PhD students Chaitanya Joshi and Prarthna Clare both presented their work at the recent SOHRC conference in Dundee. The presentations were very well received and generated a lot of discussion.
Prarthna Clare presented “Head and Neck Cancer:Working towards markers for early disease detection”.
Chaitanya Joshi presented “Assessment of periodontal health in patients acutely admitted for myocardial infarction: a case-control study”.
Head and Neck Cancer: Working towards markers for early disease detection
I discussed the rise of incidence of HPV infection which has been linked with the rise in the number of HPV positive head and neck cancer cases and how high mortality rates remain an issue. I talked about how the aim was to thus, identify biomarkers for early detection through morphological and immunological characterisation. I then briefly talked about how this was being studied by looking at changes in the tissue architecture in the oral cavity and oropharynx, studying the immune response generated by premalignant and malignant lesions and also mentioned Collagen IV being a potential marker for looking at angiogenesis.
Assessment of periodontal health in patients acutely admitted for myocardial infarction: a case-control study
A bidirectional relationship between oral health and atherosclerosis was proposed over two decades ago. However, there are significant gaps in the current literature that have hampered the integration of oral health care in guidelines for secondary prevention of cardiovascular problems. Examples of such gaps are: 1) insufficient information on the weighting of oral inflammation on the risk of cardiovascular events over other shared risk factors, 2) lack of studies using quantitative approaches to measure the relationship between periodontal inflammation and severity of cardiovascular events. For the first time, as part of my PhD, I am exploring the association between periodontal health and acute myocardial infarction (MI) events by quantifying and comparing the periodontal inflammatory burden in MI patients and healthy controls, matched for- age, gender, and common risk factors.
My interim analysis confirms that MI patients have a higher periodontal inflammatory burden compared to controls. Crucially, I have demonstrated that individuals with periodontitis are four times more likely to suffer from MI than periodontally-healthy individuals”