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Diagnostic test predicts outcome in head/neck cancer

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Despite recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of head/neck cancer, there has been little evidence of improvement in 5-year survival rates over the last few decades…

Most head/neck cancer patients would gladly put up with the short, long-term, and late stage toxic side effects of their chemotherapy and radiation if they were guarenteed that their treatment would extend their lives. The problem with conventional oncology is that the therapy that your oncologist prescribes may or may not treat the cancer inside you.

 

The first article linked and excerpted below talks about the prognosis of the specific types of head/neck cancer while the second article linked below talks about genetic testing that may predict treatment outcomes of your squamous cell head and neck cancer.

The bottom line? Your diagnosis is more important than ever. It may be painfully slow but take all the diagnostic tests needed to give you an exact diagnosis for your cancer type and stage.

Have you been diagnosed with squamous cell head/neck cancer? Have you discussed MATH genetic testing with your oncologist?

I am a cancer survivor and cancer coach. I work with cancer patients to provide both conventional and evidence-based non-conventional therapies for their cancer. Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


Trends in incidence and prognosis for head and neck cancer in the United States: a site-specific analysis of the SEER database.

“Despite recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of head/neck cancer, there has been little evidence of improvement in 5-year survival rates over the last few decades…

During the period 1973-1999, site-specific incidence rates for head and neck cancer changed significantly. Site-specific analysis of survival from 1974-1997 showed significant improvements in 5-year survival rates for cancers of the

  • nasopharynx,
  • oropharynx and
  • hypopharynx

The prognosis for early-stage salivary gland cancer during 1983-1997 and late-stage larynx cancer during 1974-1997 also demonstrated improvement

On the other hand, the prognosis for regional stage oral cavity cancer as well as early-stage larynx cancer patients declined during 1983-1997.  Site-specific changes in treatment and staging were also noted. Site-specific analysis allows for a more accurate description of incidence, staging, treatment, and prognostic trends for head and neck cancer…”

Genetic Diversity Within Tumors Predicts Outcome in Head and Neck Cancer

“A new measure of the heterogeneity — the variety of genetic mutations — of cells within a tumor appears to predict treatment outcomes of patients with the most common type of head and neck cancer…how their measure was a better predictor of survival than most traditional risk factors in a small group of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck…

…Mroz and his colleagues developed their new measure by analyzing advanced gene sequencing data to produce a value reflecting the genetic diversity within a tumor — not only the number of genetic mutations but how broadly particular mutations are shared within different subgroups of tumor cells. They first described this measure, called mutant-allele tumor heterogeneity (MATH), in the March 2013 issue of Oral Oncology. But that paper was only able to show that patients with known factors predicting poor outcomes — including specific mutations in the TP53 gene or a lack of infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) — were likely to have higher MATH values…

…in the current study, the investigators used MATH to analyze genetic data from the tumors of 74 patients with squamous cell head and neck carcinoma for whom they had complete treatment and outcome information. Not only did they find that higher MATH values were strongly associated with shorter overall survival — with each unit of increase reflecting a 5 percent increase in the risk of death — but that relationship was also seen within groups of patients already at risk for poor outcome. For example, among patients with HPV-negative tumors, those with higher MATH values were less likely to survive than those with lower MATH values. Overall, MATH values were more strongly related to outcomes than most previously identified risk factors and improved outcome predictions based on all other risk factors the researchers examined...

…”Our results have important implications for the future of oncology care,” says Rocco,  “MATH offers a simple, quantitative way to test hypotheses about intratumor genetic heterogeneity, including the likelihood that targeted therapy will succeed.


The Most BioAvailable Curcumin Formulas

“Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin (CU) products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism”

A search of the Pubmed database for the word curcumin yields 601 studies spaning health topics from multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, to chemotherapies that synergizes with CU, to Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and more. Based on years of reading studies and personal accounts, I think it is safe to say that CU supplementation is safe and relatively inexpensive.

I have read about myeloma patients taking daily doses of CU from 400 milligrams to 8 grams (1000 milligrams = 1 gram). By almost any measure, CU is a safe, inexpensive wonder drug.

The only challenge is that CU is famously difficult to absorb in the body. In other words, a person has to mix curcumin with some sort of fat (coconut oil, chocolate, etc.) or take a brand of curcumin capsule that is already formulated to be more “bioavailable” in order to derive the full benefit of CU.

The study linked and exerpted below reviews different formulations of CU. The study itself lists the three most bioavailable formulation/brand of CU and I’ve added an excerpt from a further review from Consumerlab.com that lists four additional bioavailable brands of CU.


Recommended Reading:


Curcumin

CU is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring.[1]

Bioavailable curcumin formulations: A review of pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers.

“Curcumin is a widely studied natural compound which has shown tremendous in vitro therapeutic potential. Despite that, the clinical efficacy of the native CU is weak due to its low bioavailability and high metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract. During the last decade, researchers have come up with different formulations with a focus on improving the bioavailability of curcumin. As a result, a significant number of bioavailable curcumin-based formulations were introduced with the varying range of enhanced bioavailability.

The purpose of this review is to collate the published clinical studies of CU products with improved bioavailability over conventional (unformulated) CU. Based on the literature search, 11 curcumin formulations with available human bioavailability and pharmacokinetics data were included in this review. Further, the data on clinical study design, analytical method, pharmacokinetic parameters and other relevant details of each formulation were extracted.

Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism. The review hopes to provide a quick reference guide for anyone looking information on these bioavailable curcumin formulations.

Based on the published reports,

exhibited over 100-fold higher bioavailability relative to reference unformulated CU. Suggested mechanisms accounting for improved bioavailability of the formulations and details on the bioanalysis methods are also discussed.”

According to Consumerlab.com:

“Novasol has the highest bioavailability (185 x compared to unforumulated CU), followed by Curcuwin (136 x), Longvida (100 x), Meriva (48 x), BCM-95 (27 x), Curcumin C3 Complex + Bioperene (20 x), and then Theracumin (16 x).”

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