Doctors couldn’t operate on my tumour, but this robot did — and it may have saved my life

Source: Author: Glenn Deir This is a First Person column by author Glenn Deir, who lives in St. John's, Newfoundland. Glenn Deir has special thanks for the robot who operated on his tonsil cancer. Long before I had cancer, and long before I lived in Japan, the rock band Styx released a synthesizer-drenched song with the hook "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto." Forty years later I, too, found myself thanking a robot. Its name is da Vinci. Da Vinci resembles a giant spider with four arms, and my journey to lying beneath those arms began with a niggling problem: I was having discomfort swallowing. Even sipping water sometimes stung. A flexible scope up my nose and down my throat revealed an apparent ulcer on my tonsil, the right tonsil, my one remaining tonsil. But given my history, my doctor couldn't ignore it. Ah, my history. Sixteen years ago, I contracted cancer in the left tonsil thanks to the human papillomavirus. That's the same virus that causes cervical cancer. Most folks shed the HPV virus with no harm done, but I had crappy luck. The subsequent radiation had me retching into a toilet for weeks. I turned into an advocate for the HPV vaccine. The da Vinci robot operates on Glenn Deir. (Glenn Deir) "Sex gave me cancer," I used to say. "You don't want your little boy to grow up and go through what I went through." What I wanted to ask Dr. Boyd Lee was, "So, what's [...]

Interdisciplinary group focuses on developing personalized oral cancer vaccine

Source: Author: Leslie Cantu Jason Newman, M.D., Angela Yoon, D.D.S., and Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D., are working together on a project to develop a personalized vaccine to prevent oral cancer from returning. Photo by Clif Rhodes Interdisciplinary innovation is a hallmark of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, and it doesn’t get much more interdisciplinary than this – three people, one each with an M.D., a D.D.S., and a Ph.D., working together to develop a new type of personalized vaccine to prevent oral cancer recurrence. “The amazing thing to me is that Jason Newman and I started on the same day at MUSC, which was March 1 of last year. He came from UPenn. I came from Columbia, and Shikhar has been at MUSC forever. It's just three different people who never knew each other before that time, and then we somehow got together and the synergy was there,” said Angela Yoon, D.D.S. Yoon, a professor in the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine who focuses on cancer biomarkers and immunomodulatory therapy, is leading the effort in collaboration with the two professors from the College of Medicine: Jason Newman, M.D., Head and Neck Cancer Division director, and Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D., scientific director of the Center for Cellular Therapy. They’re getting their project started using funding provided by Hollings. Periodically, Hollings awards funds to MUSC departments as a way to reinvest in faculty members who are conducting cancer research. Participating in clinical trials and on scientific committees and writing new [...]

Cancer research specialist believes uptake in HPV vaccine should be higher

Source: 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 [...]

HPV vaccine: Some studies say one and done might be better

Source: Author: Jen Christensen, CNN This week, at the World Health Organization’s 76th World Health Assembly, health leaders from nearly 100 countries will join with thousands of others who have signed off on a global initiative to eliminate cervical cancer. Globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in women, according to WHO, but many cases are completely preventable with the human papillomavirus vaccine. HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses. Many don’t cause any symptoms at all. Some strains cause warts, and some cause cancer. The HPV vaccine protects against the strains that cause most HPV-related cancers. “Vaccines are bringing the dream of eliminating cervical cancer within reach,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his remarks to the World Health Assembly on Monday. The vaccine is recommended for children because it works best before someone has been exposed to the virus. HPV is often spread through sexual contact, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that almost every sexually active person who is not vaccinated will get HPV at some point. The vaccine’s introduction to the US in 2006, along with more regular screening, has led to a notable drop in cervical cancer cases and deaths in the US, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Cervical cancer rates among the first American generation to get vaccinated have dropped significantly. Among women ages 20 to 24, cervical cancer incidence rates declined 65% from 2012 through 2019, according [...]

California bill would mandate HPV vaccine for incoming college students

Source: Author: Rachel Scheier and KFF Health News When she was a college freshman, Joslyn Chaiprasert-Paguio was told by a doctor she had a common sexually transmitted infection called the human papillomavirus but not to worry. Four years later, a few days before her wedding, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, which caused complications when she became pregnant. She had a hysterectomy eight years later, after the disease returned in 2021. The 38-year-old medical journal editor of Menifee in Riverside County, California, hadn’t been immunized as a teenager because there wasn’t yet a vaccine for HPV, which causes nearly all cervical cancers and a handful of other potentially lethal forms of the disease in men and women. Now, her 10-year-old daughter, Samantha, is scheduled to get her first shot this month. “This is the only vaccine that prevents cancer,” Chaiprasert-Paguio said. [Editor’s note: The hepatitis B vaccine prevents liver cancer.] A bill pending in the California legislature would require schools to notify parents that their kids are expected to be vaccinated for HPV before entering eighth grade, as part of a push to get more children inoculated against the cancer-causing strains of the virus, theoretically before they become sexually active. AB 659 stops short of mandating the vaccine for middle schoolers, as the bill originally proposed. Lawmakers stripped out that provision without any debate, reflecting the contentious nature of school vaccine mandates even in a state with some of the nation’s strictest immunization laws. “Now is a tough time [...]

Personalised cancer vaccine trials produce ‘really hopeful’ results

Source: Author: Thomas Moore, Science correspondent @SkyNewsThomas A personalised cancer vaccine made from individual patients' own DNA has produced "really hopeful" early results. The ground-breaking jab, created using technology perfected in the COVID pandemic, is being given to patients after they complete conventional treatment for head and neck cancers. Patients have a high chance of the cancer returning. Preliminary data from a clinical trial being run at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre show that none of the first eight patients given the jab have relapsed, even after several months. But the cancer has returned in two of eight patients who weren't immunised. The numbers are far too small to draw firm statistical conclusions. But Professor Christian Ottensmeier, a consultant medical oncologist and director of clinical research at the centre, told Sky News he was "cautiously optimistic". "I am really hopeful, yes," he said. "I am quite excited about it. All the data are pointing in the right direction." A small clinical trial of the vaccine on patients with ovarian cancer in France and the US is also showing promising results How does the vaccine work? The jab, codenamed TG4050, is made by a French company called Transgene using similar technology that produced AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine. DNA from an individual patient's tumour is cut and pasted into a harmless virus. When the genetically modified virus is injected into the body, it trains the immune system to be on watch for cancer cells, hopefully destroying them at an early stage before there [...]

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

Source: 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: 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|

Achieving an 80% HPV vaccination rate could eliminate nearly 1 million cases of male oropharyngeal cancer this century

Source: Author: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston A nationwide effort to adequately vaccinate 8 in 10 adolescents against the human papillomavirus (HPV) could prevent 934,000 cases of virus-associated, male oropharyngeal cancer over this century, reported investigators at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) School of Public Health in The Lancet Regional Health—Americas. At the start of each decade, the Healthy People program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services establishes goals to reduce the most significant preventable threats to health, which include an 80% target for the HPV vaccination program. However, in the U.S., just 54% of adolescents and only 21% of young adults were adequately vaccinated as of 2019. To gage the effect of accomplishing an 80% target on male oropharyngeal cancer, the most common cancer caused by HPV, UTHealth Houston researchers created a simulation model to project the development of this cancer over a lifetime and to measure the impact of the HPV vaccination. "Our study is the first to develop and validate a comprehensive mathematical modeling framework of the natural history of oral HPV infection and its progression to oropharyngeal cancer," said Ashish A. Deshmukh, Ph.D., MPH, the study's senior author and an associate professor in the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health and associate director of the Center for Health Services Research at UTHealth School of Public Health. "Achievement of the 80% goal by 2025 and maintaining it could lead to the prevention of [...]

2021-12-16T08:47:19-07:00December, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Most men benefit from initial and catch-up cancer prevention vaccination

Source: Author: Don Ward Hackett The Lancet Infectious Disease published the results from an extensive cancer prevention phase 3 study on November 12, 2021, supporting quadrivalent HPV vaccination in men, including catch-up vaccinations. The Gardasil quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was shown to prevent infections and lesions related to HPV6, 11, 16, and 18 in men aged 16–26 years. The researchers assessed the incidences of external genital warts related to HPV6 or 11 and external genital lesions and anal dysplasia associated with HPV6, 11, 16, or 18, over ten years of follow-up. The 3-year Base Study was an international, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial done at 71 sites in 18 countries. The Vaccination Period for the Base Study encompassed Day 1 through Month 7, during which time participants received qHPV vaccination at Day 1, Month 2, and Month 6. Follow-up for the Base Study encompassed Month 7 through Month 36. And the 7-year, open-label, long-term follow-up extension study was done at 46 centers in 16 countries. Between August 2010 and April 2017, 1,803 participants were enrolled in the long-term follow-up study, of whom 936 (827 heterosexual men and 109 MSM) were included in the early vaccination group and 867 (739 heterosexual men and 128 MSM) were included in the catch-up vaccination group. In early vaccine group participants during long-term follow-up compared with the placebo group in the Base Study, the incidence per 10 000 person-years of external genital warts related to HPV6 or 11 was 0·0 (95% CI 0·0–8·7) versus 137·3 [...]

2021-11-16T08:57:09-07:00November, 2021|Oral Cancer News|
Go to Top