AAOMS conference shares innovations in research
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons held its first Clinical and Scientific Innovations for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (CSIOMS) conference to share the specialty’s latest advancements and cutting-edge research.
National experts from various disciplines delivered more than 15 dynamic presentations on a wide array of progressive topics, such as how personalized medicine could help treat cancer or control pain.
During a session focusing on head and neck oncology, Mark E. P. Prince, M.D., of the University of Michigan, explored the implications of personalized medicine in treating cancer. Genomic sequencing can be used to very precisely tailor treatment for individuals, he said. The process has shown initial promising results in treating cancers and has the potential to improve results for head and neck cancer patients, Prince added.
For head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients, a mix of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy and targeted therapy could be used to improve outcomes, he said.
“The future of whole genome sequencing is bright,” Prince said. “I’m sure it’s going to allow us to understand a lot more about head and neck cancer and other tumors. I believe it will lead to more effective therapy.”
In a session on precision pain management, Deepak Krishnan, D.D.S., FACS, of the University of Cincinnati, discussed a pilot study that has shown patients differ in how their bodies metabolize narcotic painkillers. With a simple test, patients could be placed in categories – and receive varying prescription doses – to coincide with how they metabolize the drugs.
While most patients fall in the intermediate and extensive ranges, he said some patients are “ultra metabolizers” who get pain relief with lower doses but experience more extreme side effects. Those at the other end of the spectrum are “poor metabolizers” who need higher doses to get pain relief and experience milder side effects, he said. Krishnan asked attendees to imagine a time when wisdom teeth extraction patients can undergo a test that will provide insight into how they will respond to medications.
“I suspect this is how we’ll practice medicine in the future,” Krishnan said.
The format of the three-day conference in late April encouraged discussion and supported further research, with engaging question-and-answer sessions and six residents presenting their oral abstracts on topics such as how restriction of antibiotics when treating mandible fractures may not raise infection risk. Researchers also discussed how stem cell therapy can be used to reconstruct maxillofacial defects.
“As it is for most dental and medical specialty associations, a primary responsibility of the AAOMS Board of Trustees is to plan for the future of our specialty,” AAOMS President-Elect Brett L. Ferguson, D.D.S., FACS, told attendees. “In recent years, AAOMS has made significant investments in the area of clinical research. It is our avid belief that solid, evidence-based research is key to securing that future for our fellows and members, for future generations of oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and, perhaps most importantly, for our patients whose lives are significantly improved as a result of our research activities.”