Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found an association between the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and certain head and neck cancers, suggesting significant implications for screening those with the virus and treating those with such cancer.
Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States, affecting up to 1.5% of the population. As many as 3.9 million people may be chronically infected, according to the researchers. New antiviral drugs, taken orally once or twice daily with almost no side effects, can cure more than 90% of the HCV population.
“Obviously, a hepatitis C infection could impact how patients respond to their cancer therapy,” said Harrys A. Torres, MD, associate professor with the department of infectious diseases, infection control, and employee health.
“We also realized that many of our hepatitis patients were excluded from clinical trials. Now that many with hepatitis C can be cured, it is important that we first address and potentially cure the virus, so that they can have access to necessary cancer therapy,” said Torres.
In 2009, MD Anderson opened a clinic to address the unmet medical needs of its patients with HCV. Subsequently, the center found many head and neck cancer patients testing positive for HCV and prompted its researchers to investigate a potential correlation.
The researchers identified 34,545 MD Anderson patients who were tested for HCV between 2004 and 2014. They included 164 oropharyngeal patients and 245 nonoropharyngeal patients. The researchers also identified 694 control subjects with lung, esophageal, and bladder cancers, all related to smoking, another risk factor for head and neck cancer.
According to the study, 14% of patients with oropharyngeal cancers tested positive for HCV antibodies, compared to 6.5% in the control group. In those with nonoropharyngeal cancer, 20% tested positive for HCV antibodies. HCV patients, then, face a 2.4 times greater risk for oral cavity cancers, 2.04 times greater risk for oropharynx cancers, and 4.96 times greater risk for larynx cancers.
“Our findings tell us that the association between hepatitis C and oropharyngeal and nonoropharyngeal cancers is as high as its link to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Torres.
Additionally, 145 of the oropharyngeal cancer patients were tested for human papillomavirus (HPV), and the research indicated that patients with HCV-positive head and neck cancers also were more likely to test positive for HPV. The researchers now plan on looking at other HPV-associated cancers and their possible link to HCV.
Current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend that patients with HCV and some non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma should be treated for HCV first since it is curable. In some cases, the lymphoma disappears upon treating the HCV with antiviral therapies.
Now, MD Anderson also will screen and treat all head and neck cancer patients with HCV and follow their outcomes. The researchers believe that educating the general hepatology and infectious disease communities is critical so they understand that HCV is a systemic infection impacting more than the liver.
“What we are trying to make all understand is that this is an infection that has consequences,” Torres said, “and it’s an infection we can cure.”
The study, “Association Between Hepatitis C Virus and Head and Neck Cancers,” was supported by the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute and was the recipient of the 2015 Conquer Cancer Foundation of American Society of Clinical Oncology Merit Award. It was published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Many kids run a little water on their toothbrush to trick their parents into thinking they brushed their teeth. But these days, more kids are skipping the subterfuge and getting the job done. The Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives report increases in parents who say their children brush for 2 minutes twice a day.
There has been an increase from 48% in 2012 to 61% in 2015 in English-speaking parents who say their child brushes twice a day, with a 4% increase in those whose child brushes for 2 minutes each time. Among Spanish-speaking parents, the number of children reported brushing twice a day rose from 63% in 2012 to 78% in 2015.
As a coalition of 36 dental organizations, the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives attributes these increases to its Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign, launched in 2012. In this program, the Partnership teamed up with the Ad Council to teach parents, caregivers, and children the importance of oral health.
“The effect of the Ad Council public service announcements has been significant for children’s oral health and the development of good brushing habits for a lifetime,” said Ken Wallis, DDS, president of the California Dental Association, which is a member of the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives.
More than $119 million in donated and earned media across the country has resulted in 9.4 billion impressions in television, radio, print, outdoor, and digital public service announcements in both English and Spanish. The program also teamed up with Scholastic to deliver children’s oral health materials to 190,000 teachers nationwide, reaching more than 5.7 million children.
The centerpiece of the program is 2min2x.org, where children can watch 2-minute video clips from favorite shows like Wishenpoof, and Adventure Time, along with kid-friendly music videos from mykazootv.com. The site also offers information for parents, a brushing checklist, and the Toothsavers app, which turns brushing into a game.
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives additionally offers educational materials to dentists to help them teach their patients about the importance of brushing for 2 minutes twice a day. These materials include fact sheets about oral health, posters, videos, and graphics that can be downloaded for display in offices and on social media.
Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy praised the efforts of community leaders who have introduced fluoride into their water systems over the past 70 years, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named it one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, along with immunizations and tobacco control.
“Water fluoridation is the best method for delivering fluoride to all members of the community regardless of age, education, income level, or access to routine dental care,” Murthy said in a video posted on the office’s website.
In 1945, the US National Institutes of Health launched a controlled experiment in fluoridating the water in Grand Rapids, Mich. By 1950, their results showed a significant reduction in cavities. The US Public Health Service made fluoridation official policy by 1951. And by 2012, 74.6% of the US population on public water systems (or 210,655,401 people) was receiving fluoride.
“Fluoride’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay extends throughout one’s life, resulting in fewer and less severe cavities,” Murthy said. “In fact, each generation born over the past 70 years has enjoyed better dental health than the one before it. That is the very essence of the American promise.”
However, Murthy cautioned that there still are disparities in oral care.
“We still have work to do because we know that so much of our health is still determined by zip code, rather than genetic code,” he said. “That’s why creating a culture of disease prevention through community efforts and ensuring health equity for all is one of my highest priorities.”
The ADA commended Murthy for marking fluoridation’s anniversary. In a letter to the Surgeon General, president Carol Gomez Summerhays, DDS, and Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, DMD, MPH, addressed fluoridation’s success in preventing at least 25% of tooth decay in children and adults even with the widespread availability of fluoride from other sources.
“The preponderance of credible scientific evidence supports the continued safety and effectiveness of community water fluoridation,” the ADA officers wrote. “We are pleased to be working with you and others in the public health community to expand the practice.”
“Advocates and community leaders have fought for water fluoridation in communities throughout our country,” Murthy said. “Today, we applaud their efforts, and we will not rest until every community is equipped with the tools they need to help their residents live healthy and happy lives. Water fluoridation will be a critical part of that effort, and I look forward to working side by side with community leaders to make that goal a reality.”
A new material may be just what people with sensitive teeth need.
A biomaterial was created that has the potential to rebuild worn enamel and lower tooth sensitivity for an extended time. This will be helpful for people with teeth sensitive to simple things like hot tea or hot chocolate.
The material was tested on dogs and the study appears in the journal ACS Nano.
Tooth sensitivity is a common issue among dental patients. It can lead to major dental problems, in addition to the pain it causes. The problem develops after a tooth’s enamel degrades, leaving tiny, porous tubes and allowing underlying nerves to be susceptible to extreme temperatures.
Some current treatments, like special toothpastes, work by blocking the openings of tubes. The seal created is only temporary and doesn’t hold up to the wear and tear of brushing and chewing. That’s why the research team set out to look for a method that could be a long-term solution.
The researchers created a type of paste based on elements in teeth, particularly calcium and phosphorus. The paste was tested on dogs’ teeth and the research team determined that it closed up tubes in a deeper fashion compared to other treatments. This depth could be the key to a lasting solution to the problem and rebuilding enamel.
Austin digital marketing company LocalSearchForDentists.com (LSFD) is proud to announce their placementat #6 on Inc.’s list of Austin’s Top Ten Fastest Growing Companies. LSFD recently earned the number 357 spot on the Inc. 500, with their growth continuing to improve as they bring fresh new ideas, experience and a growing team to the Austin digital marketing field. LSFD brings experience, savvy and flexibility to their efforts, continually improving returns for their niche audience: Dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, implant dentistry practices and cosmetic dentists.
Founder and CEO Graig Presti says, “LocalSearchForDentists.com is all about turning our know-how in the digital marketing space into tangible returns for our clients. Our work brings patients into our dentists’ offices, gets phones ringing and builds an audience through reviews and appointments they see on a day to day basis. We provide more than just stats on a report - real world results.” Presti and his Austin team have continued to grow while retaining a lean, customer-focused enterprise focusing on quality content, google media management, reputation management and an intimate knowledge of the algorithms that govern digital marketing.
“Knowing how to use the tools that the Internet provides is essential. We leverage our knowledge, skill and best practices in tandem, and our clients see the benefits. We make it easy for our clients, and we do it right,” Presti said. LocalSearchForDentists.com enables their members to continually attract new patients with smart local digital optimization, video marketing, reputation management, Google AdWord techniques and organic press release creation. LSFD is currently sitting on top of a 1,324% growth rate over the last 3 years, will have another record year in 2015. To learn more about LocalSearchForDentists.com, visit them online at www.LocalSearchForDentists.com.
Graig Presti is the founder & CEO of LocalSearchForDentists.com and for the past 10 years has been the #1 leading authority and industry leader in the Internet Dental marketing space. He has authored 6 books and LocalSearchForDentists.com has been named #357 out of 500 on Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the USA and #6 of the 10 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in Austin, TX. He was recently featured in Newsweek Magazine as a Champion of Health, Wealth and Success and LocalSearchForDentists.com continues to lead marketing and PR campaigns that have driven over 10,000 dental practices to record years. Presti has been recognized as one of the world’s top market-leaders in dental marketing, his Google patient review attraction ‘cheat sheet’ system has seen features in The Wall St. Journal, Newsweek, Inc. Magazine and on the Inc. 500 in addition to broadcast outlets like CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC and CBS.
Ultradent Products, Inc. is proud to announce the 2015 dates for several continuing education seminars with Dr. Dan E. Fischer, founder and president of Ultradent Products, Inc. The engagements will also feature Ultradent’s clinical hygienist, Carol Jent, who will present continuing education courses on dental hygiene to attending staff. Dr. Fischer’s course, titled “Close to Home: What Expert Marriage Advice Can Teach Us about Creating Successful, Long-Lasting Dentistry,” will give attending clinicians up to eight continuing education credits.
Dr. Fischer’s course will focus on the key principles of modern operative dentistry that must be understood in order to create predictable, quality, long-lasting results. Through his lecture, Dr. Fischer lays out a fool-proof guide to navigating the complex and ever-changing world of dentistry by comparing the creation of quality, long-lasting dentistry with the creation of a quality, long-lasting marriage. Topics with a reputation as “dry” or “boring” come to life through his lecture—giving attendees a fun and memorable experience that ensures immediate and lasting implementation. Among the topics discussed are the importance direct veneers and esthetic composite restorations play in the reconstruction of anterior teeth; to the best techniques for direct reconstruction of severely compromised posterior teeth; to advancements in today’s bonding and adhesive technologies; to an in-depth study of in-office and take-home tooth whitening, to name a few.
Dr. Dan E. Fischer graduated from Loma Linda University in 1974. Following graduation, Dr. Fischer maintained a full-time private practice for fifteen years. Since 1990 he has worked extensively in research and development but still maintains a part-time practice with an emphasis on esthetic dentistry. He is president and CEO of Ultradent Products, Inc. and is extensively involved in the R&D of many products used in the dental profession. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Loma Linda University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AACD in 2005, and he was inducted into the American College of Dentists in October 2011.
1/30/2015* 3/27/2015 4/17/2015 6/26/2015
St. Petersburg, FL Orange County, CA Syracuse, NY Greensboro, NC
7/17/2015 8/28/2015 10/23/2015
Waco, TX Baltimore, MD Lexington, KY
To learn more information or to register for one of these events, please visit ultradent.com/seminars or call us at 800.520.6640.
Dentists could play a pivotal role in curbing tobacco use.
A recent study was conducted regarding how much dentists know about their patients’ tobacco use and what they do to prevent it.
The results showed that 90 percent of dental providers stated that they asked their patients about their tobacco use on a regular basis. The numbers also stated that 76 percent counsel their patients while 45 percent offer tobacco cessation assistance.
Looking further into the numbers, when a practice has at least one hygienist, cessation assistance was often associated with the practice. Other factors that resulted in cessation assistance were (1) using a chart system that includes a tobacco question, (2) having a dentist who received some sort of tobacco dependence training and (3) having a positive attitude about treating tobacco use.The study also concluded that providers who did not offer assistance but would alter their practice patterns if they were reimbursed for the changes were more likely to be in a group practice and/or treating Medicaid patients.
Stem cells may be closer to being implemented.
The ability to turn stem cells into new teeth will be showcased at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition. Stem cells would likely be a more effective way to replace missing teeth because of the costs of implants, in addition to the difficulty in making sure the implants last for a long period of time.
Orange, Calif. – June 27, 2014 – Kerr Corporation, a global manufacturer of dental products, announced today that it has acquired DUX Dental and Vettec Inc. to further expand its product portfolio and to better serve dental professionals and healthcare providers globally.
Many people don’t realize it but the adverse impact of sugar intake is just as bad for teeth as it is for the increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The information came to the forefront again because of new plans soon to be underway in the United Kingdom. Food and all things that a person consumes are just as important to one’s oral health as other aspects. This issue is a pressing matter based on the amounts of sugary drinks children consume these days.