For the first time, researchers have identifi ed a reliable marker (PDGFRβ) to detect carcinoma-associated fi broblasts (CAFs) — which are cells within the tumor that encourage growth and metastasis — in oral cancer tissues, according to new research. With this discovery, anti-PDGFRβ treatment could soon be combined with existing tumor treatments to provide a more effective cancer therapy.
For more, see the research published in the journal PLOS ONE, April 29, 2016.
Hepatitis C Is Top Infectious Disease Killer in U.S.
Deaths associated with hepatitis C reached an all-time high of 19,659 in 2014, according to new surveillance data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, a second CDC study showed that annual hepatitis C-related mortality in 2013 surpassed the total combined number of deaths from 60 other infectious diseases reported to the CDC, including HIV, pneumococcal disease and tuberculosis. The greatest hepatitis C burden falls on baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — many of whom have unknowingly been living with the infection for many years.
The surveillance data also point to a new wave of hepatitis C infections among people who inject drugs. Acute cases of hepatitis C infection have more than doubled since 2010, increasing to 2,194 reported cases in 2014. The new cases were predominantly among young, white individuals with a history of injection drug use, living in rural and suburban areas of the Midwest and Eastern United States. “Because hepatitis C often has few noticeable symptoms, the number of new cases is likely much higher than what is reported. Due to limited screening and underreporting, we estimate the number of new infections is closer to 30,000 per year,” said John W. Ward, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, in a news release. “We must act now to diagnose and treat hidden infections before they become deadly and to prevent new infections.” California Dental Association (CDA) Journal, vol 22, issue Nº7, pp. 407. July 2016.
See more published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 62, issue 10, pp. 1287-1288.
In a “Dear Colleagues” letter published in the ADA News (7/5), ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays writes that this month’s Journal of the American Dental Association “revisits dentistry’s role in preventing opioid abuse.” Summerhays calls on “dentists everywhere to take several specific steps to help prevent opioid pain medications from being inadvertently misused and abused.” She encourages dentists to register for the next ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program webinar “on model opioid prescribing in the context of modern drug-seeking behaviour.” Dentists should also use their state’s prescription drug monitoring program and review materials provided by the ADA, including the “ADA Practical Guide to Substance Use Disorders and Safe Prescribing.” Patients should also be advised to “sign the Medicine Abuse Project pledge to safeguard their medicines” and visit MouthHealthy.org/meds to learn about the dangers of opioid abuse. According to Summerhays, “the ADA will continue raising professional awareness about” opioid abuse “and offering resources to help prevent it.”
The University of Florida Health have recently identified a new strain of bacteria that can fight Streptococcus Mutans. It is currently called A12 and it not only helps neutralize acid by metabolizing Arginine in the mouth, but can kill Streptococcus Mutans. Robert Burne PhD, Associate Dean for Research and Chair of the UF College of Dentistry Department of Biology says A12 disrupts the growth of Streptococcus Mutans and therefore less biofilm or plaque forms. The team plans to develop a screening process to identify high risk patients and use this discovery to formulate a pill, like a probiotic, to prevent cavities. The research was published online in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology Jan 19, 2016.
Study Shows Long-term Cannabis Use Associated With Declining Periodontal Health.
The ADA News (6/1, Manchir) reports that research published this month in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found study participants who self-reported cannabis use for up to 20 years were more likely to have periodontal disease, and that their periodontal health declined from age 26 to age 38. The article also recalls a recent report in the May issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, which “highlights the need for specific guidance for oral health care professionals regarding cannabis use as it relates to dentists.”
Other reporting on the research focused on the finding that long-term cannabis use was associated with few physical health issues in adulthood. Reuters (6/1, Seaman) reports participants had poor periodontal health but otherwise “were generally as healthy as people who didn’t” smoke. Researchers studied over 1,000 people born in New Zealand and tracked them from age 3 to age 38. According to Reuters, the researchers “did not find a link between marijuana use in adulthood and poor physical health for a number of conditions, including lung function, systemic inflammation, metabolic health, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).”
The Oregonian (6/1, Terry) reports the researchers “reviewed self-reported cannabis use at ages 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38,” and found that “higher cannabis use was associated with periodontal problems at age 38 after controlling for periodontal health at age 26 and overall tobacco.”
Also covering the study are HealthDay (6/1, Reinberg), LiveScience (6/1, Blaszczak), Medical Daily (6/1), The Guardian (UK) (6/1, McCarthy), and Daily Mail (6/1, Mailonline).