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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Those suffering from diseases of the salivary glands have trusted the expertise of Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, P.A. in Ocean County, NJ, for nearly 15 years. Stephen Kupferberg, MD, FACS, a board certified otolaryngologist at Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, sheds light on common salivary issues and treatment options through this very informative Q&A session. Q: What are the salivary glands? A: The salivary glands consist of both major and minor salivary glands. The major salivary glands are the parotids, submandibular and sublingual glands. The function of all the glands is to produce saliva to moisten the mouth, aid in digestion and help protect the teeth from decay. The parotid glands empty into the mouth via a single tube called the Stensen’s duct, which is located in the cheek near the second molar of the upper teeth. The submandibular gland empties under the tongue in the front of the mouth through Wharton’s duct. The sublingual gland has many ducts in the floor of the mouth. There are multiple minor salivary glands located in the lips, cheeks and other areas of the mouth and throat. Q: What are common issues that may arise with the salivary glands? A: Several different problems can involve the salivary glands including obstruction, infection, tumors and other disorders. Obstruction most commonly occurs in the parotid and submandibular glands. This may result from the formation of stones in the gland or ducts. Strictures or narrowing can also slow salivary flow. When a person eats, the nervous system signals the gland to increase its production of saliva. This may back up and cause the gland to swell. This swelling usually decreases slowly after a meal. Q: What is the most common salivary infection in children and adults? A: The most common infection in children is mumps, which affects the parotid glands. This usually occurs in children who have not been immunized. Infections also happen in adults. This often occurs in the elderly who become dehydrated or have severe obstructions. These types of infections typically require antibiotic therapy. Q: How can tumors affect the salivary glands? A: Tumors that occur in the salivary glands most commonly present themselves as painless swellings on the side of the face or upper neck. Aggressive tumors can involve the facial nerve, causing decreased movement in portions of the face. Most tumors are benign. Pleomorphic adenoma and Warthin’s tumors are the most common benign lesions. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common malignant tumors. Q: How are tumors and stones diagnosed? A: Diagnosis is often made by physical examination. A mass can be felt in the cheek or neck. Stones can sometimes be noted by palpation in the mouth. CT scans or MRIs are often necessary to delineate the extent or size of tumors or stones. Q: What is the next course of action if tumors and/or stones are found? A: If a tumor is found, a fine needle aspiration biopsy is often performed to determine the pathology in order to guide further therapy. Small stones may be removed by sialoendoscopy. This involves removing the stones through the ducts with a small camera, graspers, baskets or lasers. Larger stones will necessitate more extensive surgery. Tumors will often require surgical intervention. Tumors involving the parotid gland will often require a superficial or total parotidectomy with facial nerve dissection. Submandibular gland lesions are removed by excising the entire gland. If malignancy is noted, then radiation therapy and possible chemotherapy may be needed. Q: What should you do if you suspect an issue with your salivary glands? A: Consult a board certified Otolaryngologist for diagnosis and treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, P.A, call 732-281-0100. About Dr. Stephen Kupferberg Dr. Stephen Kupferberg is a board certified Otolaryngologist and has been in practice for 20 years. He is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA and completed his internship and residency at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA. Dr. Kupferberg practiced in Maryland for four years before moving to Toms River where he resides with his wife and two sons. He specializes in hearing loss, nasal and sinus surgery, head and neck surgery, as well as adult and pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders. His leisure time is spent outdoors with his family, cycling, camping, hiking and golfing. About Ocean Otolaryngology Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, P.A. is a respected provider of ear, nose and throat care serving Toms River, Whiting, Brick and surrounding areas. Ocean Otolaryngology’s board certified physicians have extensive training and clinical experience and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends. A wide range of services, including treatment of sinus disease, thyroid disease, hoarseness, hearing loss, childhood ENT disorders and nasal breathing difficulty are provided at the practice’s three Ocean County locations. To learn more about Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, P.A., visit http://www.oceanentfacialplastics.com or call 732-281-0100.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

MAYSVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Meadowview Regional Medical Center today announced that it has been named a Duke LifePoint Quality Affiliate. This designation recognizes hospitals within the LifePoint Health system that have enrolled in the LifePoint National Quality Program and succeeded in transforming their culture of safety and achieving high standards of quality care, performance improvement and patient engagement. “Meadowview Regional Medical Center has a long legacy of providing high quality care, and earning this esteemed designation is just one more way the hospital is making the Maysville community healthier,” said Joe Koch, chief executive officer of Meadowview Regional Medical Center. “I am so proud to be part of the Meadowview team and look forward to continuing the hospital’s great work to improve patient care, safety and satisfaction long into the future.” Meadowview Regional Medical Center is a 100-bed, acute-care facility serving people in the Maysville, Ky., community and surrounding areas. To achieve Duke LifePoint Quality Affiliate designation, the Meadowview team worked to implement a number of best practices and launch new initiatives to engage patients and families, enhance patient safety and improve quality care. For example, the hospital initiated leadership safety briefings each morning to ensure that leaders have a regular proactive planning session to address patient concerns. The hospital also implemented bedside shift reporting to help ensure clear communication, reduce the risk of errors and maintain consistency of care during shift changes. Bedside shift reporting is an effective method for transferring information from one provider to another, while also involving the patient in discussions about their health, progress and treatment plan. Additionally, Meadowview established a Community Collaborative in an effort to work closely with other healthcare providers and organizations in the community to help reduce avoidable patient readmissions. “At LifePoint, quality is truly at the core of our culture and operations, and Meadowview has gone above and beyond to satisfy the rigorous requirements necessary to be named a Duke LifePoint Quality Affiliate,” said David Dill, president and chief operating officer of LifePoint Health. “We are delighted to recognize this high-performing facility and commend the many improvements it has made to take even better care of patients and their families.” The LifePoint National Quality Program was created through a collaboration between LifePoint Health and Duke University Health System. When hospitals enroll in the program, they begin working with Duke and LifePoint quality coaches to evaluate and strengthen their quality programs and processes. Following an initial evaluation, the hospital creates a plan and begins to deploy changes that will help it achieve quality improvement benchmarks and establish long-term solutions to sustain its results. In addition to evaluating common quality care and patient safety metrics, the LifePoint National Quality Program focuses on foundational elements required to sustain quality care, including committed leadership, systems to ensure continuous performance and process improvement, and a culture dedicated to safety. Duke LifePoint Quality Affiliate designation denotes those hospitals that achieve a broad range of criteria in each of these areas and demonstrate a capacity to continuously measure and improve quality and patient safety. MRMC is a 100-bed acute care facility located along the Ohio River in Maysville, Kentucky. The service area consists of five counties in Kentucky and two counties in Ohio. Delivering quality healthcare close to home is the single most important contribution we make in achieving our mission of Making Communities Healthier®. Our medical staff consists of well-trained physicians covering a number of specialties, including Allergy, Anesthesia, Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, Family Practice, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Hematology/Oncology, Hospitalist, Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Neurology, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Radiation Therapy, Radiology, Sleep Medicine and Urology. For more information, visit www.MeadowviewRegional.com. LifePoint Health (NASDAQ: LPNT) is a leading healthcare company dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®. Through its subsidiaries, it provides quality inpatient, outpatient and post-acute services close to home. LifePoint owns and operates community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers, and post-acute facilities in 22 states. It is the sole community healthcare provider in the majority of the non-urban communities it serves. More information about the company can be found at www.LifePointHealth.net.


The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome Wayne B. Colin, DMD, MD, Otolaryngologist to their prestigious organization with his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. Dr. Wayne B. Colin is a highly trained and qualified physician with a vast expertise in all facets of his work. Dr. Colin has been in practice for more than three decades and is currently serving patients within the Lexington Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Colin obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree in 1985 from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, prior to completing an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery internship and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He then attended Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1988. Upon receiving his Medical Degree, Dr. Colin returned to Massachusetts General Hospital to serve his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency. He then completed an additional residency in Otolaryngology at the University of Tennessee, before undertaking his Head & Neck Microvascular fellowship at Barnes Hospital and Washington University. Dr. Colin is board certified in both Head and Neck Surgery, and Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Otolaryngology. He is renowned in Kentucky and beyond for his expertise in general adult ear, nose and throat disorders, hearing loss, tonsils/adenoidectomy, airway disorders, and congenital malformations. When he is not assisting patients, Dr. Colin enjoys computer programming. Learn more about Dr. Colin here: https://www.lexingtonclinic.com/ and be sure to read his upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. FindaTopDoc.com is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics.  Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review.  FindaTopDoc.com features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews and areas of expertise.  A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life.  For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit http://www.findatopdoc.com


The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome Dale Amanda Tylor, MD, MPH, FACS, FAAP, FRCSC, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. Dr. Dale Amanda Tylor is a highly trained and qualified pediatric otolaryngologist with an extensive expertise in all facets of her work, especially the treatment of conditions relating to the ears, nose, and throat, with a special skill in treating children. Dr. Tylor has been in practice for more than 15 years and is currently serving patients within the Washington Township Medical Foundation in Fremont, California. Dr. Tylor’s career in medicine began in 2002 when she graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Upon receiving her Medical Degree, she completed her General Surgery internship and Otolaryngology residency at the University of Florida, before undertaking her Pediatric Otolaryngology fellowship at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, affiliated with the University of California, San Diego. With a passion for public health and patient education, Dr. Tylor went on to complete her Master of Public Health Degree in 2013 from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. Dr. Tylor is board certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in both the United States and Canada. She has earned the coveted titles of Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. To keep up to date with the latest advances and developments in her field, Dr. Tylor maintains a professional membership with the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology and the Society for Ear, Nose, and Throat Advances in Children. For her wealth of experience and knowledge, she is a member of the Media and Public Relations Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, and has been featured as an expert in a number of publications, television segments, and on the internet. Dr. Tylor attributes her success to being involved in various societies and organizations, as well as staying current with the latest technology in her field. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and participating in marathons. Learn more about Dr. Tylor here: https://www.mywtmf.com/ and be sure to read her upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. FindaTopDoc.com is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics.  Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review.  FindaTopDoc.com features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews and areas of expertise.  A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life.  For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit http://www.findatopdoc.com


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arlen Meyers, M.D., has joined BridgeHealth as its chief medical officer. BridgeHealth is a leader in making value-based healthcare accessible through high-quality, lower-cost, bundled surgical case rate benefit plans. “Dr. Meyers’ strong clinical expertise and working relationships in the medical community will enhance BridgeHealth’s delivery of high-quality, lower-cost surgical benefits to self-funded employers and their employees and dependents,” said Mark Stadler, BridgeHealth’s chief executive officer. “As chief medical officer, Dr. Meyers will guide us in defining quality care, adding surgical procedures to our benefits solution, conducting medical case reviews and charting the clinical course of our growth.” Meyers is president and chief executive officer of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs and professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has founded several medical device and digital health companies. Meyers has consulted companies, governments and universities worldwide on bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT and medical travel. Meyers serves as associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship, and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape Reference: Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. “All my activities are synergistic,” said Meyers. “They’re part of a larger effort to transform our country from ‘sick care’ to value-based healthcare, from provider-centered care to patient-centered care. I’m passionate about this, and BridgeHealth plays a positive, important role in this transformation.” BridgeHealth negotiates with centers of excellence – the nation’s top-performing surgical teams, according to an independent third-party ranking – for episode-of-care case rates. BridgeHealth bundles the charges for each of the most common surgeries into a single discounted price for self-funded employers. Employer customers save 20-40 percent on surgery costs. Employees and their dependents travel to the centers of excellence for the procedures. To encourage employees to use the BridgeHealth benefits, employer customers typically waive deductibles and coinsurance and pay for travel and accommodations. BridgeHealth’s care coordinators provide information and decision support to patients, relieving them of administrative hassle. Founded in 2007, BridgeHealth (www.bridgehealth.com) is a bundled surgical benefit management company that offers a suite of products for self-insured group health plans to improve quality and outcomes of surgery, reduce costs and positively affect the rate of unnecessary surgery. Through decision support, a high-quality narrow network, care coordination and other strategies, clients get real savings in cost and high-quality outcomes while providing an outstanding patient experience through a facilitated process. Clients achieve very quantifiable results for themselves and their employee/plan members in a manner that integrates with their full suite of health plan benefits. BridgeHealth is headquartered in Denver, Colo.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a novel handheld device, known as CLiKX, for the treatment of a condition called Otitis Media with Effusion (OME), or 'glue ear', which is the leading cause of hearing loss and visits to the doctors among children worldwide. This NUS invention, which is sensor-guided and easy to use, could significantly improve current surgical treatment of the condition. OME is a condition where the middle ear becomes filled with fluid instead of air. If left untreated, patients may suffer a series of life-altering complications such as hearing impairment, middle ear bone erosion or tumour, and brain infection. OME has also been shown to cause delays in the speech, language and academic abilities of young children. Around the world, there are about 709 million cases of acute OME annually, of which about 90 per cent occurs in children. In Singapore, it is estimated that about 84,000 children suffer from 'glue ear' yearly. The condition is usually treated using medication first, failing which, ear surgery may be needed. Specially designed to improve on the surgical treatment of OME, CLiKX is pioneered by a team led by Associate Professor Tan Kok Kiong from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, together with Dr Lynne Lim, an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Otolaryngology at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Senior Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Consultant at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. "The first line therapy for OME is usually the prescription of antibiotics and treatment of blocked ear tubes. But sometimes, the antibiotics may not be effective against OME. For patients with three or more episodes of OME within a year -- especially if there is hearing loss and speech difficulties, some with craniofacial predispositions, or those who are concerned about building resistance to long term use of antibiotics, grommet tube placement surgery is currently the gold standard of care. A grommet is a very small tube that is inserted onto the patient's ear drum during surgery to help drain away fluid in the middle ear. Each procedure usually takes about 30 minutes under general anaesthesia to complete," explained Dr Lim. Grommet tube placement surgery is carried out in an operating theatre with the use of general anaesthetic, which is a major point of concern for parents who worry about its potential negative impact on brain development in young children. Assoc Prof Tan elaborated, "CLiKX can potentially shift the current standard surgical procedures for OME. With this pistol-like applicator, the grommet tube can be easily inserted into a patient's ear within a single click. In less than a second, the procedure is done. This simple procedure has the potential to be administered in a doctor's consultation room under local anaesthesia, or out of the operating theatre under intravenous conscious sedation without general anaesthesia. Preoperative preparation and postoperative recovery time for patients are significantly reduced. At the same time, risks of general anaesthesia are avoided. We expect costs, manpower and resources to be lowered substantially, and this in turn, would be welcomed by patients, healthcare institutions, and insurers." Grommet tube placement surgery involves making a cut on the eardrum, and placing a tiny ventilation tube, called a grommet, through the hole to drain the ear fluid. The surgery involves a large healthcare team, costly surgical equipment, and set-up in the operating theatre, which is an economic burden not only to patients, but also to hospitals and healthcare insurers. The palm-sized CLiKX can deliver the grommet tube into a patient's ear quickly and safely using a sensor-controlled automation process. This minimises the overall contact time with the patient's eardrum and prevents over-deformation and excessive pressure, thereby reducing discomfort and trauma for the patients. To carry out the procedure, surgeons can potentially use a simple eye-loupe that does not require bulky and costly surgical microscopes. The 185-gram CLiKX also works well with a range of commercially available grommets and does not require any custom-made grommet tubes. In addition, the procedure using CLiKX would potentially require only light or moderate sedation or local anaesthetic. Assoc Prof Tan said, "The motivation behind the development of CLiKX is to significantly reduce the recovery time and treatment cost for patients. By streamlining the manpower and resources required for surgical treatment of OME, healthcare resources could be deployed more efficiently for other treatments and procedures in hospitals." Dr Lim added, "In many underdeveloped areas where proper healthcare infrastructure and general anaesthesia are not always available, many patients with OME do not have access to treatment in a timely manner. Some of these patients have to live with the condition, its associated hearing loss and complications. CLiKX can make a significant impact by making grommet placement surgeries more accessible to these patients most in need, and it simplifies the procedure for doctors and patients." Building on the promising results from the earlier phases of the project, the NUS team aims to conduct the first-in-man trial in Singapore in 2018. The team is keen to work with partners to further develop and commercialise the device, and they aim to launch the device in the market by 2020.


A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a novel handheld device, known as CLiKX, for the treatment of a condition called Otitis Media with Effusion (OME), or 'glue ear', which is the leading cause of hearing loss and visits to the doctors among children worldwide. This NUS invention, which is sensor-guided and easy to use, could significantly improve current surgical treatment of the condition. OME is a condition where the middle ear becomes filled with fluid instead of air. If left untreated, patients may suffer a series of life-altering complications such as hearing impairment, middle ear bone erosion or tumour, and brain infection. OME has also been shown to cause delays in the speech, language and academic abilities of young children. Around the world, there are about 709 million cases of acute OME annually, of which about 90 per cent occurs in children. In Singapore, it is estimated that about 84,000 children suffer from 'glue ear' yearly. The condition is usually treated using medication first, failing which, ear surgery may be needed. Specially designed to improve on the surgical treatment of OME, CLiKX is pioneered by a team led by Associate Professor Tan Kok Kiong from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, together with Dr Lynne Lim, an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Otolaryngology at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Senior Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Consultant at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. "The first line therapy for OME is usually the prescription of antibiotics and treatment of blocked ear tubes. But sometimes, the antibiotics may not be effective against OME. For patients with three or more episodes of OME within a year - especially if there is hearing loss and speech difficulties, some with craniofacial predispositions, or those who are concerned about building resistance to long term use of antibiotics, grommet tube placement surgery is currently the gold standard of care. A grommet is a very small tube that is inserted onto the patient's ear drum during surgery to help drain away fluid in the middle ear. Each procedure usually takes about 30 minutes under general anaesthesia to complete," explained Dr Lim. Grommet tube placement surgery is carried out in an operating theatre with the use of general anaesthetic, which is a major point of concern for parents who worry about its potential negative impact on brain development in young children. Assoc Prof Tan elaborated, "CLiKX can potentially shift the current standard surgical procedures for OME. With this pistol-like applicator, the grommet tube can be easily inserted into a patient's ear within a single click. In less than a second, the procedure is done. This simple procedure has the potential to be administered in a doctor's consultation room under local anaesthesia, or out of the operating theatre under intravenous conscious sedation without general anaesthesia. Preoperative preparation and postoperative recovery time for patients are significantly reduced. At the same time, risks of general anaesthesia are avoided. We expect costs, manpower and resources to be lowered substantially, and this in turn, would be welcomed by patients, healthcare institutions, and insurers." Grommet tube placement surgery involves making a cut on the eardrum, and placing a tiny ventilation tube, called a grommet, through the hole to drain the ear fluid. The surgery involves a large healthcare team, costly surgical equipment, and set-up in the operating theatre, which is an economic burden not only to patients, but also to hospitals and healthcare insurers. The palm-sized CLiKX can deliver the grommet tube into a patient's ear quickly and safely using a sensor-controlled automation process. This minimises the overall contact time with the patient's eardrum and prevents over-deformation and excessive pressure, thereby reducing discomfort and trauma for the patients. To carry out the procedure, surgeons can potentially use a simple eye-loupe that does not require bulky and costly surgical microscopes. The 185-gram CLiKX also works well with a range of commercially available grommets and does not require any custom-made grommet tubes. In addition, the procedure using CLiKX would potentially require only light or moderate sedation or local anaesthetic. Assoc Prof Tan said, "The motivation behind the development of CLiKX is to significantly reduce the recovery time and treatment cost for patients. By streamlining the manpower and resources required for surgical treatment of OME, healthcare resources could be deployed more efficiently for other treatments and procedures in hospitals." Dr Lim added, "In many underdeveloped areas where proper healthcare infrastructure and general anaesthesia are not always available, many patients with OME do not have access to treatment in a timely manner. Some of these patients have to live with the condition, its associated hearing loss and complications. CLiKX can make a significant impact by making grommet placement surgeries more accessible to these patients most in need, and it simplifies the procedure for doctors and patients." Building on the promising results from the earlier phases of the project, the NUS team aims to conduct the first-in-man trial in Singapore in 2018. The team is keen to work with partners to further develop and commercialise the device, and they aim to launch the device in the market by 2020.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Actor Val Kilmer recently revealed that he had cancer that left him with a "swollen" tongue, but exactly what type of cancer could have caused this symptom? On Wednesday, April 26, Kilmer took part in a Reddit AMA ("ask me anything"), and a user asked Kilmer about an incident last year in which actor Michael Douglas suggested Kilmer had oral cancer. Kilmer replied that he did have "a healing of cancer, but my tongue is still swollen [although] healing all the time." This is the first time Kilmer has acknowledged that he'd had cancer, although people have speculated about his health. In 2015, the actor was spotted wearing a tracheostomy tube, which is a tube placed through a surgically made hole in the windpipe that can help people breathe when they have conditions that could block the upper airways, according to the National Institutes of Health. In October 2016, Douglas suggested Kilmer had oral cancer, although at the time, Kilmer denied having the illness. It is still uncertain exactly which type of cancer Kilmer had because the actor has not publically revealed the type. Dr. Dennis Kraus, vice chairman of the Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery department at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that the use of a tracheostomy tube "could potentially be consistent with" having cancer of the mouth, tongue, base of the tongue or larynx. Kraus has not treated Kilmer, and noted he did not have knowledge of Kilmer's diagnosis or care, other than from reports in the media. [10 Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses] As for swelling of the tongue, this symptom could be caused by a tumor itself or by radiation or surgery treatment for the tumor, Kraus said. Cancers of the oral cavity and larynx are typically linked with using tobacco, and cancers of the mouth are often linked with drinking alcohol, Kraus said. Cancer of the oropharynx, which is the section of the throat that includes the base of the tongue and the tonsils, is often linked with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, Kraus told Live Science. In recent years, rates of cancers of both the oral cavity and the larynx have fallen as a result of declines in smoking, but cases of oropharynx cancer tied to HPV infections have increased, Kraus said. Outcomes for head and neck cancers vary by case, but even patients with advanced tumors that haven't spread to other areas of the body have "significant potential for being cured" of their cancers, Kraus said.


Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a first-of-its-kind nanoparticle vaccine immunotherapy that targets several different cancer types. The nanovaccine consists of tumor antigens – tumor proteins that can be recognized by the immune system – inside a synthetic polymer nanoparticle. Nanoparticle vaccines deliver minuscule particulates that stimulate the immune system to mount an immune response. The goal is to help people’s own bodies fight cancer. “What is unique about our design is the simplicity of the single-polymer composition that can precisely deliver tumor antigens to immune cells while stimulating innate immunity. These actions result in safe and robust production of tumor-specific T cells that kill cancer cells,” said Dr. Jinming Gao, a Professor of Pharmacology and Otolaryngology in UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. A study outlining this research, published online in Nature Nanotechnology, reported that the nanovaccine had anti-tumor efficacy in multiple tumor types in mice. The research was a collaboration between the laboratories of study senior authors Dr. Gao and Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen, Professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Center for Inflammation Research. The Center was established in 2015 to study how the body senses infection and to develop approaches to exploit this knowledge to create new treatments for infection, immune disorders, and autoimmunity. Typical vaccines require immune cells to pick up tumor antigens in a “depot system” and then travel to the lymphoid organs for T cell activation, Dr. Gao said. Instead, nanoparticle vaccines can travel directly to the body’s lymph nodes to activate tumor-specific immune responses. “For nanoparticle vaccines to work, they must deliver antigens to proper cellular compartments within specialized immune cells called antigen-presenting cells and stimulate innate immunity,” said Dr. Chen, also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and holder of the George L. MacGregor Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science. “Our nanovaccine did all of those things.” In this case, the experimental UTSW nanovaccine works by activating an adaptor protein called STING, which in turn stimulates the body’s immune defense system to ward off cancer. The scientists examined a variety of tumor models in mice: melanoma, colorectal cancer, and HPV-related cancers of the cervix, head, neck, and anogenital regions. In most cases, the nanovaccine slowed tumor growth and extended the animals’ lives. Other vaccine technologies have been used in cancer immunotherapy. However, they are usually complex – consisting of live bacteria or multiplex biological stimulants, Dr. Gao said. This complexity can make production costly and, in some cases, lead to immune-related toxicities in patients. With the emergence of new nanotechnology tools and increased understanding of polymeric drug delivery, Dr. Gao said, the field of nanoparticle vaccines has grown and attracted intense interest from academia and industry in the past decade. “Recent advances in understanding innate and adaptive immunity have also led to more collaborations between immunologists and nanotechnologists,” said Dr. Chen. “These partnerships are critical in propelling the rapid development of new generations of nanovaccines.” The investigative team is now working with physicians at UT Southwestern to explore clinical testing of the STING-activating nanovaccines for a variety of cancer indications. Combining nanovaccines with radiation or other immunotherapy strategies such as “checkpoint inhibition” can further augment their anti-tumor effectiveness. Study lead authors from UT Southwestern were Dr. Min Luo, research scientist; Dr. Hua Wang, Instructor of Molecular Biology; and Dr. Zhaohui Wang, postdoctoral fellow. Other UTSW researchers involved included graduate students Yang Li, Chensu Wang, Haocheng Cai, and Mingjian Du; Dr. Gang Huang, Instructor of Pharmacology and in the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center; Dr. Xiang Chen, research specialist; Dr. Zhigang Lu, Instructor of Physiology; Dr. Matthew Porembka, Assistant Professor of Surgery and a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care; Dr. Jayanthi Lea, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and holder of the Patricia Duniven Fletcher Distinguished Professorship in Gynecological Oncology; Dr. Arthur Frankel, Professor of Internal Medicine and in the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Dr. Yang-Xin Fu, Professor of Pathology and Immunology, and holder of the Mary Nell and Ralph B. Rogers Professorship in Immunology. Their work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, a UTSW Small Animal Imaging Resource grant and a Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center support grant.

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