Head and neck cancers typically begin in squamous cells that line moist surfaces inside the mouth, nose and throat. Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States, and it is sometimes preceded by the appearance of changes inside the oral cavity called precancerous lesions. The most common type of change is a white patch known as a leukoplakia. Because it often takes decades for leukoplakias to develop into HNSCC, there is a window of opportunity to recognize and revert precancerous changes, thus preventing this type of cancer.
A major breakthrough by scientists at Queen’s University Belfast could lead to more effective treatments for throat and cervical cancer. The discovery could see the development of new therapies, which would target the non-cancerous cells surrounding a tumour, as well as treating the tumour itself.
A select subgroup of advanced head and neck cancer patients treated with radiation therapy plus the chemotherapy drug cisplatin had more positive outcomes than patients treated with radiation therapy alone and continued to show positive results 10 years post-treatment, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.
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.
Scientists working at the Medical Research Council have identified changes in the patterns of sugar molecules that line pre-cancerous cells in the esophagus, a condition called Barrett’s dysplasia, making it much easier to detect and remove these cells before they develop into esophageal cancer. These findings, reported in the journal Nature Medicine, have important implications for patients and may help to monitor their condition and prevent the development of cancer.
Curcumin, the main component in the spice turmeric, suppresses a cell signaling pathway that drives the growth of head and neck cancer, according to a pilot study using human saliva by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In recent years, the number of cases of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus (or gullet) has been on the rise. At the same time, however, new ways of treatment are improving the outlook for patients. In the current issue of Deutsches Ã„rzteblatt International (Dtsch Artzebl Int 2011; 108: 313ð”ƒ‡), Angelika Behrens and her working group report on innovations in diagnosis and treatment.
Findings might lead to targets for therapy, early detection
PHILADELPHIA – Squamous cell cancers of the oral cavity and esophagus are common throughout the world, with over 650,000 cases of oral cancer each year and esophageal cancer representing the sixth most common cause of cancer death in men. Research by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine investigators has shown that a protein that helps cells stick together is frequently absent or out of place in these cancers, but it’s unclear if its loss causes the tumors.
Biologically targeted BNCT treatment is based on producing radiation inside a tumour using boron-10 and thermal neutrons. Boron-10 is introduced into cancer cells with the help of a special carrier substance (phenylalanine), after which the tumour is irradiated with lowenergy neutrons. The latter react with the boron to generate high-LET radiation, which may destroy the cancer cells. One to two BNCT treatment sessions may be sufficient to destroy a tumour, while keeping the impact of radiation on surrounding healthy tissue to a minimum.
PHILADELPHIA Â— Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer and is on the rise in some demographic groups, including young women without any known risk factors. Now, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center report that estrogen may increase the movement of precancerous cells in the mouth and thus promote the spread of the disease within the oral cavity.