|By PR Newswire||
|April 17, 2013 03:01 AM EDT||
Throat cancers on the rise due to epidemic of HPV infection
TORONTO, April 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Researchers in London, Ontario, are conducting a first-ever clinical trial to determine which treatment option gives patients with throat cancers the best quality of life. These cancers are dramatically on the rise due to the epidemic of HPV (human papilloma virus) infection.
Surgeon Dr Anthony Nichols and radiation oncologist Dr David Palma at the Lawson Research Centre have received a $223,000 Quality of Life Grant from the Canadian Cancer Society to conduct the study. Dr Nichols is an assistant professor in head and neck surgery at Western University. Dr Palma is a clinician-scientist with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
The current standard treatment for throat cancers is radiation and chemotherapy, which results in good control of the disease but can leave patients with a variety of life-changing side effects, such as problems with speaking, swallowing, tasting and hearing and even feeding tube dependence.
A minimally invasive robotic surgery has emerged as a promising alternative treatment that appears to have fewer side effects.
"Patients with HPV-related throat cancers tend to be younger and healthier and have a good chance of being cured. As they will have to live with the side effects of treatment for decades, post-treatment quality of life is of paramount importance," says Dr Nichols.
"Before we can adopt a new treatment, we have to prove that the rates of cure are as good as they are with the standard treatment, which is chemotherapy with radiation," says Dr. Palma. "Sometimes new technologies are introduced with a lot of hype but don't prove to be helpful in the end. Transoral robotic surgery has shown tremendous promise as a treatment option, and we are the only ones in the world doing this type of study right now."
For the 3-year study, patients with early stage cancer of the oropharynx (which includes the tongue, soft palate, side and back walls of the throat, and tonsils) are invited to participate in a randomized phase II clinical trial. Patients will be assigned to receive either the current standard treatment (radiation, plus or minus chemotherapy) or the robotic surgery. One year after treatment, patient quality of life will be assessed for side effects.
This will be the first clinical trial to directly compare the 2 treatment methods and has the potential to have an international impact on the treatment of patients with throat cancers. In the United States, the robotic surgery is already being used for these types of cancers despite the lack of high-level evidence to support it.
To do the surgery, doctors use tiny robotically controlled surgical implements to remove tumours of the tongue, tonsils, palate or throat. The robot has a viewfinder and 3-D camera that can see around corners, and the tiny robotic arms can get into tight spaces where the surgeon's hands cannot fit. While the surgeon watches what's happening on a screen, the robotic arms precisely mimic the movements of the surgeon's hands and can even filter out the surgeon's hand tremor.
"The Canadian Cancer Society knows how important a patient's quality of life is during and after cancer treatment," says Dr Siân Bevan, Director of Research at the Canadian Cancer Society. "This exciting new surgical method shows great promise to vastly improve quality of life, and we are happy to be able to fund this important study, with the generous support of our donors."
About HPV and cancer
According to Dr. Nichols, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. "The incidence of throat cancers has increased dramatically in recent years due in large part to widespread infection with HPV. The increase is thought to be because of changes in sexual practices that began in the 1960s."
These cancers typically take more than 20 years to develop. Some strains of the HPV virus cause cervical cancer as well as ano-genital cancers. More recently, HPV infections have been found to cause cancers of the oropharynx.
It is estimated that 75% of sexually-active Canadians will have at least one HPV infection in their lifetime. The body's immune system usually gets rid of an HPV infection on its own. Most HPV infections (about 70%) go away without any treatment within 1-2 years. Persistent infection with high-risk HPV types over many years can cause precancerous changes and cancer.
HPV infection is associated with about:
- 25%-35% of oropharyngeal cancers
- 40% of vaginal and vulvar cancers
- 40%-50% of penile cancers
- 80%-90% of anal cancers
Dr. Nichols says that throat cancer patients whose disease was caused by an HPV infection tend to be diagnosed in their 40s and 50s, as opposed to patients whose throat cancer was caused by smoking and alcohol (these patients tend to be diagnosed at 60 or older).
A vaccine is available in Canada to prevent HPV infection. It protects against the types of HPV that cause 70% of HPV-related cancers. For more information, visit cancer.ca.
Other Quality of Life Grants
Dr Kim Edelstein, Toronto, $299,754 - Since cancer in young adults occurs during crucial formative years, it can have a particularly devastating effect, leaving survivors with a variety of long-term side-effects as a result of the disease and treatment. In her study, Dr Edelstein is exploring the impact of chemotherapy on thinking abilities during the first year after being diagnosed with cancer and whether these changes impact psychosocial development, with the findings to be used to develop strategies to help prevent or decrease these problems.
Dr Stephen Hall, Kingston, $153,029 - Using a series of questionnaires delivered over a 3-year period, Dr Hall will lead the first study of its kind to examine how patients who have had head and neck cancer perceive follow-up appointments to understand their attitudes, needs, fears and expected benefits about the appointments. His goal is to improve the quality of life for survivors by making the follow-up care more effective for individual patients while improving the efficiency of the health care system.
Dr Robert Klaassen, Ottawa, $177,794 - Using a survey developed with the input of patients, caregivers, health care providers and quality of life experts, Dr Klaassen aims to assess the impact of treatments on the quality of life of patients with incurable blood disorders that put them at a high risk of developing cancer. Because of the incurable nature of the conditions - named myelodysplastic syndromes - determining the impact of treatment on quality of life is crucial and this survey may become a critical resource and powerful tool to achieve this.
Dr Andrew Matthew, Toronto, $137,233 - Sexual dysfunction after prostate cancer surgery is one of the most substantial concerns for patients and their partners and has a significant impact on quality of life. To address this important health issue, Dr Matthew is developing a biomedical-psychosocial intervention which incorporates the active participation of the partner and features medical, psychological and social methods, with the eventual goal of introducing a new and effective way to support intimacy and optimal sexual health.
Dr Roanne Thomas, Ottawa, $244,128 - Using a variety of methods, including group discussion, photography, journaling and film, Dr Thomas will document the breast cancer experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Metis women. Since little is known about the factors which affect the breast cancer experiences of these groups of women, Dr Thomas' study will address gaps in knowledge and care to uncover valuable information for the development of future support programs and education materials for health professionals.
About the Quality of Life Grants
This program has been created to support quality of life cancer research that has the potential to make a significant impact on the burden of disease in patients, survivors and caregivers
About the Canadian Cancer Society
For 75 years the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive.
Visit cancer.ca or call us at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)
Image with caption: "With a Quality of Life grant from the Canadian Cancer Society, Dr. Anthony Nichols (right) and Dr. David Palma will lead a first-ever clinical trial to determine if robotic surgery to treat throat cancer reduces side effects. (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society (National Office))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130417_C5793_PHOTO_EN_25578.jpg
Image with caption: "Dr. Anthony Nichols performs robotic surgery on a throat cancer patient. With a Quality of Life grant from the Canadian Cancer Society, he will study if this non-invasive approach reduces side effects. (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society (National Office))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130417_C5793_PHOTO_EN_25576.jpg
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application del...
Nov. 30, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 386
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Nov. 30, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 493
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Nov. 30, 2015 05:15 AM EST Reads: 248
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 606
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 347
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 AM EST Reads: 435
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Nov. 30, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 511
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 446
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 448
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 30, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 449
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Nov. 30, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 418
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company Logz.io. In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 256
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 488
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 358
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 423