Nearly 300 visitors and staff received free mouth and throat screenings at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and The Mount Sinai Hospital during Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month in April. Free educational material about oropharyngeal cancer and its association with the human papillomavirus (HPV)—which accounts for nearly 85 percent of new cases—also was available at both campuses. “Patients who have oropharyngeal cancer caused by HPV and receive timely treatment have better survival rates than those who don’t act quickly,” says Brett Miles, MD, DDS, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Head and Neck Surgeon at the Head and Neck Institute. Other risk factors for oral cancer include alcohol and tobacco use.
A new therapeutic clinical trial is now available at Mount Sinai for patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal (tonsil and tongue base) cancer who are eligible to undergo robot-assisted surgery. This study tests a novel vaccine (ADXS11-001) that patients receive during a specific window prior to undergoing surgery.
As an oncologist, I am often confronted with patients with advanced gynecologic malignancies with limited successful options to cure them. The success of treating and curing patients with cancer depends not only on the skills and technologies, it is very much dependent on the patients and the stage of their diseases. Too often, we are not able to detect these malignancies early because we do not know what causes the disease and there are no early detection tests so that by the time a patient is in my office, the disease is at an advanced stage. Cervical cancer, however, is one of the few gynecologic malignancies that we know is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that can be detected by a simple pap smear. Furthermore, cervical cancer can be prevented with an HPV vaccination.