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Improving thyroid function monitoring in head and neck cancer patients: A quality improvement study

Bhatt, Nupur; Taufique, Zahrah; Kamen, Emily; Wang, Binhuan; Concert, Catherine; Li, Zujun; Hu, Kenneth; Givi, Babak
OBJECTIVE:To investigate and improve compliance of thyroid function monitoring in head and neck cancer patients who received radiotherapy to the cervical region before and after instituting quality improvement interventions. METHODS:Using the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) methodology, patients with head and neck malignancies who received radiotherapy to the cervical region from 2013-2015 were identified at a tertiary medical center. The status of the patients' thyroid monitoring and related characteristics were recorded. A quality improvement project was subsequently implemented by data sharing and providing feedback to practitioners involved in head and neck cancer care and creating a tracking database for all patients who received radiotherapy to the neck. After implementation of these interventions, data was collected on patients meeting the inclusion criteria from 2015-2017. RESULTS:One hundred fifty-six patients met criteria pre-intervention and ninety-eight patients met criteria post-intervention. Compliance of thyroid monitoring went up from 34% to 80% after interventions (P < .0001). There was a significant increase in thyroid testing performed by radiation oncologists after interventions from 2% to 21%, while medical oncologists and otolaryngologists remained consistent in their compliance rates. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:It is possible to improve compliance with evidence-based recommendations and improve the quality-of-care for head and neck cancer survivors through simple, cost effective interventions. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:2 Laryngoscope, 2019.
PMID: 31778220
ISSN: 1531-4995
CID: 4216182

Full automation of spinal stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment planning using Varian Eclipse scripting

Teruel, Jose R; Malin, Martha; Liu, Elisa K; McCarthy, Allison; Hu, Kenneth; Cooper, Bejamin T; Sulman, Erik P; Silverman, Joshua S; Barbee, David
The purpose of this feasibility study is to develop a fully automated procedure capable of generating treatment plans with multiple fractionation schemes to improve speed, robustness, and standardization of plan quality. A fully automated script was implemented for spinal stereotactic radiosurgery/stereotactic body radiation therapy (SRS/SBRT) plan generation using Eclipse v15.6 API. The script interface allows multiple dose/fractionation plan requests, planning target volume (PTV) expansions, as well as information regarding distance/overlap between spinal cord and targets to drive decision-making. For each requested plan, the script creates the course, plans, field arrangements, and automatically optimizes and calculates dose. The script was retrospectively applied to ten computed tomography (CT) scans of previous cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine SBRT patients. Three plans were generated for each patient - simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) 1800/1600 cGy to gross tumor volume (GTV)/PTV in one fraction; SIB 2700/2100 cGy to GTV/PTV in three fractions; and 3000 cGy to PTV in five fractions. Plan complexity and deliverability patient-specific quality assurance (QA) was performed using ArcCHECK with an Exradin A16 chamber inserted. Dose objectives were met for all organs at risk (OARs) for each treatment plan. Median target coverage was GTV V100% = 87.3%, clinical target volume (CTV) V100% = 95.7% and PTV V100% = 88.0% for single fraction plans; GTV V100% = 95.6, CTV V100% = 99.6% and PTV V100% = 97.2% for three fraction plans; and GTV V100% = 99.6%, CTV V100% = 99.1% and PTV V100% = 97.2% for five fraction plans. All plans (n = 30) passed patient-specific QA (>90%) at 2%/2 mm global gamma. A16 chamber dose measured at isocenter agreed with planned dose within 3% for all cases. Automatic planning for spine SRS/SBRT through scripting increases efficiency, standardizes plan quality and approach, and provides a tool for target coverage comparison of different fractionation schemes without the need for additional resources.
PMID: 32965754
ISSN: 1526-9914
CID: 4605772

Prognostic potential of mid-treatment nodal response in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Byun, David J; Tam, Moses M; Jacobson, Adam S; Persky, Mark S; Tran, Theresa T; Givi, Babak; DeLacure, Mark D; Li, Zujun; Harrison, Louis B; Hu, Kenneth S
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 17 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 ≥43% at D20 had improved LRC (100% vs 78.4%, P = .03) compared to D20 ND <43%. On multivariate analysis, D20 ≥43% was independently prognostic for LRC (HR 1.17, P = .05). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Patients with low-risk oropharynx cancer with ND of ≥43% by treatment day 20 had significantly improved LRC. The prognostic benefit of ND may assist in identifying candidates for treatment de-escalation.
PMID: 32964574
ISSN: 1097-0347
CID: 4605742

Adaptive radiotherapy based on statistical process control for oropharyngeal cancer

Wang, Hesheng; Xue, Jinyu; Chen, Ting; Qu, Tanxia; Barbee, David; Tam, Moses; Hu, Kenneth
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study is to quantify dosimetric changes throughout the delivery of oropharyngeal cancer treatment and to investigate the application of statistical process control (SPC) for the management of significant deviations during the course of radiotherapy. METHODS:Thirteen oropharyngeal cancer patients with daily cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) were retrospectively reviewed. Cone beam computed tomography images of every other fraction were imported to the Velocity software and registered to planning CT using the 6 DOF (degrees of freedom) couch shifts generated during patient setup. Using Velocity "Adaptive Monitoring" module, the setup-corrected CBCT was matched to planning CT using a deformable registration. Volumes and dose metrics at each fraction were calculated and rated with plan values to evaluate interfractional dosimetric variations using a SPC framework. T-tests between plan and fraction volumes were performed to find statistically insignificant fractions. Average upper and lower process capacity limits (UCL, LCL) of each dose metric were derived from these fractions using conventional SPC guidelines. RESULTS:Gross tumor volume (GTV) and organ at risk (OAR) volumes in the first 13 fractions had no significant changes from the pretreatment planning CT. The GTV and the parotid glands subsequently decreased by 10% at the completion of treatment. There were 3-4% increases in parotid mean doses, but no significant differences in dose metrics of GTV and other OARs. The changes were organ and patient dependent. Control charts for various dose metrics were generated to assess the metrics at each fraction for individual patient. CONCLUSIONS:Daily CBCT could be used to monitor dosimetric variations of targets and OARs resulting from volume changes and tissue deformation in oropharyngeal cancer radiotherapy. Treatment review with the guidance of a SPC tool allows for an objective and consistent clinical decision to apply adaptive radiotherapy.
PMID: 32770651
ISSN: 1526-9914
CID: 4560192

Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities and Survival of Human Papillomavirus-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Rotsides, Janine M; Oliver, Jamie R; Moses, Lindsey E; Tam, Moses; Li, Zujun; Schreiber, David; Jacobson, Adam S; Hu, Kenneth S; Givi, Babak
OBJECTIVE:To investigate differences in epidemiology of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) with regards to human papillomavirus (HPV), race, and socioeconomic status (SES) using the National Cancer Database (NCDB). STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Population-based cohort study. SETTING/METHODS:Racial and socioeconomic disparities in survival of OPSCC have been previously acknowledged. However, the distribution of HPV-related cancers and its influence on survival in conjunction with race and SES remain unclear. SUBJECTS AND METHODS/METHODS:All patients with OPSCC in the NCDB with known HPV status from 2010 to 2016 were included. Differences in presentation, HPV status, treatment, and outcomes were compared along racial and socioeconomic lines. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression survival analyses were performed. RESULTS:< .001) were associated with worse survival. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Significant differences in HPV status exist between socioeconomic and racial groups, with HPV-negative disease more common among blacks and lower SES. When controlling for HPV status, race and SES still influence outcomes in oropharyngeal cancers.
PMID: 32660368
ISSN: 1097-6817
CID: 4527952

Tracheostomy during COV-SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: Recommendations from the New York Head and Neck Society

Miles, Brett A; Schiff, Bradley; Ganly, Ian; Ow, Thomas; Cohen, Erik; Genden, Eric; Culliney, Bruce; Mehrotra, Bhoomi; Savona, Steven; Wong, Richard J; Haigentz, Missak; Caruana, Salvatore; Givi, Babak; Patel, Kepal; Hu, Kenneth
The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019 and 2020 has resulted in a worldwide pandemic characterized by severe pulmonary inflammation, effusions, and rapid respiratory compromise. The result of this pandemic is a large and increasing number of patients requiring endotracheal intubation and prolonged ventilator support. The rapid rise in endotracheal intubations coupled with prolonged ventilation requirements will certainly lead to an increase in tracheostomy procedures in the coming weeks and months. Performing tracheostomy in the setting of active COV-SARS-CoV-2, when necessary, poses a unique situation, with unique risks and benefits for both the patient and the health care providers. The New York Head and Neck Society has collaborated on this document to provide guidance on the performance of tracheostomies during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
PMID: 32304119
ISSN: 1097-0347
CID: 4396602

Photobiomodulation Therapy to Mitigate Radiation Fibrosis Syndrome

Tam, Moses; Arany, Praveen R; Robijns, Jolien; Vasconcelos, Rebeca; Corby, Patricia; Hu, Kenneth
PMID: 32460618
ISSN: 2578-5478
CID: 4474262

Radiotherapy dose and survival outcomes in human papillomavirus positive oropharyngeal cancer

Tam, M; Wu, S P; Gerber, N K; Lee, A; Schreiber, D; Givi, B; Hu, K
OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the effect of definitive radiotherapy dose on survival in patients with human papillomavirus positive oropharyngeal carcinoma. METHODS:Human papillomavirus positive oropharyngeal carcinoma patients staged T1-3 and N0-2c, who received definitive radiotherapy (fraction sizes of 180 cGy to less than 220 cGy), were identified from the National Cancer Database 2010-2014 and stratified by radiation dose (50 Gy to less than 66 Gy, or 66 Gy or more). RESULTS:A total of 2173 patients were included, of whom 124 (6 per cent) received a radiation dose of 50 Gy to less than 66 Gy. With a median follow up of 33.8 months, patients had a 3-year overall survival rate of 88.6 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval = 87.1-90.1 per cent). On multivariate Cox analysis, a radiotherapy dose of 50 Gy to less than 66 Gy (hazard ratio = 0.95, 95 per cent confidence interval = 0.52-1.74, p = 0.86) was not a predictor of increased mortality risk. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Human papillomavirus positive oropharyngeal carcinoma patients had excellent outcomes with definitive radiotherapy doses of 50 Gy to less than 66 Gy. These results further support patients enrolling into clinical trials for radiation dose de-escalation.
PMID: 32616096
ISSN: 1748-5460
CID: 4537442

Human papillomavirus and survival of patients with sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma

Oliver, Jamie R; Lieberman, Seth M; Tam, Moses M; Liu, Cheng Z; Li, Zujun; Hu, Kenneth S; Morris, Luc G T; Givi, Babak
BACKGROUND:To the authors' knowledge, the question of whether human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with outcomes in patients with sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma (SNSCC) is not well studied at this time. In the current study, the authors investigated patterns of HPV testing and its association with survival in patients with SNSCC using the National Cancer Data Base. METHODS:The authors selected all SNSCC cases diagnosed between 2010 and 2016. HPV testing practices, clinicodemographic factors, treatments, and survival were analyzed. Multivariable Cox regression and propensity score-matched survival analyses were performed. RESULTS:A total of 6458 SNSCC cases were identified. Of these, only 1523 cases (23.6%) were tested for HPV and included in the current study. The median patient age was 64 years and the majority had advanced stage tumors (overall AJCC stage III-IV, 721 patients; 62.1%). HPV-positive SNSCC comprised 31.5% (447 of 1418 cases) of the final study cohort. Among 15 hospitals that routinely tested nonoropharyngeal SCCs for HPV, the percentage of HPV-positive SNSCCs was smaller (24.6%; P = .04). Patients with HPV-positive SNSCC were younger (aged 60 years vs 65 years; P < .001), with tumors that were more likely to be high grade (55.3% vs 41.7%; P < .001), and attributed to the nasal cavity (62.2% vs 44.0%; P < .001). HPV-positive SNSCC was associated with significantly improved overall survival in multivariable regression analysis (hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.28-0.72 [P = .001]) and propensity score-matched (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.38-0.96 [P = .03]) analyses controlling for clinicodemographic and treatment factors. CONCLUSIONS:Currently, only a minority of patients with SNSCC are tested for HPV. However, a sizable percentage of SNSCC cases may be HPV related; furthermore, HPV-positive SNSCC is associated with improved overall survival. Routine HPV testing may be warranted in patients with SNSCC.
PMID: 31886908
ISSN: 1097-0142
CID: 4251152

Patterns of Care and Survival of Cutaneous Angiosarcoma of the Head and Neck

Chang, Clifford; Wu, S Peter; Hu, Kenneth; Li, Zujun; Schreiber, David; Oliver, Jamie; Givi, Babak
OBJECTIVE:To analyze the patterns of care and survival of cutaneous angiosarcomas of the head and neck. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective cohort study. SETTING/METHODS:National Cancer Database. METHODS:The National Cancer Database was queried to select patients with cutaneous angiosarcoma of the head and neck between 2004 and 2015. For survival analysis, patients were included only if they received definitive treatment and complete data. Prognostic factors were analyzed by univariate and multivariable Cox regression. RESULTS:< .001) predicted worse overall survival. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Angiosarcoma of head and neck is a rare malignancy that affects the elderly. Surgical treatment with negative margins is associated with improved survival. Even with curative-intent multimodality treatment, the survival of patients aged ≥75 years is limited.
PMID: 32043919
ISSN: 1097-6817
CID: 4304272