Discharge Disposition After Head and Neck Reconstruction: Effect on Adjuvant Therapy and Outcomes
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Head and neck cancer patients that require major reconstruction often have advanced-stage disease. Discharge disposition of patients can vary and impact time to adjuvant treatment. We sought to examine outcomes in patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNF) compared to those discharged home, including the impact on adjuvant therapy initiation and treatment package time (TPT). METHODS:Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treated with surgical resection and microvascular free flap reconstruction from 2019 to 2022 were included. Retrospective review was conducted to evaluate the impact of disposition on time to radiation (RT) and TPT. RESULTS:230 patients were included, with 165 (71.7%) discharged to home and 65 (28.3%) discharged to SNF. 79.1% of patients were recommended adjuvant therapy. Average time to RT was 59 days for patients discharged to home compared to 70.1 days for patients discharged to SNF. Disposition was an independent risk factor for delays to starting RT (p = 0.03). TPT was 101.7 days for patients discharged to home versus 112.3 days for those who discharged to SNF. Patients discharged to SNF had higher rates of readmission (p < 0.005) compared to patients discharged home in an adjusted multivariate logistic regression. CONCLUSIONS:Patients discharged to an SNF had significantly delayed time to initiation of adjuvant treatment and higher rates of readmission. Timeliness to adjuvant treatment has recently been established as a quality measure, thus identifying delays to adjuvant treatment initiation should be a priority. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:3 Laryngoscope, 2023.
Validity of the American College of Radiology Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System in Children
OBJECTIVE:To assess the validity of the American College of Radiology Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (ACR TI-RADS) for evaluating thyroid nodules in children. METHODS:Patients aged <19 years with thyroid nodule(s) evaluated by ultrasound (US) from 2007-2018 at a tertiary children's hospital were included. Two radiologists scored de-identified thyroid US images using ACR TI-RADS (from 1, "benign" to 5, "highly suspicious"). The radiologists recorded size and rated vascularity for each nodule. Ultrasound findings were compared to pathology results (operative cases, n = 91) and clinical follow-up without disease progression (non-operative cases, n = 15). RESULTS:Thyroid images from 115 patients were reviewed. Nine patients were excluded due to the absence of an evaluable nodule. Forty-seven benign and 59 malignant nodules were included. Median age at ultrasound was 15 years (range 0.9-18 years). Twenty (18.9%) patients were male. There was moderate agreement between TI-RADS levels assigned by the two raters (kappa = 0.57, p < 0.001). When the raters' levels were averaged, >3 as the threshold for malignancy correctly categorized the greatest percentage of nodules (68.9%). Eleven (18.6%) malignant nodules received a TI-RADS level of 2 (n = 3) or 3 (n = 8). Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 81.4%, 53.2%, 68.6%, and 69.4%, respectively. Although not part of TI-RADS, vascularity was similar between benign and malignant nodules (p = 0.56). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In a pediatric population, TI-RADS can help distinguish between benign and malignant nodules with comparable sensitivity and specificity to adults. However, the positive and negative predictive values suggest TI-RADS alone cannot eliminate the need for FNA. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:3 Laryngoscope, 2022.
Response to Neoadjuvant Targeted Therapy in Operable Head and Neck Cancer Confers Survival Benefit
PURPOSE:Neoadjuvant targeted therapy provides a brief, preoperative window of opportunity that can be exploited to individualize cancer care based on treatment response. We investigated whether response to neoadjuvant therapy during the preoperative window confers survival benefit in patients with operable head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). PATIENTS AND METHODS:A pooled analysis of treatment-naïve patients with operable HNSCC enrolled in one of three clinical trials from 2009 to 2020 (NCT00779389, NCT01218048, NCT02473731). Neoadjuvant regimens consisted of EGFR inhibitors (n = 83) or anti-ErbB3 antibody therapy (n = 9) within 28 days of surgery. Clinical to pathologic stage migration was compared with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) while adjusting for confounding factors using multivariable Cox regression. Circulating tumor markers validated in other solid tumor models were analyzed. RESULTS:92 of 118 patients were analyzed; all patients underwent surgery following neoadjuvant therapy. Clinical to pathologic downstaging was more frequent in patients undergoing neoadjuvant targeted therapy compared with control cohort (P = 0.048). Patients with pathologic downstage migration had the highest OS [89.5%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 75.7-100] compared with those with no stage change (58%; 95% CI, 46.2-69.8) or upstage (40%; 95% CI, 9.6-70.4; P = 0.003). Downstage migration remained a positive prognostic factor for OS (HR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.05-0.90) while adjusting for measured confounders. Downstage migration correlated with decreased circulating tumor markers, SOX17 and TAC1 (P = 0.0078). CONCLUSIONS:Brief neoadjuvant therapy achieved pathologic downstaging in a subset of patients and was associated with significantly better DFS and OS as well as decreased circulating methylated SOX17 and TAC1.
Graph deep learning for the characterization of tumour microenvironments from spatial protein profiles in tissue specimens
Multiplexed immunofluorescence imaging allows the multidimensional molecular profiling of cellular environments at subcellular resolution. However, identifying and characterizing disease-relevant microenvironments from these rich datasets is challenging. Here we show that a graph neural network that leverages spatial protein profiles in tissue specimens to model tumour microenvironments as local subgraphs captures distinctive cellular interactions associated with differential clinical outcomes. We applied this spatial cellular-graph strategy to specimens of human head-and-neck and colorectal cancers assayed with 40-plex immunofluorescence imaging to identify spatial motifs associated with cancer recurrence and with patient survival after treatment. The graph deep learning model was substantially more accurate in predicting patient outcomes than deep learning approaches that model spatial data on the basis of the local composition of cell types, and it generated insights into the effect of the spatial compartmentalization of tumour cells and granulocytes on patient prognosis. Local graphs may also aid in the analysis of disease-relevant motifs in histology samples characterized via spatial transcriptomics and other -omics techniques.
A phase Ⅱ prospective trial of photobiomodulation therapy in limiting oral mucositis in the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer patients
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:This study aimed to compare the historical incidence rate of severe oral mucositis (OM) in head and neck cancer patients undergoing definitive concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CRT) versus a prospective cohort of patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with prophylactic photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT). METHODS/UNASSIGNED:This US-based, institutional, single-arm, phase Ⅱ prospective clinical trial was initiated in 50 patients (age ≥ 18 years, Karnofsky Performance Scale Index > 60, with locally advanced HNSCC (excluding oral cavity) receiving definitive or adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) with concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy (CT). PBMT was delivered three times per week throughout RT utilizing both an intraoral as well extraoral delivery system. Primary outcome measure was incidence of severe OM utilizing both the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria, version 4.0 (NCI-CTCAE) Grade ≥3 and the World Health Organization Mucositis Grading Scale (WHO) Grade ≥3 versus historical controls; secondary outcome measures included time to onset of severe OM following therapy initiation. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:, respectively. Severe OM was observed in 11 of 47 patients (23%, confidence interval: 12, 38). OM toxicity grade trended upward during treatment, reaching a maximum at 7 weeks (WHO: 1.8 vs. NCI-CTCAE: 1.7). Subsequently, OM grade returned to baseline 3 months following completion of RT. The mean time to onset of severe OM was (35 ± 12) days. The mean time to resolution of severe OM was (37 ± 37) days. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Compared to historical outcomes, PBMT aides in decreasing severe OM in patients with locally advanced HNSCC. PBMT represents a minimally invasive, prophylactic intervention to decrease OM as a major treatment-related side effect.
Transoral Robotic Surgery for Recurrent Tumors of the Upper Aerodigestive Tract (RECUT): An International Cohort Study
BACKGROUND:Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is an emerging minimally invasive surgical treatment for residual, recurrent, and new primary head and neck cancers in previously irradiated fields, with limited evidence for its oncological effectiveness. METHODS:A retrospective observational cohort study of consecutive cases performed in 16 high-volume international centers before August 2018 was conducted (registered at clinicaltrials.gov [NCT04673929] as the RECUT study). Overall survival (OS), disease-free survival, disease-specific survivals (DSS), and local control (LC) were calculated using Kaplan-Meier estimates, with subgroups compared using log-rank tests and Cox proportional hazards modeling for multivariable analysis. Maximally selected rank statistics determined the cut point for closest surgical resection margin based on LC. RESULTS:Data for 278 eligible patients were analyzed, with median follow-up of 38.5 months. Two-year and 5-year outcomes were 69.0% and 62.2% for LC, 71.8% and 49.8% for OS, 47.2% and 35.7% for disease-free survival, and 78.7% and 59.1% for disease-specific survivals. The most discriminating margin cut point was 1.0 mm; the 2-year LC was 80.9% above and 54.2% below or equal to 1.0 mm. Increasing age, current smoking, primary tumor classification, and narrow surgical margins (≤1.0 mm) were statistically significantly associated with lower OS. Hemorrhage with return to theater was seen in 8.1% (n = 22 of 272), and 30-day mortality was 1.8% (n = 5 of 272). At 1 year, 10.8% (n = 21 of 195) used tracheostomies, 33.8% (n = 66 of 195) used gastrostomies, and 66.3% (n = 53 of 80) had maintained or improved normalcy of diet scores. CONCLUSIONS:Data from international centers show TORS to treat head and neck cancers in previously irradiated fields yields favorable outcomes for LC and survival. Where feasible, TORS should be considered the preferred surgical treatment in the salvage setting.
Hydroxychloroquine synergizes with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade in squamous carcinoma of the head and neck
Polyamine transport inhibition with AMXT-1501 synergizes with cisplatin in HNSCC
Response to neoadjuvant targeted therapy in operable head and neck cancer confers survival benefit
Cisplatin resistance of TMEM16A overexpressing head and neck tumors and cancer models is driven by increased lysosomal flux and reversed by Hydroxychloroquine