Smoking could make head and neck cancer more aggressive

In a new study, researchers found why smoking could make head and neck cancer more aggressive.

The research was conducted by a team from Thomas Jefferson University.

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world.

The vast majority of cases are head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), a type of cancer that arises in the outer layer of the skin and mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and throat.

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for developing the disease, and the unhealthy habit can make cancer treatment less effective.

In the new study, the team examined the effects of cigarette smoke on head and neck tumor progression.

They found that cigarette smoke reprograms the cells surrounding the cancer cells, and helps drive HNSCC aggressiveness.

The team says cigarette smoke changes the metabolism of cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, making the tumors more efficient as an ecosystem to promote cancer growth.

The finding is part of a growing interest in understanding the metabolic relationship between different cells in the tumor microenvironment, and how doctors can target them to improve patient outcomes.

The clinical trial will use a two-pronged approach to combat cancer.

The trial will combine a common drug for diabetes called metformin that will target the cancer cells’ altered metabolism with FDA-approved immunotherapy called durvalumab, which a checkpoint or PD-L1 inhibitor that takes the breaks off the immune system.

The team thinks metformin and durvalumab might have a synergistic effect on cancer, where metformin slows the bad players, the cancer cells, and durvalumab grows the strength of the good players, the immune cells.

The leader of the study is Ubaldo Martinez-Outschoorn, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Medical Oncology.

The study is published in the journal Molecular Cancer Research.

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