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Dental Tribune United Kingdom Edition

4 News United Kingdom Edition March 11-17, 2013 T emple University Korn- berg School of Dentistry has launched Project EN- GAGE, a $1.75 million initiative designed to improve children’s access to oral health care. The program will be avail- able to North Philadelphia children under the age of six and their families who are en- rolled in the state’s Medicaid plan. The goal is to eventually expand the initiative to other parts of Philadelphia, Pennsylva- nia and country. “Project ENGAGE is an ex- ample of a new health promotion system that will reach out to chil- dren and families to assist them in getting dental care and re- move barriers that prevent these children from having a dental home,” said Amid Ismail, dean of the Kornberg School of Dentistry. Currently, fewer than 30 per cent of the children under six living in the five zip codes surrounding Kornberg’s North Philadelphia campus have ac- cess to proper dental care, often due to lack of awareness of the importance of oral health, lim- ited transportation and access to qualified dental care providers. One of the program’s goals is to increase that access to at least 60 per cent of the children. The new program will create an oral health registry that will use dental claims information and operating and emergency department histories to identify children most at risk of develop- ing any health issues as a result of tooth decay. Community health workers will provide these children and their families, including siblings and pregnant women, with in- formation, counselling and as- sistance in scheduling dental ap- pointments. Public health dental hygienists will also be available to provide in-home care and ad- ditional treatments, such as fluo- ride varnishes and sealants. The program will also pro- vide training for primary care physicians to encourage pre- ventive screenings and to ap- ply dental varnish, while also giving general dentists who do not currently provide dental care for very young children the sup- port and information needed to care for children. Studies show that children should begin seeing a dentist before their first birthday. DT Children’s oral health initiative launched Project ENGAGE A new drug combination shows promise in reduc- ing the risk for patients with advanced oral precancer- ous lesions to develop squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The results of the study, which included preclinical and clinical analyses, were published in Clinical Cancer Research. “Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is the most common type of head and neck cancer,” said Dong Moon Shin, M.D. “The survival rate for patients with SCCHN is very poor. An effective pre- vention approach is desperately needed, especially since we can identify patients who are at extremely high risk: those with advanced oral precancer- ous lesions.” Based on prior research sug- gesting a role for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in promoting SCCHN, Shin and col- leagues believed combining an EGFR inhibitor and a COX-2 in- hibitor could provide an effective chemopreventive approach. They found that the combi- nation of the EGFR inhibitor er- lotinib and the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib was more effective for inhibiting the growth of human SCCHN cell lines compared with either drug alone. Eleven patients with ad- vanced oral precancerous le- sions were assigned to treatment with erlotinib and celecoxib. Tis- sue samples from the patients were obtained and evaluated pathologically at three, six and 12 months after therapy initia- tion. Biopsies at baseline and fol- low-up were available for seven patients. Pathologic examination of the biopsies indicated that three of the seven patients had a com- plete pathologic response; that is, there was no longer evidence of the precancerous lesions in the follow-up biopsy sample. Among the other patients, two had a par- tial pathologic response and two had progressive disease. “Finding that this drug com- bination caused some advanced premalignant lesions to com- pletely disappear was great news,” said Shin. “Advanced premalignant lesions rarely re- gress, so our data are proof-of- principle that a combination chemopreventive strategy with molecularly targeted agents is possible.” DT New drug combination could prevent neck cancer New cancer therapy A new national TV advertis- ing campaign launched by Wrigley on 14th Feb- ruary is encouraging consum- ers to chew sugarfree gum after eating and drinking, especially when they are on-the-go. Its theme – ‘Break Up With Linger- ing Food’™ – focuses on how the foods we eat linger in the mouth and can threaten oral health, with an amusing encounter between celebrity Antonio Banderas and the ‘Food Gang’™ – a group of mischievous creatures that rep- resents some of the foods that lin- ger longer. Independent research shows that chewing sugarfree gum for 20 minutes after meals and snacks can help teeth healthy be- cause the increased production of saliva helps clean the mouth and neutralise the plaque acids that may damage tooth enamel. The new high profile campaign is part of Wrigley’s increased com- mitment to promoting the proven benefits of chewing sugarfree gum to consumers as an effective part of their oral healthcare rou- tine in a world where snacking and ‘grazing’ are on the increase. Louisa Rowntree, Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme Manager in the UK says: “Wrigley is spreading the message to UK consumers that chewing sugar- free gum benefits oral health, es- pecially for people who are busy and eating and drinking on-the- go. The Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme supports this through our work with dental profession- als, to help them understand and educate their patients about the benefits of chewing and encour- age them to Eat, Drink, Chew.” DT The benefits of breaking up P rior studies have suggested that frequent dental and medical screening is asso- ciated with an up to five-fold in- crease in the risk of benign brain tumours. However, Chinese re- searchers have found that no such association may exist between malignant brain tumours and di- agnostic dental X-rays. In order to evaluate the risk of developing began and malignant braintumoursinrelationtothefre- quency of dental X-rays received in oral and maxillofacial care, the researchers conducted two studies. The first study involved 4,123 patients diagnosed with benign brain tumours and 16,492 healthy controls, while the second study was conducted among 197 individuals with malignant brain tumours and 788 controls. Patient data analysis demon- stratedthattheriskofbenignbrain tumours increased as the frequen- cy of dental diagnostic X-rays in- creased. However, no significant association was found between malignant brain tumours and dental diagnostic X-ray exposure. The study was conducted at the China Medical University in col- laboration with several other sci- entific health institutions through- out China. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, an es- timated 69,720 new cases of pri- mary brain tumours are expected to be diagnosed in 2013 in the US, including both malignant (24,620) and benign (45,100) brain tu- mours. Meningiomas, which are primarily benign brain tumours, represent 34 per cent of all prima- ry brain tumours, making them the most common primary brain tumour. The study was published on- line on 13 February in the Annals of Oncology ahead of print. DT Dental X-rays increase brain tumour risk D r Mark-Steven Howe from Broadway Dental Care in Worcestershire is heading to Africa in April to compete in one of the toughest foot races on earth. He will take part in the 28th annual Marathon Des Sables, a 156 mile challenge which con- sists of six consecutive mara- thons, in aid of the Air Ambu- lance. The marathon will take place over six days. The rules of the race state that all runners must carry all their own belongings throughout, except water. Dr Howe said: “Looking after your feet will be important and not believing you are indestruct- ible. I have done iron man events before. I just have to get on with it, it is all about pacing yourself.” Dr Howe, who is looking for- ward to the challenge and con- centrating on his training, says he hopes his patients will pop into his surgery to sponsor him and show their support. DT Dentist tackles desert for charity