Epigenetic modification may be cause of adult throat cancers linked to alcohol, tobacco use

Epigenetic modification may be cause of adult throat cancers linked to alcohol, tobacco use
  1. Epigenetic modification may be cause of adult throat cancers linked to alcohol, tobacco use
    A team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre has found an epigenetic modification that might be the cause of 15% of adult cancers of the throat linked to alcohol and tobacco…

A team of researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has found an epigenetic modification that might be the cause of 15% of adult cancers of the throat linked to alcohol and tobacco use. This is a first in the field of epigenetics and the researchers are hopeful that the discovery can blaze a path in the development of new, targeted, more effective treatments that could arise over the next few years. "This discovery was absolutely unexpected since it seemed highly improbable that the kind of alterations of the epigenome that we had previously found in other types of tumours in children and young adults could also target an epithelial tumour like throat cancer that occurs only in adults," explains Dr. Nada Jabado, a researcher at the RI-MUHC and one of the principal authors of the study published in Nature Genetics.

Head and neck cancers, also called oropharyngeal cancers or throat cancer often have devastating consequences. Standard treatments involve surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the side effects of these treatments are significant and relapses are common. That's why oncologists are searching to develop more effective treatments that will be less harmful and have fewer deleterious effects. The discovery of this epigenetic modification opens new treatment possibilities. In fact, some promising drug molecules are already on the market for other illnesses and could possibly be tested for head and neck cancers as well as other cancers like multiple myeloma and lung cancer.

Dr. Jabado, who is also a pediatric hemato-oncologist, has hopes that this discover will have positive repercussions for pediatric cancers as well. "Now that we've identified this cohort of patients, we can move quite quickly since in the case of adults, as opposed to children, there are more patients and lots of clinical trials. The medicines could then be tested on children afterward."

About the discovery

Dr. Jabado's work focuses on epigenetics in pediatric cancers, and more specifically on the mutations of histone H3. Histones are proteins that package the structure of our DNA and regulate the expression of our genes. For this group of researchers, collaboration between scientists and access to the vast genomic databases of patients around the world is essential. They were particularly intrigued by a 2015 publication by the Tumor Cancer Genome Atlas Consortium (TCGA) on head and neck cancer that mentioned one of the genes that regulates H3.

"We made use of the same data but took a completely different approach. Instead of concentrating on genetic mutations, we looked at the effect of these mutations on histone H3 proteins. That's when we discovered that the histone H3 protein was abnormal or incorrectly modified in about 15% of patients with head and neck cancer. The data were there, but this fact had gone unnoticed," explains Dr. Jacek Majewski, a researcher at McGill University and one of the principal authors of the study.

"It's crucial to have access to public data, because it allows us to advance faster and go further in our analyses. In our case, this discovery revealed a…

  1. Skin cancer cream linked to 5 dog deaths, FDA says

    Upi.com -Health
    01.20 / 04:52 www.upi.com
    HealthDay News Five dogs have died from exposure to a skin cancer cream prescribed for people, according to the U.S. Food and Drug…
  2. Online brain-training program may ease ringing in the ears

    Upi.com -Health
    01.20 / 04:51 www.upi.com
    Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News An online program that "trains" the brain may help people cope with the constant ringing in the ears called tinnitus, a small study…
  3. GOP governors defend Medicaid expansion

    Thehill.com - Health
    01.20 / 04:19 thehill.com
    Several Republican governors are defending ObamaCare's expansion of Medicaid in their states, highlighting a thorny issue for the party as lawmakers navigate repeal of the healthcare reform law.Full repeal would mean eliminating the law’s e…
  4. Overnight Healthcare: GOP governors defend Medicaid expansion

    Thehill.com - Health
    01.20 / 04:18 thehill.com
    Several Republican governors are defending ObamaCare's expansion of Medicaid in their states, highlighting a thorny issue for Republicans as they navigate repeal of the health law.Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), whose state has expanded…
  5. 1 In 4 Men With Suspected Prostate Cancer Could Avoid Unnecessary biopsy

    Eurasiareview.com - Health
    01.20 / 03:49 eurasiareview.com
    Giving men with suspected prostate cancer an MRI scan could improve diagnosis and save those who do not have aggressive cancers from having an unnecessary biopsy, according to a study published in The Lancet.…
  6. Accused TSU shooter charged with ramming his head into x-ray, causing $100,000 damage

    Livehealthy.chron.com - Health
    01.20 / 02:50 livehealthy.chron.com
    An accused murderer is facing new charges after authorities say he bashed his head into an x-ray machine while in…
  7. Ralph Nader: An Open Letter To Nancy Pelosi

    Eurasiareview.com - Health
    01.20 / 02:35 eurasiareview.com
    Dear Representative Pelosi: I see you were quoted in The Hill newspaper recently (“Pelosi Rips GOP for Cut and Run Strategy on Obamacare,” by Mike Lillis, January 12, 2017) saying that you are for sin…
  8. High blood levels of protein may help preserve kidney function, study suggests

    News-medical.net -Health
    01.20 / 01:47 www.news-medical.net
    Higher blood levels of a protein called klotho may help preserve kidney function, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of…
  9. New research exposes cellular responses linked to bird flu vaccine

    News-medical.net -Health
    01.20 / 01:46 www.news-medical.net
    New research from Vanderbilt eavesdrops on gene expression in human immune system cells before and after vaccination against bird…
  10. Listen: Rick Perry, Al Franken joke about 'couch time,' as budget fight starts in Austin

    Livehealthy.chron.com - Health
    01.20 / 01:35 livehealthy.chron.com
    A cringe-worthy joke it was, for sure, but conservative Texas Republican Rick Perry and liberal Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota nearly brought down the house during Perry's confirmation hearing in…
  11. Maryland could lose billions in federal funding if ACA is repealed

    01.20 / 01:29 baltimoresun.com
    The repeal of Obamacare could cost the State of Maryland nearly $2 billion in Medicaid funding for more than 260,000 people, state legislative analysts told lawmakers Thursday.Hospitals could lose an additional $2.3 billion, the analysts told the House Health and Government Operations…
  12. Give early scans to cut prostate cancer deaths Daily Mail

    Bioportfolio.com - Health
    01.20 / 01:18 bioportfolio.com
    Daily MailGive early scans to cut prostate cancer deathsDaily MailA major breakthrough in the way prostate cancer is diagnosed could save the lives of thousands of men. Potential sufferers should be given MRI scans as soon as suspicions are raised by…
  13. Study reveals mechanism for illness-induced sleepiness in humans and animals

    News-medical.net -Health
    01.20 / 00:32 www.news-medical.net
    It's well known that humans and other animals are fatigued and sleepy when sick, but it's a microscopic roundworm that's providing an explanation of how that occurs, according to a study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of…
  14. Pediatric Cancer Survivors Invited to Apply for College Scholarships From The National Childrens Cancer Society

    Bioportfolio.com - Health
    01.20 / 00:05 bioportfolio.com
    The NCCS is a nonprofit organization that supports children with cancer their families and survivors.St.Louis MO PRWEB January 19 2017 It&39;s ongoing mission to help childhood cancer survivors attain their education and career goals The National…
  15. Mayo Clinic researchers identify genetic promoter that drives lung cancer formation

    News-medical.net -Health
    01.19 / 23:56 www.news-medical.net
    Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified a genetic promoter of cancer that drives a major form of lung…
  16. Research finding provides new target for regulating cell division

    News-medical.net -Health
    01.19 / 06:44 www.news-medical.net
    Modern genome sequencing methods used to measure the efficiency of synthesis of individual protein during cell division has found that the enzymes that make lipids and membranes were synthesized at much greater efficiency when a cell is ready to…
  17. Researchers uncover new pathway in the body that stimulates liver repair

    News-medical.net -Health
    01.19 / 06:44 www.news-medical.net
    A team of Michigan State University researchers, led by James Luyendyk in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has uncovered a new pathway in the body that stimulates liver…
  18. Feds destroy illegal timber

    Livehealthy.chron.com - Health
    01.19 / 06:34 livehealthy.chron.com
    Federal officials last month destroyed 24 pallets of illegally harvested timber that was seized in December 2015 at the Port of Houston, the Justice Department announced…
  19. Nigeria: Melinda Gates Commends Kaduna Govt On Child Health, Others

    Allafrica.com -Health
    01.19 / 06:07 allafrica.com
    [Premium Times] The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has been commended for his leadership in improving child health. Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BMGF, gave this assessment when she visited Kaduna on…
  20. Here’s Why You Can Count on Calendula Oil

    Mercola.com -Health
    01.19 / 06:07 www.mercola.com
    Marigold has much value today and in traditional cultures as a homeopathic remedy, but the oil extracted from the flowers, called calendula oil, is not far behind in providing benefits. Learn more about this oil distilled from the petals of the pot marigold or Calendula officinalis, and how you can harness its health and practical everyday uses. What Is Calendula Oil? Marigold is a genus of about 15 to 20 species of plants in the Asteraceae family.1 This flower is…