Tirbanibulin for Actinic Keratosis: George Martin, MD

Recently, the results of two phase 3 trials on tirbanibulin were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tirbanibulin was studied in two identically designed double-blind trials as a treatment for actinic keratosis, a precursor of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma. Adults with actinic keratosis lesions on their face or scalp received either tirbanibulin 1% ointment or placebo once daily for five consecutive days. Compared with those receiving placebo, patients who received tirbanibulin...

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Nivolumab FDA Approved for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Nivolumab (Opdivo®, Bristol Myers Squibb) is now FDA approved for patients with unresectable advanced, recurrent, or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) who have received prior fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-based chemotherapy. Previously approved for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and advanced renal cell carcinoma, among others, nivolumab is an immunotherapy that works by helping immune cells discover and attack cancer cells by inhibiting a cancer cell's abili...

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Glucose Theory Untrue for Squamous Skin Cancer

Squamous skin cancer cells do not require glucose to grow, according to a new study. These promising findings could increase understanding of what cancer cells really need in order to develop and thrive, a discovery which would lead to more effective skin cancer treatments. In most cases, cancerous cells increase glucose uptake and lactate production compared with normal cells; this is known as the Warburg effect. The lactate that is produced increases angiogenesis—the development of new blood v...

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Throat, Not Cervix, Is Now Most Common HPV-Linked Cancer Site

According to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a cancer of the throat, has replaced cervical carcinoma as the cancer most commonly associated with human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus, the most commonly sexually transmitted infection in the United States, is a known cause of cervical cancer and some types of oropharyngeal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and anal cancers. According to the CDC report, ...

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New Targets in Fight Against Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Researchers have discovered the means by which the protein ΔNp63α drives cell proliferation in various types of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), revealing an actionable direction for the development of new drug-based SCC treatments. The p63 isoform ΔNp63α, a member of the p53 family of transcription factors, is crucial to a developing embryo's epithelial maintenance and epidermal morphogenesis. After this stage of development, it should play no further role. However, if ΔNp63α becomes active in th...

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HPV Vaccine Approval Expanded Through Age 45

​In a step crucial to preventing the occurrence of both the human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV-related cancers, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the approval of the 9-valent human papillomavirus (9vHPV) vaccine (Gardasil®9, Merck and Co.) for men and women between the ages of 27 and 45. The human papillomavirus infects approximately 14 million Americans each year. It is also a well-documented cause of a number of cancers, including cervical carcinoma and orophary...

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Epigenetic Cancer Treatments May Cause Aggressive Tumors

A new study suggests that epigenetic cancer treatments may do more harm than good. Epigenetic treatments impact epigenetic modifiers, genes which modify the epigenome—the collection of chemical compounds controlling genetic expression—by causing DNA methylation, altering chromatin structure, or modifying post-translational chromatin. Because tumors frequently have epigenetic modifiers that are mutated or altered in their expression, these genes have become a focus of cancer research. But what is...

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Prevalence and Risk Factors for Skin Cancer Revealed

​Information from a new population-based nationwide English dataset has revealed insights concerning the prevalence and risk factors for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), the second most common form of skin cancer. Prior to this point, due to a high diagnosis rate and the challenges associated with accurately accounting for multiple tumors per patient, keratinocyte cancers were seldom recorded in cancer registries. Changes made in 2013 to England's National Cancer Registration and Analys...

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Rigosertib Provides Hope in Patients With Butterfly Disease

For many patients with the genetic disease recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), also known as butterfly disease, developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by early adulthood is inevitable. Researchers teamed together and found a potential targeted treatment for patients with RDEB and SCC. "We hope that the drug will be a cure for the cancer," remarked one of the authors of the study, Andrew South, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology at Tho...

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Nail Salon Workers Exposed to Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Nail salon technicians are exposed to high levels of volatile organic compounds, many of which are in high enough concentrations and toxic enough to cause cancer. In order to understand the severity of this situation, researchers measured the levels of various chemicals in six different salons across Colorado and found that many chemicals exceeded the safe limit, putting workers at an increased risk of developing malignancies. For this study, published in Environmental Pollution, the investigato...

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Cancer Risk Elevated for Nail Salon Workers: Interview With Aaron Lamplugh

When Aaron Lamplugh, PhD candidate at University of Colorado Boulder, and colleagues measured the levels of chemicals in six nail salons across Colorado, they discovered that nail salon technicians are exposed to many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at levels that increase their risk of developing cancer. In this interview with i3 Health, Mr. Lamplugh shares insights regarding the implications that high levels of chemicals have on nail salon workers and suggests some ways to mitigate the effec...

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Vitamin A Reduces Risk of Skin Cancer

According to a recent study, an increased consumption of vitamin A is associated with a decreased risk of squamous cell carcinoma. The second most common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma arises when an uncontrolled growth occurs in the outermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis. Sun exposure is a huge risk factor of squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer appears as persistent, thick, rough, scaly patches that can bleed. For this study, published in Journal of the American Medica...

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