Fruit flies don't have noses, but a huge part of their brains is dedicated to processing smells. Flies probably rely on the sense of smell more than any other sense for essential activities such as finding mates and avoiding danger. UW-Madison researchers have discovered that a gene called distal-less is critical to the fly's ability to receive, process and respond to smells. As reported in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists also found evidence that distal-less is important for generating and maintaining self-renewing stem cells in the large brain structure that's responsible for processing odors and carrying out other important duties. The corresponding gene in mammals and humans, called Dlx, is known to be important in the sense of smell.
Routine use of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans in head and neck cancer patient follow-up can detect local recurrences before they become clinically apparent and may improve the outcome of subsequent salvage therapy, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM. PET scan is a relatively new test and its use as a routine follow up for head and neck cancer patients is controversial. Most head and neck cancer follow-up studies use Fluorodeoxyglucose-PET (FDG-PET) scans when recurrence is suspected, but few studies have been conducted to determine the value of PET scans in fixed intervals post-treatment. Researchers in this study reviewed 234 head and neck cancer cases treated with chemoradiation between 2006 and 2010 that also had a post-therapy PET/CT scan.
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 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. "It's a rather dramatic effect, " says Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. It depends in large part, says Agarwal, on a healthy cell's ability to wait out damage. "Cancer cells are fast-growing cells, " Agarwal says. "Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can't grow, they die." Grape seed extract creates these conditions that are unfavorable to growth.
Patients With Head And Neck Cancer May Have Improved Outcomes Following Discovery Of Molecular Fingerprint
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, have found a biomarker in head and neck cancers that can predict whether a patient's tumor will be life threatening. The biomarker is considered particularly promising because it can detect the level of risk immediately following diagnosis. This discovery could become a component of a new test to guide how aggressively those with head and neck tumors should be treated. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Pathology. "Previous efforts to identify biomarkers for guiding treatment of head and neck cancer have not developed anything clinically useful for patients, " said Geoffrey Childs, Ph.D., professor of pathology at Einstein and co-senior author of the paper.
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. Researchers analyzed two subgroups totaling 410 patients who had advanced head and neck cancer and received radiation therapy or radiation therapy plus cisplatin. Those who had microscopically involved resection margins and/or extracapsular spread of disease showed improved local-regional control with radiation and chemotherapy. At 10 years post-treatment, the local-regional failure rates were 33.