Dr. Walid Qoronfleh, Director of Research and Policy at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), has co-authored a chapter of a book that takes an in-depth look at cancers of the mouth, known as human oral cancer.
The book, ‘Development of Oral Cancer: Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies’, identifies different aspects of human oral cancer as a step toward the alleviation and prevention of the disease. Oral cancer is one of the most common non-communicable diseases worldwide with an estimated 300,000 new cases and 145,000 deaths in 2012. Oral cancer occurs in increased frequency in developing countries compared to developed ones.
Dr. Qoronfleh’s contribution, a chapter entitled ‘Novel Developments in the Molecular Genetic Basis of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC)’, is co-authored with Dr. Nader Al-Dewik of the Qatar Medical Genetics Center, part of Hamad Medical Corporation. The chapter examines the most common molecular genetic alterations of cancer cells and the role of these cells in the development of oral cancer, with a view to help develop targeted therapeutic approaches to the disease. Oral health and tobacco cessation are key health areas for the Ministry of Public Health, as per the Qatar Public Health Strategy 2017-2022.
Dr. Qoronfleh said: “Early stage detection not only improves prognosis but also increases the survival rate and enhances a patient’s quality of life. Advances in the understanding of the molecular basis of oral cancer should help in the identification of new biomarkers and open new horizons for therapy, especially targeted therapy, which is likely to be more successful in the long run.”
“Another way to combat oral cancer is education. Public awareness programs are necessary tools to fight oral cancer at all levels in terms of diagnosis, risk management, and treatment monitoring,” he added.
The greatest challenge related to oral cancer is that the disease is often not detected early enough for successful treatment. The World Health Organization has reported that oral cancer malignancies and mortality are increasing, with an alarming rise in incidence among young people in the Arab world due to various tobacco habits. Studying the carcinogenic process of oral cancer helps with the identification of new diagnostic and/or prognostic markers, providing a promising basis for the application of more rational, targeted, and efficient therapies.
‘Development of Oral Cancer: Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies’ is published by Springer International Publishing and is edited by Ala-Eddin Al Moustafa, a professor at the College of Medicine at Qatar University and adjunct professor of the oncology department of McGill University, Canada.
WISH, an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has a longstanding commitment to raising awareness around global health issues and developing evidence-based research to address related policy challenges.