CDC Projects Growth of Drug-Resistant Infections

Posted on August 4, 2015

The latest CDC Vital Signs includes mathematical modeling that projects increases in drug-resistant infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) without immediate, nationwide improvements in infection control and antibiotic prescribing.

The promising news is that CDC modeling projects that a coordinated approach—that is, health care facilities and health departments in an area working together—could prevent up to 70 percent of life-threatening carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections over five years. Additional estimates show that national infection control and antibiotic stewardship efforts led by federal agencies, health care facilities, and public health departments could prevent 619,000 antibiotic-resistant and C. difficile infections and save 37,000 lives over five years.

Antibiotic-resistant germs, those that no longer respond to the drugs designed to kill them, cause more than 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the United States. C. difficile caused close to half a million illnesses in 2011, and an estimated 15,000 deaths a year are directly attributable toC. difficile infections.

The report recommends the following coordinated, two-part approach to turn this data into action that prevents illness and saves lives:

  1. Public health departments track and alert health care facilities to drug-resistant germ outbreaks in their area and the threat of germs coming from other facilities, and

  2. Health care facilities work together and with public health authorities to implement shared infection control actions to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs and C. difficile between facilities.

“Antibiotic resistant infections in health care settings are a growing threat in the United States, killing thousands and thousands of people each year,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We can dramatically reduce these infections if health care facilities, nursing homes, and public health departments work together to improve antibiotic use and infection control so patients are protected.”

The Vital Signs report shows that C. difficile and drug-resistant bacteria—like CRE, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and resistantPseudomonas aeruginosa—spread inside of and between health care facilities when appropriate infection control actions are not in place and patients transfer from one health care facility to another for care. These infections can lead to serious health complications, including sepsis or death. Even facilities following recommended infection control and antibiotic use practices are at risk when they receive patients who carry these germs from other health care facilities.

The model shows how coordination could reduce CRE over the course of five years after the drug-resistant bacteria enters 10 facilities in an area sharing patients. For example:

  • Thecommon approach (or status quo) results in 2,000 patients getting CRE, impacting 12 percent of patients in the area – not enough to protect patients.

  • When a facility acts alone to enhance their infection control practices, the situation improves. This independent effort results in 1,500 patients getting CRE, impacting 8 percent of patients – while an important improvement, it is not enough to fully protect patients.

  • With a coordinated approach where facilities work together to prevent infections and notify each other of CRE issues before transferring patients, the modeling shows far fewer patients at risk. Four hundred patients are predicted to get CRE, impacting only 2 percent of patients—the needed approach to protect patients.

The report also describes the importance of public health departments taking the lead to:

  • Identify health care facilities in the area and know how they are connected.

  • Dedicate staff to improve connections and coordination with health care facilities in the area.

  • Work with CDC to use data for action to prevent infections and improve antibiotic use in health care.

  • Know the antibiotic resistance threats in the area and state. 

“We must transform our public health response to turn the tide. The coordinated response this Vital Signs report describes is a forward-looking approach,” said Beth Bell, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. “The President’s FY 2016 budget would accelerate efforts to strengthen our response and improve antibiotic stewardship in health care facilities.”

Complementing the public health coordination, the report recommends that hospital owners and health care facility administrators consider steps to:

  • Implement systems to alert receiving facilities when transferring patients who have drug-resistant germs.

  • Review and perfect infection control actions in each facility.

  • Make leadership commitments to join area healthcare-associated infection (HAI)/antibiotic resistance prevention activities.

  • Connect with public health departments to share data about antibiotic resistance and other HAIs.

  • Provide clinical staff access to prompt and accurate laboratory testing for antibiotic-resistant germs.

“Patients and their families may wonder how they can help stop the spread of infections,” says Michael Bell, M.D., deputy director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “When receiving health care, tell your doctor if you have been hospitalized in another facility or country, wash your hands often, and always insist that everyone have clean hands before touching you. Ask your health care providers what they and the health care facility in your area do to coordinate with others to protect you and your family from an antibiotic-resistant or C. difficile infection.”

The data in the Vital Signs report come from both mathematical modeling and analysis estimates. CDC used two mathematical simulation models to estimate the impact of the coordinated approach in preventing the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs within a group of health care facilities in an area. Data from CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network and Emerging Infections Program informed projections of the number of infections and deaths in the United States.

During the next five years, with investments, CDC’s efforts to combat C. difficile infections and antibiotic resistance under the National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, in collaboration with other federal partners, will enhance national capabilities for antibiotic stewardship, outbreak surveillance, and antibiotic resistance prevention. These efforts hold the potential to cut the incidence of C. difficile, health care CRE, and MRSA bloodstream infections by at least half.

DENTSPLY Implants Announces Promotions

Posted on August 4, 2015

DENTSPLY Implants has announced the promotion of Darin Lockaby to Director of Sales, US Digital and National Accounts, as a result of Matt Gassel’s transition to Director of Marketing, North America.

Lockaby has more than 24 years of professional experience following his graduation from North Georgia College, including 11 years in the implant dentistry and sales management industries. Most recently, Lockaby was the South Regional Manager, Laboratory Channel for the past 3 years. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing both the Laboratory Channel and SIMPLANT sales teams within the digital solutions category.

Gassel brings 26 years of sales and marketing experience in the medical device industry and also held a sales leadership position with Atlantis Components Inc. in 2005. Prior to his promotion to Director of Marketing, North America, Gassel was the Director of Sales for US Digital and National Accounts and Regenerative products for DENTSPLY Implants. 

NYUCD’s Dr. Moursi Awarded Five-Year Grant from HRSA

Posted on August 3, 2015

“Preparing the Future” seeks to address the lack of available workforce for vulnerable and underserved pediatric populations through curriculum enhancement.

New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) has been awarded a five-year, $1.7M Health Resources and Service Administration training grant entitled, “Preparing the Future Dental Workforce for Underserved Young Child and Adolescent Populations (“Preparing the Future”). 

The grant will address two national problems: 1) the inadequate supply of an available dental workforce that can provide primary dental services for poor, minority, and socially vulnerable pediatric populations; and 2) insufficient training in disease management approaches within pre-doctoral dental (DDS) and dental hygiene (DH) education that can prepare graduates to provide sustainable solutions to improve health outside traditional surgical dental models of care. 

"This grant will enhance our ability to train students to care for underserved children both here in New York City and, once these students enter practice, throughout the world,” said Amr M. Moursi, D.D.S., Ph.D., Chairman, NYUCD Department of Pediatric Dentistry 

“Preparing the Future” is a collaboration between the NYUCD Office of Allied Health Programs and the Departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Epidemiology & Health Promotion. The grant seeks to address the lack of available workforce for vulnerable and underserved pediatric populations by enhancing the curriculum for 1156 DDS students and 65 DH students annually through a series of initiatives spread throughout their respective four-year and two-year programs. 

The following three objectives with related activities are proposed: 

- 1. Enhanced pediatric dental curriculum: NYUCD will create and deliver a novel Blended Learning pediatric dental curriculum for DDS and DH students focusing on exposing trainees to vulnerable pediatric populations, and novel approaches used to improve oral health and access to services.

- 2. Enhanced pediatric clinical training: NYUCD DDS and DH students will participate in community-based clinical experiences with training in intraoral imaging, teledentistry, and interprofessional approaches to health services through collaborative learning.

- 3. Student Leadership Development: DDS and DH student leaders will participate in extramural faculty-mentored underrepresented minority recruitment and student leadership activities which include: leadership training events, online certificate granting coursework in Public Health, an interprofessional clerkship, and student-led community projects.

Measured outcomes will include: 1) qualitative post-activity self-reflections, 2) school-wide entrance and exit surveys measuring attitudes and behavioral intent to provide care for underserved populations, and 3) electronic surveys of dental graduates on practice location and career activities.

About New York University College of Dentistry 

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating more than 8 percent of all dentists. NYUCD has a significant global reach and provides a level of national and international diversity among its students.

Dawson Academy Offers 2-Day Course on How to Play a Bigger Role in Patient Health

Posted on July 31, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla July 31, 2015 -- The Dawson Academy will be teaching dentists and dental team members how they can play a bigger role in the total health of their patients in the 2-day course, The Total Wellness Dental Practice in St. Paul, Minn. October 15-16, 2015 and in St. Petersburg December 4-5, 2015.

It is general knowledge that the United States is facing a national health care crisis. There is a trend of ever-rising systemic risk factors including high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, gastric reflux, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

Despite this rise in risk factors, the average patient visit with their medical doctor is only about seven minutes, occurring once every two years. With the little time patients spend at their doctor’s office, there is a major need for other health professionals to identify and treat these major health issues; no health professionals spend more quality time influencing patients than dental teams.

What’s more, Dr. Michael Roizen, Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, recently challenged dentists and dental teams to become the gatekeepers of both oral and systemic health.

“Now more than ever, the well-trained dental team can change and save lives,” DeWitt Wilkerson, D.M.D., Director of Dental Medicine Curriculum at The Dawson Academy shared.

The Dawson Academy is committed to teaching dental teams how to diagnose and treat systemic inflammation created by oral pathogens, sleep apnea, physical inactivity, stress, toxins, Type 2 diabetes, and pro-inflammatory diets. Understanding the dental practice’s role in both diagnosis and therapy of these great risk factors can create a future for both patient and practice health like never before.

To learn more about this course, visit The Dawson Academy website at www.TheDawsonAcademy.com or call 1-800-952-2178.

About The Dawson Academy

The Dawson Academy is an international provider of science-based dental continuing education, teaching dentists to comprehensively diagnose and treat dental problems with excellence and integrity. The Academy has taught dental courses to the dental industry for over 30 years and is dedicated to teaching the principles and skills necessary for the successful practice of complete, quality, and predictable dentistry. The Dawson Academy’s goal is to make good dentists even better.

 

Zest Anchors, Implant Direct Reach Settlement

Posted on July 31, 2015

Escondido, CA – Zest IP Holdings, LLC and Zest Anchors, LLC (Collectively, “Zest”) announced that they have settled the patent and trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Zest against Implant Direct Mfg. LLC, Implant Direct LLC, and Implant Direct Int’l (Collectively, “Implant Direct”), Implant Direct Sybron Manufacturing LLC, and Implant Direct Sybron International LLC (Collectively, “IDSI”). 

Within the agreement, IDSI will manufacture and sell the GoDirect® products under a license from Zest. IDSI will also phase out the GPS® abutments and males and begin selling the Locator® Attachment System under a distribution agreement with Zest. The wide-ranging settlement was designed to provide IDSI’s customers a seamless experience transitioning back to the Locator Attachment System.

Sterngold’s New TRU Implant System

Posted on July 30, 2015

Attleboro, MA – Sterngold Dental, LLC, is pleased to announce that they have received FDA Market Clearance for the New TRU Implant System.  The TRU Implant System implant body design promotes self-tapping and initial stability during placement.  Its simple and predictable surgical process makes it ideal for all fixed and removable indications.  The TRU Implant is substantially equivalent to the Nobel Biocare® Internal Conical connection.  For more information, call 800-243-9942. 

About Sterngold Dental LLC

Founded in 1897, Sterngold Dental, LLC is a world leader in dental products and specializes in alloys, attachments, implants, and restorative systems. Examples are the Stern ERA family of resilient dental attachments and the Natural Profile Abutment System for aesthetic restoration of osseointegrated implants.  

Sterngold Dental, LLC is EN ISO 13485:2012+AC:2009 and ISO 13485:2003 (CMDCAS) certified and we also comply with the European Medical Device Directive (93/42/EEC), FDA Quality System Regulations and MHLW Ministerial Ordinance No. 169.  All products and procedures are closely monitored under these quality systems. Sterngold Dental, LLC's Implant products have full approval to market in the United States, Sweden, and more than 20 other countries. For more information, visit www.sterngold.com

 

Nova Southeastern Receives $3.4 Million to Enhance Dental Care for People with Autism

Posted on July 30, 2015

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – Dentists and other health care providers who treat patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) require special training to understand the skills and techniques needed to care for this growing population.

Romer Ocanto, D.D.S., M.S., CAGS, chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Dental Medicine, has secured a $3,398,452 grant from the Health Resource and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide this training to pediatric dentistry and advanced education in general dentistry residents over a five-year period. This is the third grant Dr. Ocanto has received from HRSA. Previous funding totaled approximately $3.5 million.

The program will include the development of a curriculum addressing the transition of children and adolescents with ASD to adult dental care and aims to increase access to dental care for children and adolescents with special health care needs such as ASD.

“Nova Southeastern University is committed to researching and implementing new techniques to help patients with special needs,” said Dr. Ocanto. “We are excited about this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many people. This funding will allow us to partner with community organizations and general dentists in Florida and throughout the Southeastern U.S. to enhance dental services available to patients with autism.”

“In its short history, NSU’s College of Dental Medicine has developed a strong tradition of caring for children and adults with special needs,” added Linda Niessen, D.M.D., M.P.H., M.P.P., dean of the college.

Currently NSU’s College of Dental Medicine has pediatric special needs dental clinics at NSU’s Mailman Segal Center for Human Development in Davie, Florida; NSU Dental Care at KID in Fort Lauderdale; and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida; along with an adult special needs dental clinic in North Miami Beach, Florida. NSU has existing relationships with Broward Health Medical Center, the South Florida Autism Charter School and the Autism Consortium/Broward County Public Schools to provide additional dental services to the special needs community.

Approximately one in 68 children has been diagnosed with ASD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Average medical expenses for children and adolescents with ASD are $4,100-$6,200 higher per year than children without ASD.

This project is 100% financed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D88HP20126 and Postdoctoral Training in General, Pediatric and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene for $3,398,452. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Bluestone Center Receives High Priority, Short-Term Project Award

Posted on July 29, 2015

Drs. Yamano and Schmidt have developed a novel non-viral gene delivery method, and the proposed studies are designed to test whether this could be used to treat cancer pain effectively and safely.

Up to 90% of cancer patients suffer from pain, with oral cancer ranked consistently as one of the most painful cancers. The quality of life for oral cancer patients is the lowest of any patients suffering from cancer because the intense uncontrolled pain interferes with necessary oral functions including eating, talking and swallowing. 

“Oral cancer pain is more severe, and the opioid requirement is higher, than pain from any other cancer,” said Dr. Brian L. Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and director of NYU’s Bluestone Center for Clinical Research and the NYU Oral Cancer Center. “And in the end, pharmacological agents used to treat cancer pain often lack anatomical specificity and produce off-target effects that create additional suffering.”

“Gene therapy is emerging as an exciting prospect and alternative to opioids for the treatment of cancer pain,” said Dr. Seiichi Yamano, DDS, PhD, DMD, MMSc, assistant professor of prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry. “We seek to eliminate oral cancer pain by reversing epigenetic changes using gene therapy and set the stage for a new class of medicines that selectively disrupt nociceptive signaling with limited off-target effects.” 

To further their research, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded Drs. Schmidt and Yamano a one-year, $369,250 High Priority, Short-Term Project Award (R56) to study the efficacy of a novel non-viral gene delivery method. The proposed studies are designed to test whether nonviral gene delivery into the oral cancer could be used to treat cancer pain effectively and safely.

“Viral vector-based treatment of cancer pain has been evaluated in preclinical studies but problems with immune response, limited DNA carrying capacity, recombination and high cost have been encountered,” said Dr. Schmidt. “Synthetic, non-viral vectors are potential alternatives to viral vectors that preclude these obstacles.” 

To improve non-viral gene transfer efficiency, Dr. Yamano recently created two novel nonviral hybrid vectors: a cell-permeable peptide (CPP) combined with either a cationic lipid (CPP/lipid) or a cationic polymer (CPP/polymer). These nonviral vectors have excellent transfection efficiency with little cytotoxicity across a range of cell lines including different types of cancer cells. 

The researchers also found that the transfection efficiency using the nonviral vector in oral cancer cells has a significantly higher expression (~8-fold) than normal cells and has a higher expression (~65%) than an adenoviral vector (~50%). In vivo transfection with either of these nonviral vectors leads to high and long-term transgene expression (~7 months) after intramuscular injection of the vectors. 

“We recently demonstrated that OPRM1 (the gene for the µ-opioid receptor) is methylated and down regulated in oral cancer compared to matched normal tissues in the same patients; these patients reported pain at the site of cancer,” said Dr. Schmidt. “We further demonstrated that OPRM1 re-expression with viral transduction significantly reduced cancer pain in a mouse model.”

Based on their preliminary work, the researchers hypothesize that re-expression of the OPRM1 gene within oral cancer using our non-viral vectors will attenuate cancer pain and restore orofacial function without excessive toxicity. Their research has three specific aims:

- 1. To determine the efficacy of ex vivo OPRM1 gene transfer with non-viral vectors to attenuate cancer-induced pain, with the goal to move their method of non-viral transfection to the clinic, with the goal of clinicians directly inoculating their non-viral vector into an oral cancer; 

- 2. To determine the feasibility and efficacy of in vivo OPRM1 gene transfer (i.e. directly into the tongue cancer) with non-viral vectors for attenuation of cancer-induced pain; and

- 3. To analyze toxicity and immune response in the cancer mice treated with non-viral OPRM1 gene delivery. 

“The proposed research is significant because we will use a local delivery technique directly into the cancer to reduce the potential side effects of systemic drugs,” continues Dr. Yamano. “Our approach is innovative because we will transduce the cancer cells for the treatment of cancer pain and our non-viral vector more efficiently targets oral cancer cells relative to normal cells. Ultimately, these studies might facilitate the development of an effective therapy to treat cancer pain.”

The researchers note that, tragically, approximately half of all oral cancer patients will not be cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the US; more patients are afflicted with oral cancer than with melanoma, cervical cancer, or ovarian cancer. The intensity of oral cancer pain escalates with disease progression, and terminal patients generally experience debilitating pain during their final months of life. 

About the Bluestone Center for Clinical Research--The Bluestone Center for Clinical Research, in conjunction with the NYU Oral Cancer Center, is an academic research organization located at the NYU College of Dentistry. Bluestone's mission is to take a creative scientific approach to transform world health. Bluestone is dedicated to conducting research in oral cancer, cancer symptomology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, emerging biotechnology, periodontics, implants, and oral health products.

About New York University College of Dentistry

Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating more than 8 percent of all dentists. NYUCD has a significant global reach and provides a level of national and international diversity among its students that is unmatched by any other dental school.

 

New Virtual Dental Museum Highlights Dental History Online

Posted on July 29, 2015

Five new exhibits showcasing fascinating artifacts of dental history can now be viewed on a newly launched website,dentalmuseum.pacific.edu, created by University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. The exhibits are also on display on digital kiosks located on the first and fourth floors of the school. The digital exhibits are part of the ongoing Virtual Museum Project, which began in 2012 as a creative way to present the school's A. W. Ward Museum collection. For the past two years, Dr. Dorothy Dechant, curator of the A.W. Ward Museum, has been working closely with school photographer Jon Draper to carefully photograph artifacts of all shapes and sizes - from tiny dental burs to heavy antique dental chairs.

For more details, visit the website here

NYU’s Bluestone Center Receives High Priority Project Award from NIDCR to Study Oral Cancer Pain

Posted on July 29, 2015

Drs. Yamano and Schmidt have developed a novel non-viral gene delivery method, and the proposed studies are designed to test whether this could be used to treat cancer pain effectively and safely.

Up to 90% of cancer patients suffer from pain, with oral cancer ranked consistently as one of the most painful cancers. The quality of life for oral cancer patients is the lowest of any patients suffering from cancer because the intense uncontrolled pain interferes with necessary oral functions including eating, talking and swallowing. 

“Oral cancer pain is more severe, and the opioid requirement is higher, than pain from any other cancer,” said Dr. Brian L. Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and director of NYU’s Bluestone Center for Clinical Research and the NYU Oral Cancer Center. “And in the end, pharmacological agents used to treat cancer pain often lack anatomical specificity and produce off-target effects that create additional suffering.”

“Gene therapy is emerging as an exciting prospect and alternative to opioids for the treatment of cancer pain,” said Dr. Seiichi Yamano, DDS, PhD, DMD, MMSc, assistant professor of prosthodontics at NYU College of Dentistry. “We seek to eliminate oral cancer pain by reversing epigenetic changes using gene therapy and set the stage for a new class of medicines that selectively disrupt nociceptive signaling with limited off-target effects.” 

To further their research, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded Drs. Schmidt and Yamano a one-year, $369,250 High Priority, Short-Term Project Award (R56) to study the efficacy of a novel non-viral gene delivery method. The proposed studies are designed to test whether nonviral gene delivery into the oral cancer could be used to treat cancer pain effectively and safely.

“Viral vector-based treatment of cancer pain has been evaluated in preclinical studies but problems with immune response, limited DNA carrying capacity, recombination and high cost have been encountered,” said Dr. Schmidt. “Synthetic, non-viral vectors are potential alternatives to viral vectors that preclude these obstacles.” 

To improve non-viral gene transfer efficiency, Dr. Yamano recently created two novel nonviral hybrid vectors: a cell-permeable peptide (CPP) combined with either a cationic lipid (CPP/lipid) or a cationic polymer (CPP/polymer). These nonviral vectors have excellent transfection efficiency with little cytotoxicity across a range of cell lines including different types of cancer cells. 

The researchers also found that the transfection efficiency using the nonviral vector in oral cancer cells has a significantly higher expression (~8-fold) than normal cells and has a higher expression (~65%) than an adenoviral vector (~50%). In vivo transfection with either of these nonviral vectors leads to high and long-term transgene expression (~7 months) after intramuscular injection of the vectors. 

“We recently demonstrated that OPRM1 (the gene for the µ-opioid receptor) is methylated and down regulated in oral cancer compared to matched normal tissues in the same patients; these patients reported pain at the site of cancer,” said Dr. Schmidt. “We further demonstrated that OPRM1 re-expression with viral transduction significantly reduced cancer pain in a mouse model.”

Based on their preliminary work, the researchers hypothesize that re-expression of the OPRM1 gene within oral cancer using our non-viral vectors will attenuate cancer pain and restore orofacial function without excessive toxicity. Their research has three specific aims:

1. To determine the efficacy of ex vivo OPRM1 gene transfer with non-viral vectors to attenuate cancer-induced pain, with the goal to move their method of non-viral transfection to the clinic, with the goal of clinicians directly inoculating their non-viral vector into an oral cancer; 

2. To determine the feasibility and efficacy of in vivo OPRM1 gene transfer (i.e. directly into the tongue cancer) with non-viral vectors for attenuation of cancer-induced pain; and

3. To analyze toxicity and immune response in the cancer mice treated with non-viral OPRM1 gene delivery. 

“The proposed research is significant because we will use a local delivery technique directly into the cancer to reduce the potential side effects of systemic drugs,” continues Dr. Yamano. “Our approach is innovative because we will transduce the cancer cells for the treatment of cancer pain and our non-viral vector more efficiently targets oral cancer cells relative to normal cells. Ultimately, these studies might facilitate the development of an effective therapy to treat cancer pain.”

The researchers note that, tragically, approximately half of all oral cancer patients will not be cured with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the US; more patients are afflicted with oral cancer than with melanoma, cervical cancer, or ovarian cancer. The intensity of oral cancer pain escalates with disease progression, and terminal patients generally experience debilitating pain during their final months of life. 

NIH NIDCR R56 grant number: R56DE025393 (Schmidt/Yamano)

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