Improving Quality and Safety of Thyroidectomy [Meeting Abstract]
Introduction: Thyroidectomy is commonly performed in otolaryngology. Complications such as recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury and severe hypocalcemia have reported incidences in national studies as high as 3% and 8%, respectively. Narcotic pain medications are commonly used for postoperative pain management. Here, we present the long-term results of a thyroidectomy quality and safety improvement program, with an emphasis on reducing narcotic use.
Method(s): All surgeons who perform thyroidectomy established standards for antibiotic administration, postoperative calcium management, and narcotics use. The program was established in 2018 and data on adverse events, length of stay, antibiotic and narcotic use were recorded prospectively from June 2018 to January 2021. Data trends were analyzed throughout the course of the study.
Result(s): During the study period, 542 thyroidectomies were performed by 14 surgeons. The average length of stay was less than 24 hours. Five (0.9%) adverse events were recorded: 1 (0.2%) temporary RLN dysfunction, 3 (0.6%) hematomas, 1 (0.2%) surgical site infection, and 1 (0.2%) temporary hypocalcemia. The average number of narcotics prescribed declined from 18 doses (95%CI: 16.8-18.5) in 2019 to 9 in 2020 (95%CI: 8.5-9.6) (p<0.0001), without an increase in need for refills. No instances of permanent hypocalcemia or permanent RLN injury were identified.
Conclusion(s): By implementing a thyroidectomy quality improvement program, we achieved extremely low rates of adverse events and significantly reduced the use of narcotics without adverse effects. These data can inform practitioners and the public about expected outcomes of thyroid surgery, and establish benchmarks for quality and safety.
Anterior Approach to the Subaxial Cervical Spine: Pearls and Pitfalls
Since its introduction by Smith and Robinson, the anterior approach to the subaxial cervical spine has become one of the standard procedures for numerous cervical spine pathologies, including, but not limited to degenerative disease, trauma, tumor, deformity, and instability. Along with its increasing popularity and improvements in anterior instrumentation techniques, a comprehensive knowledge of the surgical anatomy during the anterior exposure is critical for trainees and experienced spine surgeons alike to minimize the infrequent but potentially devastating risks associated with this approach. Understanding the anatomy and techniques to minimize damage to relevant structures can reduce the risks of developing notable postoperative complications and morbidity.
Esophageal Cancer as initial presentation of Fanconi anemia in patients with a hypomorphic FANCA variant
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a clinically heterogenous and genetically diverse disease with 22 known complementation groups (FA-A to FA-W), resulting from the inability to repair DNA interstrand crosslinks. This rare disorder is characterized by congenital defects, bone marrow failure, and cancer predisposition. FANCA is the most commonly mutated gene in FA and a variety of mostly private mutations have been documented, including small and large indels, and point and splicing variants. Genotype-phenotype associations in FA are complex and a relationship between particular FANCA variants and the observed cellular phenotype or illness severity remains unclear. In this study, we describe two siblings with compound heterozygous FANCA variants (c.3788_3790delTCT and c.4199G>A) who both presented with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma at the age of 51. The proband came to attention when he developed pancytopenia after a single cycle of low-dose chemotherapy including platinum-based therapy. Other than a minor thumb abnormality, neither patient had prior findings to suggest FA, including normal blood counts and intact fertility. Patient fibroblasts from both siblings display increased chromosomal breakage and hypersensitivity to interstrand crosslinking agents as seen in typical FA. Based on our functional data demonstrating that the c.4199G>A/p.R1400H variant represents a hypomorphic FANCA allele, we conclude that the residual activity of the Fanconi anemia repair pathway accounts for lack of spontaneous bone marrow failure or infertility with the late presentation of malignancy as the initial disease manifestation. This and similar cases of adult-onset esophageal cancer stress the need for chromosome breakage testing in patients with early onset of aerodigestive tract squamous cell carcinomas before platinum-based therapy is initiated.
Prognostic potential of mid-treatment nodal response in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma
BACKGROUND:We examine the prognostic implications of mid-course nodal response in oropharyngeal cancer (OPX) to radiation therapy. METHODS:In 44 patients with node-positive OPX undergoing concurrent chemoradiation, nodal volumes were measured on cone beam CTs from days 1, 10, 20, and 35. Nodal decrease (ND) was based on percent shrinkage from day 1. RESULTS:At a median follow-up of 17â€‰months, the 2-year disease-free survival (DFS), locoregional control (LRC), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS) were 87%, 92%, 89%, and 92%, respectively. Patients with ND â‰¥43% at D20 had improved LRC (100% vs 78.4%, P = .03) compared to D20 ND <43%. On multivariate analysis, D20 â‰¥43% was independently prognostic for LRC (HR 1.17, P = .05). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Patients with low-risk oropharynx cancer with ND of â‰¥43% by treatment day 20 had significantly improved LRC. The prognostic benefit of ND may assist in identifying candidates for treatment de-escalation.
Oncogenes overexpressed in metastatic oral cancers from patients with pain: potential pain mediators released in exosomes
Oral cancer patients experience pain at the site of the primary cancer. Patients with metastatic oral cancers report greater pain. Lack of pain identifies patients at low risk of metastasis with sensitivityâ€‰=â€‰0.94 and negative predictive valueâ€‰=â€‰0.89. In the same cohort, sensitivity and negative predictive value of depth of invasion, currently the best predictor, were 0.95 and 0.92, respectively. Cancer pain is attributed to cancer-derived mediators that sensitize neurons and is associated with increased neuronal density. We hypothesized that pain mediators would be overexpressed in metastatic cancers from patients reporting high pain. We identified 40 genes overexpressed in metastatic cancers from patients reporting high pain (nâ€‰=â€‰5) compared to N0 cancers (nâ€‰=â€‰10) and normal tissue (nâ€‰=â€‰5). The genes are enriched for functions in extracellular matrix organization and angiogenesis. They have oncogenic and neuronal functions and are reported in exosomes. Hierarchical clustering according to expression of neurotrophic and axon guidance genes also separated cancers according to pain and nodal status. Depletion of exosomes from cancer cell line supernatant reduced nociceptive behavior in a paw withdrawal assay, supporting a role for exosomes in cancer pain. The identified genes and exosomes are potential therapeutic targets for stopping cancer and attenuating pain.
De-escalation with Definitive Unilateral Neck Radiation for T3 or N2b/N3 p16+Tonsil Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using Prospectively Defined Criteria [Meeting Abstract]
PD-1/PD-L1 blockade as first line systematic therapy in locally advanced cutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma [Meeting Abstract]
Clinical experience with mechanically coupled anastomoses in skull base reconstruction [Meeting Abstract]
Background: The reconstruction of major skull base, scalp and calvarial defects with microvascular free flaps has revolutionized the predictable and safe conduct of multidisciplinary oncologic surgery of this region. While extended resections can be more confidently completed, this has not necessarily been accompanied by increased local control or cure. This is due to limitations of radiation tolerance of surrounding tissues, necessary acceptance of involved microscopically close or involved margins, tolerable morbidity, and the lack of specific medical oncologic agents for benign and malignant CNS tumors. Use of coupler devices in routine head and neck defects evolved into use in skull base, calvarial, and intracranial settings where flap loss can be catastrophic.
Method(s): Mechanical microvascular anastomosis became increasingly widely used in head and neck reconstruction in the late 1980s and 1990s as a method to speed the process, and perhaps patency over hand-sewn anastomoses. These have been incorporated primarily in venous interposition graft and end-to-end, and end-to side venous configurations facilitated by vessel pliability and the ability to evert vessel walls over coupler pins. The coupler itself is constructed of 2 polyethylene rings and staggered ferromagnetic pins which match holes on the opposing ring through a friction fit, thus joining the vessels. Because of its construction, and the increased use and preference of MRI for perioperative evaluation early concern for heating and/or rotation, torquing or disruption of new anastomoses, it was studied in a relevant model and found in clinical experience, to be irrelevant.
Conclusion(s): The use of the superficial temporal vessels for recipients is often preferred to save pedicle length, minimize the need for interposition vein grafts (doubling the number of anastomoses and thrombotic opportunity/risk), and often influenced by prior treatment (bicoronal flaps) in which ligation and scar may limit suitability. Additionally, the vein is often thin-walled and technically unusable. The incision for access to these vessels is usually placed immediately in the junctional creases of the ear and cheek, and thus several millimeters removed from the actual course of the vessels. In a broad and significant experience spanning 25 years including 40 skull base microvascular reconstructions, 15 of which used temporal recipient vessels, there have been 2 cases (one calvarial, one intracranial) where the coupler rings have eroded through the temporal skin, and self-ejected, without flap loss, and implying the acquisition of adequate venous supply to support flap survival. Given this observation, unique to this region, hand-sewn anastomoses are specifically recommended when using these vessels so as to minimize potentially catastrophic flap loss. Our experience in microvascular skull base reconstruction in this context is reviewed in support of this recommendation
De-escalation in HPV Era: Definitive Unilateral Neck Radiation for T3 or N2b/N3 p16+Tonsil Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using Prospectively Defined Criteria [Meeting Abstract]
Functional Swallowing Outcomes Using FEES Evaluation After Swallowing-Sparing IMRT in Unilateral Versus Bilateral Neck Radiation [Meeting Abstract]