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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: Debunking indoor tanning myths

If you’ve ever vacationed to a sunny beach spot, you’ve probably considered hitting the tanning salon to get a ‘base tan’ before leaving. In light of National Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Health Talk spoke to DeAnn Lazovich, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and the School of Public Health, who debunked four common tanning myths.

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news-and-notes

A dentist’s role in oral cancer treatment

Open wide!

Each trip to the dentist helps spot and treat cavities, clean teeth, provide preventative treatments like sealants, and seek out signs of gum disease. But many don’t realize it is a cancer screening, too.

“A routine dental exam is vital for maintaining good oral health, and it’s also the best method for detecting oral cancer in its early stages,” says Mark Roettger, D.D.S., Clinic Director of the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic. “Dentists have the primary role in oral cancer detection because we work most closely with the mouth, and inspect it most thoroughly.”

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Can laryngeal cancer survival differences be explained by pre-existing conditions or treatment types?

In a new study conducted by the University of Minnesota, researchers found that patients with early laryngeal cancer have greater survival outcomes if their treatment includes surgery, even when they adjusted for other medical problems and sociodemographics.

The research conducted by University of Minnesota otolaryngologist, Stephanie Misono, M.D., M.P.H. and health policy expert, Schelomo Marmor, Ph.D., in conjunction with Bevan Yueh, MD MPH in otolaryngology and senior author Beth A. Virnig PhD, was a follow up study to their prior work, in which they saw a difference in survival outcomes between patients treated with surgery vs patients treated with radiation for their early laryngeal cancer, leading them to investigate if other medical conditions or sociodemographic factors influenced those results.

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expert-perspectives

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

A new national survey confirmed indications e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.

The study was conducted by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Youth Tobacco survey. Findings included the use of e-cigarettes has increased from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014 among middle school Children. The survey found the use among high school students almost tripled, from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent. The numbers equivocate to 450,000 middle school users and 2 million high school stu

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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN finding helps scientists better understand DNA binding protein’s role in vaccination success

T-cells are essential to keeping our bodies safe from infection and disease. They roam the body looking for infection, and upon discovering it, work to clean it up. Anything that can improve how effective T-cells are, or how we understand them to work is a step toward advancing human health.

In the same vein, a recent finding led by University of Minnesota researchers in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of California unveils a new understanding of T-cell operation.

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news-and-notes

Minnesota invests in regenerative medicine

Last year, the 2014 Minnesota legislative session brought a big win for regenerative medicine, as legislators passed a bill allotting nearly $50 million over 10 years for regenerative medicine research, clinical translation and commercialization efforts.

Some of that research funding has now been awarded to Bruce Walcheck, Ph.D., professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, whose proposal was one of six funded out of 90 applications. Bruce is the principal investigator on a new $500,000 grant for research on engineering human pluripotent stem cells to generate enhanced natural killer cells for cancer therapy. The ultimate goal: treating cancer using the patient’s immune system.

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