Funded Projects


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2015 Funded Projects

CFDHRE Peer Reviewed Grant ~ Open Category

Project Title:

“Can Clinicopathological Features of Low-Grade Oral Dysplasia with High-Risk Molecular Patterns Predict Malignant Progression?”

Lead Principal Applicant

Denise M. Laronde, RDH, PhD;
Title: Assistant Professor
Organization: The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Dentistry
Address: Room 170, J.B. Macdonald Building, 2199 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3

Principal Applicant:

Leigha D. Rock, RDH, BDSc, (MSc candidate)
Title: Graduate Student
Organization: The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Dentistry
Address: Room 170, J.B. Macdonald Building, 2199 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3

Award

$10,000

Abstract:

Problem Statement: Oral cancer has a poor survival rate mainly due to late stage diagnosis. Early detection is vital to the improvement of this prognosis. Oral potentially malignant lesions (OPML) with evidence of dysplasia are at greatest risk of progressing to oral cancer. However, not all OPML will progress to cancer; predicting which low-grade dysplasia (LGD; mild/moderate dysplasia) are at risk of progression is challenging. The malignant transformation of OPML is thought to be driven by the accumulation of genetic damage over time, which may result in changes in lesion behaviour such as persistence, disappearance and progression. Finding markers to predict which LGD will progress has the potential to guide the management of these lesions and improve patient outcomes.

Purpose/Aim: 1) To identify the clinicopathological changes in toluidine blue (TB) uptake over time, in lesions with identified molecular risk patterns; 2) to determine if these changes predict malignant progression.

Methods: Inclusion criteria include a histologically confirmed LGD, no previous history of head and neck cancer, and a minimum of one year of follow-up. Molecular data (loss of heterozygosity at key chromosomal loci) will be at baseline. Comparative biopsies will be collected approximately every 24 months. Demographic and clinical data, including TB positivity are collected every six months. Outcome is progression to severe dysplasia, carcinoma in situ (CIS), or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Results: We anticipate that there will be an interaction between high-risk molecular changes and temporal patterns of TB staining which will be associated with progression. We expect high-risk LGD which progress to outcome are more likely to have a history of TB positivity, repeated positivity, and returning positivity than those that do not progress.

Conclusions: Temporal patterns of clinicopathological changes in TB staining, during follow-up signal a change in risk, and may aid in clinician judgment regarding the need for further biopsy.

CFDHRE Peer Reviewed Grant ~ Restricted Category

Project Title:

“Peer- Led Education Model for Oral Health Promotion in Elementary School-Aged Children.”

Lead Principal Applicant

Jolanta Aleksejuniene, DDS, MSc, PhD;
Title: Assistant Professor and Chair, Division of Community Dentistry
Organization: Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia
Address: 2199 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3

Principal Applicant:

Rachel Hei In Pang, BDSc (DH), RDH, (MSc Candidate)
Title: Graduate Student
Organization: Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia
Address: 2199 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3

Award

$10,000

Abstract:

Problem Statement: With the exception of biannual screening of kindergarten children, there are no comprehensive public children dental programs in British Columbia. Consequently, the dental needs of older elementary school-age children are frequently unaddressed potentially until advanced dental decay or pain develops.

Purpose/Aim: To develop and pre-test a sustainable peer-led (student-led) oral health promotion program for elementary school-aged children based on the Lay-Health Advisor model.

Methods: Grade 4 to 6 students from elementary schools in Richmond, Surrey and Nanaimo, BC are invited to participate. Each school will be in one of four levels of involvement: 1. Passive control – dental screening for children with one year follow-up; 2. Active control – dental screening and conventional lecture for children; 3. Child-focused intervention – dental screening with peer-led oral health promotion program for children; and 4. Combined intervention – dental screening and conventional lecture to children and newsletters to their caregivers. The Grade 6 students (peer-leaders) in the Child-focused intervention group will receive small group activities and individual training sessions to acquire dental health knowledge and oral self-care skills. After training, peer leaders have biweekly sessions with their younger Grade 4 and 5 “buddies”. For all children, data will be collected through dietary worksheets, dental screenings, oral self-care observations, intra-oral photos before and after tooth brushing and focus groups with key stakeholders.

Results: Hypotheses: both the peer-leaders and their younger buddies (Groups 3&4) improve on dental knowledge and oral self-care skills. We also expect self-efficacy, self-confidence and self-empowerment of the leaders to increase. We expect only minimal improvements in control groups (Groups 1&2).

Conclusions: This pilot feasibility study uses existing infrastructure of elementary schools to address the needs of vulnerable children. If this sustainable peer-led program is efficient in the study schools, the program will be expanded to include other schools.