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Dental Tribune United Kingdom Edition

T aking a regular low dose of aspirin could prevent head and neck cancers by almost a quarter, accord- ing to new research. The re- sults of the study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, concluded that people were almost a quarter (22 per cent) more likely to avoid develop- ing head and neck cancers if they took aspirin on a weekly and monthly basis. Throat can- cers had the most benefit from regular aspirin use. More than 16,000 people in the UK are affected by head and neck cancers every year. One of those is mouth cancer, a disease on the rise that af- fects more than 6,000 people and claims more lives than testicular and cervical cancer combined. Chief Executive of the Brit- ish Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, stressed the importance of the findings but urged a word of caution. Dr Carter says: “Mouth cancer cases are increasing, so this piece of research is en- couraging. Regular aspirin use has been linked to preventing a number of cancers, and if it is a particularly successful prac- tice for warding off mouth can- cer, it should act as a spring- board for more research. “But as much as these re- sults are encouraging, peo- ple should not be fooled into thinking that taking aspirin counteracts the dangers of mouth cancer. If you smoke, drink alcohol to excess, have a poor diet and are at risk from picking up the Human Papil- lomavirus (HPV), often trans- mitted via oral sex, aspirin use will be irrelevant.” Using data from the Nation- al Cancer Institute Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer (PLCO), a large scale investigation of the effect of aspirin and ibuprofen on head and neck cancer risk was un- dertaken. For those aged 55- 74, a ‘significant’ reduction of head and neck cancer risk was observed between weekly and monthly aspirin use; daily as- pirin use and ibuprofen were not significantly associated with a reduced risk. DT Regular aspirin use cuts mouth cancer risk Aspirin use could prevent cancer by a quarter O ne in four young peo- ple who gave up smok- ing last year said the ban on displaying tobacco products in large shops helped them quit, a survey has found. Just over 25 per cent of ex- smokers between the ages of 18 and 24 said that keeping the products hidden had encour- aged them to kick the habit. On April 6 last year super- markets and other large shops were prohibited from display- ing cigarette packs to the pub- lic. The poll of 1,000 former and 1,000 current smokers - commissioned by health in- surance firm PruHealth - also found the measure had helped 17 per cent of all smokers cut down on the amount they smoke. Ministers introduced the move across England to help to change attitudes and social norms around smoking and to “protect” young people who are often the target of tobacco promotion. At present, the display ban only affects large shops such as supermarkets - smaller shops do not have to change the displays until 2015. Dr Katie Tryon, head of clinical vitality at PruHealth, said: “The younger generation is who the ban is primarily aimed at so these findings are very encouraging.” “The key to preventing a future generation of smokers is to try and discourage people from starting in the first place, as the older people get, often the harder it can be to quit.” DT Tobacco display ban helps young people quit Young smokers say display ban helped them quit A new study has been published by The Cochrane Library, ex- ploring whether there is a dif- ference in success rates be- tween immediately and early loaded implants compared with conventionally loaded implants. Twenty six trials including a total of 1217 participants and 2120 implants were involved in the study. This review looked at the effects of attach- ing artificial teeth either the same day that the implant was placed, or early (after only six weeks) compared to the usual delay of at least three months. Some studies also com- pared the artificial tooth be- ing attached so that it did not touch the opposite tooth (non- occlusal loading). The review found no evidence that at- taching artificial teeth either immediately, after six weeks (early) or after at least three months (conventional) led to any important differences in the failure of the implant or the artificial tooth, or to the amount of bone which sur- rounded the implant (any bone loss would be an unde- sirable consequence). The authors concluded that more research needs to be done in this area. DT Different times for loading implants don’t determine success rate A team of researchers led by scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has published a study outlining the recovery and genomic analysis, using single-cell genomic tech- niques, of a periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, from a hospital sink. This is the first time that a single-cell genome sequencing approach was used to isolate and analyse a single mi- crobe from a biofilm in a health- care setting. The team, led by JCVI’s Jeffrey McLean published their study in the April 5 edition of the journal Genome Research. Understanding the commu- nity of microbes living in biofilms, especially those in healthcare settings, has been limited par- tially because pathogens can be in very low numbers and many other bacterial types are not eas- ily cultured. A method for DNA sequencing from single cells de- veloped by JCVI’s Roger Lasken group, is now allowing research- ers to sequence the vast numbers of uncultured microbes in the environment. With this approach this team hopes to sequence many hospital pathogens that have been otherwise inaccessible. In this study the team targeted bacterial cells in a biofilm sam- pled from a hospital bathroom sink. Using single-cell genomic sequencing combined with a new single-cell genome assembler, SPAdes, developed by Pavel Pe- vzner,UniversityofCalifornia,San Diego, the team found 25 different types of bacteria within the bio- film. The bacteria represented en- vironmental species, human com- mensals and human pathogens. The team then reconstructed a near complete genome of one specific periodontal pathogen, P. gingivalis (designated as JCVI SC001) from a single cell. While this globally important pathogen is well known, only three other P. gingivalis genomes have been se- quenced to date, and all of those were cultured from patients. This is the first strain sequenced from a single cell from the environment. The team was able to compare the JCVI SC001 strain to the cultured strains, finding it to vary by 524 unique genes, some potentially al- tering its virulence. The team be- lieves that the JCVI SC001 strain could potentially contain adapta- tions relevant to survival outside of the host and to transmission to humans. The scientists conclude that using single cell sequencing and analysis will open up new avenues of research into environmental samples, including healthcare set- tings where biofilms are critical in harboring pathogens that contam- inate water sources, medical in- struments and catheters. This has important implications in better understanding infectious disease especially modes of transmission as well as the spread of antibiotic resistance. DT Twenty five types of bacteria found in biofilm 4 News United Kingdom Edition April 15-21, 2013