012-01-26T17:50:44-07:00January, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

U.S. Government rolls out new teen anti-smoking program As 2012 draws nigh, many smokers will make yet another resolution to quit smoking. However, in a matter of days or weeks, many of them will be puffing away. Many of these smokers have damaged their health from the habit with ailments including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and throat cancer. One group of smokers is not yet afflicted with those ailments and would benefit the most from quitting: teen smokers. Unfortunately, however, research suggests most of those teens will keep smoking and some light smokers will become heavy smokers. According to current estimates, 19% of U.S. teens are smokers by the 12th grade. To address this issue, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is introducing a new smoking-cessation program focused on teens. At present, a Website has been developed ( and texting support is available. In January 2012, the NCI will add a smartphone application. The program joins others with the same aim: Helping teen smokers quit before they become chronic adult smokers. For example, on September 1, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius published an opinion in the Washington Post in which she pointed out the national problem of teen smoking. A new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released on December 14, reported that smoking had declined among U.S. teens. Countering that bit of good news was that one out of every 15 high school students smoked marijuana on a regular basis. Smoked marijuana and smoked tobacco are chemically very similar; [...]

2011-12-28T10:53:32-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Study Endorses HPV Testing for All Women Over 30

Source: LONDON (Reuters) Dec 15 - New DNA tests looking for the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer make sense for all women aged 30 or over, since they can prevent more cases of cancer than Pap smears alone, Dutch researchers say. Results of a five-year study involving 45,000 women provided the strongest evidence yet in favor of using human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, Dr. Chris Meijer and colleagues from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam reported in The Lancet Oncology on December 15. In recent years, tests for high-risk HPV strains have been developed by companies including Roche and Qiagen. The new tests are known to work well in detecting HPV, but the Dutch study is the first to show they are better than Pap smears alone over two screening rounds set five years apart. The researchers, who looked at women aged 29 to 56, said use of HPV tests led to earlier detection of pre-cancerous lesions, allowing for treatment that improved protection against cancer. Dr. Hormuzd Katki and Dr. Nicolas Wentzensen from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said the results reinforced earlier findings, and provided "overwhelming evidence" of the benefits of including HPV testing in cervical screening programs. The government-backed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently urges women who have been sexually active and have a cervix to get Pap smears at least every three years. However, the group recommends against routinely screening women over 65 if they had normal results on a recent Pap [...]

2011-12-27T11:06:49-07:00December, 2011|Oral Cancer News|
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