Startup that uses saliva tests to diagnose oral cancers wins New Venture Challenge

Source: news.uchicago.edu Author: press release University of Chicago A startup developing saliva-based diagnostics to screen for oral cancers and pre-cancers has won first place in the 26th annual Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, the signature venture competition for MBA students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. More than $1.76 million in investment was awarded to the 11 finalist teams competing in NVC finals on June 2, the largest amount ever awarded in the history of the pioneering startup accelerator. The event was held in person at Chicago Booth’s Harper Center for the first time since 2019. “Our finalist teams were spectacular and spectacularly diverse—from a test to detect cancer, to tiles for spacecraft, to a market for hydrogen, to wine and healthy food,” said Steven Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at Chicago Booth and the Kessenich E.P. Faculty Director of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where he cofounded the NVC. “The strength of our teams was such that they generated a record amount of investment, surpassing last year’s $1.73 million.” The Rattan L. Khosa First-Place Prize, totaling $665,000 in investment, was awarded to OrisDX, a venture that seeks to help alleviate the burden of cancer morbidity globally through greater access to non-invasive diagnostics and screening resulting in early detection of head and neck cancers. OrisDX, which is also a participant in the Compass deep tech accelerator, a finalist in the George Shultz Innovation Fund and was a [...]

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|

Natick company develops test to detect head and neck cancer that could lead to earlier diagnosis

Source: www.bostonherald.com Author: Alexi Cohan A saliva-based diagnostic test that can detect HPV-related head and neck cancer has the potential to catch the disease earlier and even serve as a standard screening method, which the medical community currently lacks. Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer caused by human papillomavirus that develops in the mouth and throat, is expected to cause more than 10,000 deaths this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Cases have been increasing significantly in men in recent years. But there is no screening method for this cancer right now, said Charlotte Kuperwasser, chief of clinical operations at Natick-based diagnostics company Naveris. She said most men who contract it will notice a lump in their throat and go to the doctor. But by that time, the cancer could be quite advanced. The new saliva test developed by Naveris has been shown to detect HPV-associated head and neck cancer with high accuracy, which is a first-of-its-kind study result and could offer a patient-friendly way to catch the cancer early. “Saliva is actually a very easy source, very non-invasive. It doesn’t require a medical professional to collect, it could even be done at home so there’s a lot of advantages to saliva,” Kupperwasser told the Herald. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis used the test to successfully analyze saliva for HPV genomes that are specific for DNA released from cancerous tumors. The study results highlighted the potential to use the test to catch the cancer [...]

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 [...]

A new answer for helping patients with xerostomia

Source: www.dentistryiq.com Author: John Kringel Helping patients with xerostomia can be especially challenging. Set aside for a moment the dental complications that result, such as rampant caries and mucositis. Severe symptoms like difficulty swallowing, sleeping, and talking can ruin the sufferer’s daily quality of life at the most basic level. Yet the available interventions1 come down to lifestyle tips such as sucking on ice chips, chewing sugar-free gum, and using a humidifier at night. Dr. Jeffrey Cash, a dentist in Richmond, Virginia, has experienced the frustration of dealing with xerostomia from multiple perspectives. He was initially moved by his hospital-based residency working with head-and-neck cancer patients. “My conversations with patients who had tried the standard suggestions without finding relief generally went like this: ‘Can’t you do anything else for me? I'm miserable. I can't eat properly. I wake up four times a night because I can't breathe.’ My answer, which felt terrible, amounted to ‘welcome to the new normal.’ ” Within a year of graduation, Dr. Cash learned exactly what these patients had experienced when he underwent chemotherapy as a part of his own cancer treatment. “Shortly after starting chemo, I developed severe dryness which led to mucositis. It was so uncomfortable I didn’t want to swallow or eat anything that would scratch the tissue.” The combined experience as a dentist and a xerostomia sufferer started Dr. Cash on a decades-long mission to invent a new treatment option that would be immediate, continuous, and predictable. That aspiration became a reality [...]

Patients with oral cancer may get relief from dry mouth through MU research

Source: www.columbiamissourian.com Author: Tia Alphonse Gary Rackers bit his tongue one night, and it began to bleed. Thinking it wasn’t serious, he waited a couple of weeks, but something still didn’t feel right. So, he asked his wife to take a look. She was shocked, Rackers said. His tongue was black. After seeing his family physician and a local ear, nose and throat doctor in Jefferson City, Rackers was referred to Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. There, he connected with a physician who specialized in surgical treatment for patients with head and neck cancers. He was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma — a common oral cancer. The doctor ended up surgically removing half of Rackers’s tongue and nearly all of his teeth, and he began radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Since then, Rackers said he‘s had 33 radiation treatments and three rounds of chemotherapy. He is pleased and proud of the work his physician did, he said. Because of her, he’s in the recovery phase: “I’m doing good...and I’m feeling good.” Many head and neck cancer patients like Rackers lose their ability to produce saliva after radiation treatment. He said it doesn’t affect him much during the day, but his mouth gets quite dry at night. Dry mouth frequently disturbs his sleep, he said, causing him to often fetch water or juice for relief. “If I could get through the night,” he said, the days are easy. MU researcher and former dentist Olga Baker hopes to help patients like Rackers by dedicating [...]

2021-02-04T20:59:31-07:00February, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Botanical drug is shown to help patients with head and neck cancers

Source: newsroom.ucla.edu Author: Duane Bates, UCLA Research Brief Findings In a UCLA-led phase I clinical trial, a new plant-based drug called APG-157 showed signs of helping patients fight oral and oropharyngeal cancers. These cancers are located in the head and the neck. APG-157 is made up of multiple compounds produced by plants, including curcumin. UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers found that treatment with this botanical drug resulted in high concentrations of curcumin and its byproducts circulating in the blood and absorbed by tumor tissues within three hours after being taken orally. APG-157 reduced the concentration of cytokines — proteins involved in inflammation — in the saliva when administered to cancer patients. The therapy also reduced the relative abundance of Bacteroides species, a group of gram-negative bacteria. Gram negative refers to a group of dangerous bacteria that have an outer layer which hides them from the immune system. The relative abundance of gram-negative bacteria compared to the presence of other types of bacteria is correlated with oral cancer. APG-157 also resulted in the expression of genes that are associated with attracting immune system T cells to the tumor area. This therapy could have a beneficial effect when used in combination with immunotherapy drugs that help immune system T cells recognize and kill tumors. The treatment did not have any adverse effects on the study’s participants. Background Cancers of the head and neck account for 4% of all cancers. About 650,000 new cases are reported each year around the world. People [...]

2020-02-06T08:55:08-07:00February, 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|

Tackling the complications from oral cancer and treatment

Source: www.medscape.com Author: Tara Haelle Complications from oral cancer and the toxic effects of treatment — including demineralization, caries, fibrosis, candidiasis, pain, sensitivity, and aesthetic concerns — can continue long after any evidence of cancer is apparent, experts reported at the World Dental Congress 2019. One of the major toxic effects is changes in saliva, said Joel Epstein, DMD, director of cancer dentistry at the Cedars Sinai Health System in Los Angeles and director of dental oncology at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California. Another problem area — one that is often ignored — is taste, he told Medscape Medical News. And toxic effects are common, he added, citing one study that showed that 16% of patients experienced dental toxicity in the year after undergoing radiotherapy. The rates increased to 36% after 3 years, 55% after 5 years, and 74% after 7 years. For patients undergoing cancer therapy, dentists should look at overall oral hygiene, decay prevention, lip lubrication, dental emergencies, and oral mucosal infections, Epstein told the audience during his presentation on the management of patients with oral cancer, both during and after treatment. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that dentists can help with, he pointed out. For example, fluoride can be used to promote mineralization and chlorhexidine rinse can be used to reduce cariogenic bacteria. And photobiomodulation therapy, or low-level laser light therapy, can be used for the prevention of mucositis, which can be particularly painful, he added. Pain related to oral [...]

2019-12-04T09:04:47-07:00December, 2019|Oral Cancer News|

UB center helps bring local dental products to market

Source: www.buffalo.edu Author: Marcene Robinson Stocked on the shelves of Western New York pharmacies is a bottle of dry mouth spray Lubricity, a product developed and manufactured locally by You First Services, Inc. with the support of the University at Buffalo Center for Dental Studies. Through the partnership, the UB Center for Dental Studies verified the effectiveness of Lubricity through clinical trials, helping bring the product to market and contribute to the growth of You First Services as a budding employer in the region. Since its establishment in 1988, the UB Center for Dental Studies has built an extensive history of performing scientific and clinical studies for new products by major companies around the world, including Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive. However, the center also works with local manufacturers, providing access to cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art facilities and guidance from experienced researchers. Since its inception, the center has completed more than $15 million in research projects with contracts ranging from $10,000 to $450,000. “Ease of accessibility to university scholars is one of the major benefits of having a research university like UB in our community, said Sebastian Ciancio, DDS, director of the Center for Dental Studies and Distinguished Service Professor in the UB School of Dental Medicine. “Our Center for Dental Studies has helped manufacturers bring a number of useful products to the marketplace to improve oral health of consumers.” Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2018, Lubricity, works as a saliva substitute for those who suffer from [...]

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