Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. Tumor resistance to radio- and/or chemotherapy remains a significant clinical problem. A team of researchers led by Nils Cordes, at Dresden University of Technology, Germany, has now identified a way to enhance the sensitivity of human HNSCC cell lines to radiation such that their growth is delayed in xenografted mice. In the study, Cordes and colleagues determined that a beta-1 integrin/FAK/cortactin signaling pathway is crucial for HNSCC resistance to radiotherapy. Inhibiting beta-1 integrin sensitized HNSCC cells to radiotherapy and delayed tumor growth in xenografted mice. Thus, Cordes and colleagues suggest that targeting beta-1 integrin could be used in combination with radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy to increase the survival of patients with HNSCC.
Researchers at the University of Granada and the university hospital Virgen de las Nieves in Granada have developed a new radiotherapy technique that is much less toxic than that traditionally used and only targets cancerous tissue. This new protocol provides a less invasive but equally efficient cancer postoperative treatment for cases of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx. The study -conducted between 2005 and 2008- included 80 patients diagnosed with epidermoid cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, who had undergone lymph node removal. The affected nodes were located by the surgeon during the intervention and classified into different risk levels. Classification allowed physicians to target the areas at a higher risk of recurrence. This way, neck areas at a lower risk of containing residual cancer cells were not irradiated.
Researchers led by a senior investigator at Hofstra-North Shore LIJ School of Medicine and The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have released initial findings from a first-of-its-kind clinical trial in adaptive radiotherapy (ART) for head and neck cancer. The trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, provides evidence that ART may benefit patients with less technical difficulty than previously believed. The findings of this trial were released online in advance of publication in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. Physicians commonly use radiotherapy to treat squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (back of throat). Current standard-of-care treatment is called intensity-modulated radiotherapy, or IMRT. IMRT allows physicians to "sculpt" radiation to fit the anatomy of individual patients.
NIH-supported scientists will be presenting their latest research findings at the 2012 Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) February 25-29, 2012 at The Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego, California, USA. Research topics to be presented by NIDCD-funded scientists will include: Bilateral / Binaural: Can the Ability to Localize Sounds Be Regained After Bilateral Cochlear Implantation? Ruth Litovsky, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison Bilateral cochlear implants - one implant for each ear - are becoming more common as a treatment for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Many children with cochlear implants attain spoken language skills that are comparable to their hearing peers, but even with two implants children often appear to perform significantly worse on tasks that involve hearing in complex listening environments (a busy classroom, for example) where they need to distinguish a teacher's or classmate's voice from competing background noise.
Researchers have discovered a promising alternative to common antibiotics used to fight the bacteria that causes strep throat. In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists discussed how their discovery could fight the infection with a reduced risk of antibiotic resistance. By screening tens of thousands of small molecules, the team from the University of Missouri and University of Michigan identified a class of chemical compounds that significantly reduced the severity of group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria infection in mice. Their work suggests that the compounds might have therapeutic value in the treatment of strep and similar infections that affect an estimated 700 million people around the world each year. The newly identified compounds could work with conventional antibiotics, such as commonly prescribed penicillin, and result in more effective treatment.