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The Oral Cancer Foundation Issues First Research Grants
Date:11/20/2007

ch over the last decade has pointed to the human papillomavirus (HPV-16), the same virus that causes the vast majority of all cervical cancers, as a significant risk factor, especially in cases affecting young non-smoking men and women.

Grant recipients.

Dr. Maura Gillison

Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, merited headlines across the globe for her research on the role the HPV virus plays in the etiology of oral cancer, and without ambiguity defined the link between the two. Her work has changed the demographic norms for those previously considered at risk for the disease, and has broad implications for developing preventative measures for HPV-positive patients and treatment options for oral cancer patients with HPV-derived cancer.

Dr. David Wong

David Wong, DMD, DMSc, director of the UCLA Dental Research Institute, is a nationally recognized expert in the emerging field of salivary diagnostics. Wong's work will yield an accurate, noninvasive test for very early detection of oral cancer, and likely other high-impact systemic diseases within a few years. It is the first viable option for conducting mass public screenings for oral cancer using only a small amount of saliva and a computer chip which looks for specific biomarkers. Given the shift in etiology of oral cancer cases away from the obvious potential patient identifiers like smoking to the less easily detectable virus, Wong's research will be instrumental in identifying those most at-risk for the disease.

Dr. Ann Gillenwater

Ann M. Gillenwater, MD, associate professor, department of head and neck surgery, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been part of a pioneering team in the use of tissue fluorescence as a discovery tool in oral cancers. Tissue fluorescence, in which a specific spectrum of light is used to differentiate healthy cells from those which are not, will allow the health car
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SOURCE The Oral Cancer Foundation
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