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)

DENTSPLY Implants Hosts Exclusive Event

Posted on July 28, 2015

In May, DENTSPLY Implants hosted a 2-day educational program for 15 dental laboratory owners and technicians from across the US. Participants were provided with corporate updates and presentations and discussed various topics including ATLANTIS products and services. A general forum also allowed attendees to interact and discuss related topics of interest.

A tour of the ATLANTIS manufacturing facility was provided, giving participants the opportunity to gain exclusive insight of the design and engineering process that drives the production of ATLANTIS abutments and ATLANTIS ISUS suprastructures.

Participants

Lars Hansson

Deron Blaylock

Jeff Sparks

Ben Berting

Steve Koo

Munik Jang

Hyon Joon Hong

Linda Downing

Dominic (Sangdon) Kim

Chris Halke

Diona Brennan

Alan O'Connor

Mo Bashabsheh

Jun Salsango

Heather Brown

Karl Wagner

Participants from DENTSPLY Implants

Matt Gassel

Darin Lockaby

Fred Senne

Jeff Vaught

Oral Cancers Associated with HPV Increasing in the Americas

Posted on July 28, 2015

Washington, D.C., 4 June 2015 (PAHO/WHO) - Although oral and pharyngeal cancers are usually associated with tobacco and alcohol use, the incidence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers has increased by 225% in the past two decades in the United States, according to data published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. The evidence suggests that in particular, cancers located on the base of the tongue and the tonsils are associated with HPV infection.

Cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx are among the most common cancers worldwide, with an estimated 443,000 cases and 241,000 deaths occurring globally in 2012. While individuals with HPV-associated oral cancers tend to have better prognoses than individuals with non-HPV-associated oral cancers, HPV-associated cancers are more likely to develop in people without traditional risk factors, like tobacco and alcohol use.

“Cancer is a major threat to public health worldwide, and oropharyngeal cancer is an important component of the global cancer burden with significant costs to the healthcare system,” said Dr. Saskia Estupinan-Day, head of the oral health program at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). “Cancer in the oropharynx is especially threatening because in its early stages it might be overlooked, as it usually develops without producing any pain or symptoms the individual could recognize.”

More than 190 types of HPV have been identified and classified according to their potential to induce cancer, with more than 15 of these having been linked to human cancers. One specific type – known as high-risk HPV-16 – is associated with 85-95% of the oral cancers linked to HPV. As HPV-16 and other strains associated with oropharyngeal cancers become more prevalent, the frequency of these cancers grows. In addition to the surge of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers over the past 20 years, the risk for tonsillar and oropharyngeal cancers have increased at least by two-fold among individuals with HIV/AIDS due to impairment of the immune system.

Despite this, scientific gaps exist regarding HPV infections, its persistency and its associated oropharyngeal cancers in the general population and in HIV-infected individuals. Additionally, evidence on the efficacy of HPV vaccines to prevent HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer – which could prove to be an important tool for prevention - is lacking.

To address these gaps, PAHO/WHO, through the Regional Oral Health, Cancer, and Non Communicable Diseases programs with the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Dental Association Foundation (ADAF), has issued a call to action and organized an international consultation meeting that will be held from July 27-28, 2015 at PAHO Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to assess the state-of-science on HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer research, address the existent technical gaps, and outline future directions for research, practice, and policies in the Americas and other regions of the world.

“The increase in HPV oral infections, persisting infections, and the development of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer globally is an emerging public health problem in the general population that is exacerbated in individuals infected with HIV,” said Dr. Isaac Rodriguez-Chavez, Director of the AIDS and Immunosuppression Program at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. “The international consultation meeting at PAHO/WHO will help us understand current state-of-the science, gaps, needs, and trends to inform the development of public health policy on HPV for the Americas. This is also a unique opportunity to harmonize global health efforts to address HPV-associated infections, persisting infections and oropharyngeal cancer.”

“Having a regional plan will be crucial in moving forward to prevent and treat oropharyngeal cancers associated with HPV,” said Dr. Estupinan-Day.

i-Gen Titanium Mesh Membrane

Posted on July 28, 2015

integrated dental systems (ids) introduces i-Gen Titanium Mesh Membranes, which are manufactured in 9 different configurations to allow users to graft sites where a stable implant has been placed but surrounding bone is insufficient.

i-Gen designs incorporate up to 100 degree bend to provide space for GBR, wider titanium mesh for more buccal bone growth and can be used with most of the popular implant systems. i-Gen kits include membranes, flat abutments, cover screws, healing abutments and a hand hex driver.

ids was formed to provide a full suite of innovative tooth replacement products that will help achieve better outcomes for dentists and patients alike. Their products feature designs and technologies that provide shorter and more precise procedures, less recovery time, and enhance the relationships between dentists and their patients — all at more cost-effective price points. Their commitment to developing more solutions that help dentists provide more profitable and better results is the focus of everything they do. Innovation that delivers more for you and your patients. For more information, visit idsimplants.com or call 866.277.5662.

Stony Brook Unveils Schein Reception Area

Posted on July 28, 2015

MELVILLE, N.Y. - Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine and Henry Schein, Inc., the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health, and medical practitioners, unveiled the new "Henry Schein Cares Reception Area," the gateway to the School's Dental Care Center, the largest dental care treatment facility on Long Island. More than 60 attendees from Henry Schein and the School of Dental Medicine, including students, faculty, and senior leadership, celebrated at the recent unveiling ceremony.

The naming of the reception area commemorates the collaborative relationship between the organizations and recognizes more than $2 million in financial and in-kind support that Henry Schein has provided to the school over the past several years through "Henry Schein Cares," the company's global corporate social responsibility program.

One of the initiatives between Henry Schein and the School of Dental Medicine is advancing the use of digital dental technology in the dental curriculum, with the goal of improving patient care and increasing efficiency and productivity. Henry Schein product donations to the Dental Care Center include a PlanScan CAD/CAM dental restoration system and digital X-ray equipment.

"We are very fortunate to have a company like Henry Schein right here on Long Island," said Dr. Mary Truhlar, Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. "Henry Schein is a global leader in serving the dental community with a deep commitment to advancing the profession through education, the advancement of technology, and increased access to care through social outreach. It is only fitting that we would greet visitors to our Dental Care Center through the 'Henry Schein Cares Reception Area,' which is representative of the caring spirit of the company it represents." 

Henry Schein also supports Stony Brook dental student volunteer efforts in underserved communities around the world through the company's Henry Schein Cares Student Outreach Program. Stony Brook dental students and faculty also join with Henry Schein, its supplier partners, and oral health volunteers throughout the country to provide care to hundreds of thousands of children in need through the American Dental Association's Give Kids A Smile® program. Click here to read Dr. Truhlar's remarks delivered during the "Henry Schein Cares Reception Area" unveiling ceremony.

"We are so pleased to support the education, training and clinical experience of Stony Brook students who use the advanced technology of this Dental Center to shape the future of the profession," said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc.  "We value every facet of our relationship with Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, from the clinical equipment and technology we have helped to advance, to the student outreach programs and community outreach initiatives in which we have partnered."  

Scientists' Secret for Regenerating Salivary Cells

Posted on July 28, 2015

An American research team is the first to use silk fibers as a framework to grow stem cells into salivary gland cells. The new process could provide relief for millions of individuals with dry mouth, including patients with Sjögren's syndrome, survivors of head and neck cancer, and those who take drugs with a side effect that limits saliva production.

To read the full Science Daily report, click here

Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine Unveils Henry Schein Cares Reception Area

Posted on July 28, 2015

MELVILLE, N.Y., July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Stony Brook University (SBU) School of Dental Medicine and Henry Schein, Inc., the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, unveiled the new "Henry Schein Cares Reception Area," the gateway to the School's Dental Care Center, the largest dental care treatment facility on Long Island. More than 60 attendees from Henry Schein and the School of Dental Medicine, including students, faculty, and senior leadership celebrated at the recent unveiling ceremony.

The naming of the reception area commemorates the collaborative relationship between the two organizations and recognizes more than $2 million in financial and in-kind support that Henry Schein has provided to the school over the past several years through "Henry Schein Cares," the Company's global corporate social responsibility program.

One of the initiatives between Henry Schein and the School of Dental Medicine is advancing the use of digital dental technology in the dental curriculum, with the goal of improving patient care and increasing efficiency and productivity.  Henry Schein product donations to the Dental Care Center include a PlanScan CAD/CAM dental restoration system and digital X-ray equipment.

"We are very fortunate to have a company like Henry Schein right here on Long Island," said Dr. Mary Truhlar, Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. "Henry Schein is a global leader in serving the dental community with a deep commitment to advancing the profession through education, the advancement of technology, and increased access to care through social outreach. It is only fitting that we would greet visitors to our Dental Care Center through the 'Henry Schein Cares Reception Area,' which is representative of the caring spirit of the Company it represents." 

Henry Schein also supports Stony Brook dental student volunteer efforts in underserved communities around the world through the Company's Henry Schein Cares Student Outreach Program.  Stony Brook dental students and faculty also join with Henry Schein, its supplier partners, and oral health volunteers throughout the country to provide care to hundreds of thousands of children in need through the American Dental Association's Give Kids A Smile® program. Click here to read Dr. Truhlar's remarks delivered during the "Henry Schein Cares Reception Area" unveiling ceremony.

"We are so pleased to support the education, training and clinical experience of Stony Brook students who use the advanced technology of this Dental Center to shape the future of the profession," said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc.  "We value every facet of our relationship with SBU School of Dental Medicine, from the clinical equipment and technology we have helped to advance, to the student outreach programs and community outreach initiatives in which we have partnered."  

Announcing the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program

Posted on July 27, 2015

30 year ago, a renaissance of dental public health activity began in California. While many of the early advocates and leaders remain in the field today, many of our leaders are or will be retiring soon. 

This anticipated "brain drain" will result in the loss of many key experts whose institutional memory makes them among the most knowledgeable about the unique aspects of advancing a people-centered oral health agenda that ensures equal access to oral health services regardless of individual or community status. The oral health community in California needs to cultivate new leaders to re-energize the field and replace the long-time knowledgeable experts and advocates. 

To help develop emerging oral health champions in California, Center for Oral Health is establishing the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program. 

Named after two leading public oral health experts, Robert Isman, DDS, MPH and Jared Fine, DDS, MPH, the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program is a one-year interdisciplinary, mentored fellowship program focused on health-related community service and leadership development in California.

Click here to learn more.

Applications are due Friday, August 7, 2015

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