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An emerging new type of oral cancer in men has increased over the last 15 years. The culprit is human papillomavirus (HPV), and key social factors are contributing to its growth. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and with the ongoing rise in cases of throat cancer linked to HPV, many medical and dental professionals are encouraging the public to take measures in an effort to help prevent this form of cancer.

A new method predicts the course of HPV-negative head and neck cancer after radiation chemotherapy. According to a recent article in the journal ‘Clinical Cancer Research’, five microRNAs (miRNAs) can provide the decisive data. The work was conducted at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) in close collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).

 

Irradiation plan of a head and neck tumor. © University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is widely known to cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer. However, you might not know that HPV also causes 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancer, a subset of head and neck cancers that affect the mouth, tongue, and tonsils. Although vaccines that protect against HPV infection are now available, they are not yet widespread, especially in men, nor do they address the large number of currently infected cancer patients.

A therapeutic vaccine can boost antibodies and T cells, helping them infiltrate tumors and fight off human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer. Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania tested the immunotherapy approach in two groups of patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCCa) and found 86 percent showed elevated T cell activity. It is also the first study to show that the vaccine can help immune cells infiltrate tumors.

Humanpapilloma virus (HPV) is now the leading cause of certain types of throat cancer. Dr. Michael Moore, director of head and neck surgery at UC Davis and an HPV-related cancer expert, answers some tough questions about the trend and what can be done about it.

Q: What is HPV and how is it related to head and neck cancers?

The components of the immune system that trigger allergic reactions may also help protect the skin against cancer, suggest new findings.

The research, led by Imperial College London, highlights previously unknown skin defenses - and could open avenues for developing new skin cancer treatments.

The early-stage study, published in the journal Nature Immunology, may also provide clues into why allergies are on the rise. Estimates suggest 44 per cent of Britons now suffer from at least one allergy - but the reasons behind the increase are unknown.

A pair of researchers from the University of Delaware Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences are investigating genetic variations in DNA replication of human papillomaviruses (HPV) and its correlation with HPV-related cancers.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been sued by several major public health groups because of the delays on the agency’s part to implement rules regarding electronic cigarettes and cigars. The health advocates say that this delay could mean that more consumers could be exposed to “lethal and addictive components” of these tobacco products for years before they could be controlled.

 

Image Credit: Tibanna79 / Shutterstock

Physicians now have a more dependable, less expensive tool to help detect bladder cancer earlier.

Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that a simple test that can be administered and read in the doctor's office was three times more effective than a conventional laboratory test for detecting bladder cancer.

Would banning ventilated filters on cigarettes protect public health?

Scientists from multiple institutions, including a group of addiction neuroscience researchers from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, are gathering evidence under funding from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute to potentially inform a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision about whether to recommend design changes to filtered cigarettes.

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