Nicolas F Schlecht

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (57)217.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Context .- Global proteomic analysis of oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma was performed to identify changes that reflect patient outcomes. Objectives .- To identify differentially expressed proteins associated with patient outcomes and to explore the use of imaging mass spectrometry as a clinical tool to identify clinically relevant proteins. Design .- Two-dimensional separation of digested peptides generated from 43 specimens with high-resolution mass spectrometry identified proteins associated with disease-specific death, distant metastasis, and loco-regional recurrence. RNA expressions had been correlated to protein levels to test transcriptional regulation of clinically relevant proteins. Imaging mass spectrometry explored an alternative platform for assessing clinically relevant proteins that would complement surgical pathologic diagnosis. Results .- Seventy-two peptide features were found to be associated with 3 patient outcomes: disease-specific death (9), distant metastasis (16), and loco-regional recurrence (39); 8 of them were associated with multiple outcomes. Functional ontology revealed major changes in cell adhesion and calcium binding. Thirteen RNAs showed strong correlation with their encoded proteins, implying transcriptional control. Reduction of DSP, PKP1, and TRIM29 was associated with significantly shorter time to onset of distant metastasis. Reduction of PKP1 and TRIM29 correlated with poorer disease-specific survival. Additionally, S100A8 and S100A9 reductions were verified for their association with poor prognosis using imaging mass spectrometry, a platform more adaptable for use with surgical pathology. Conclusions .- Using global proteomic analysis, we have identified proteins associated with clinical outcomes. The list of clinically relevant proteins observed will provide a means to develop clinical assays for prognosis and optimizing treatment selection.
    Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 10/2014; · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common among adolescents, and multiple STIs over one's lifetime can increase health risks. Few studies have assessed lifetime STI prevalence. This study evaluates minority, underserved adolescents' self-reported lifetime STI history and objective STI rates. Methods. Lifetime STI rates of female patients at an urban adolescent health center were obtained from self-administered questionnaires. Additionally, STI test results were retrieved from electronic medical records. Results. Patients reported a high lifetime prevalence of STIs. By comparing self-report and objective data, underreporting was identified for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes. Conclusions. STI rates in at-risk adolescent females are higher than in the general population and remain elevated over time. Lifetime STI reports could expand our understanding of sexual health and should be further studied. Underreporting, which may increase health risks and hinder health care delivery, requires further investigation. Improvements in STI screening and prevention targeting at-risk populations are warranted.
    Clinical Pediatrics 05/2014; · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While its prognostic significance remains unclear, p16INK4a protein expression is increasingly being used as a surrogate marker for oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). To evaluate the prognostic utility of p16 expression in HNSCC, we prospectively collected 163 primary tumor specimens from histologically confirmed HNSCC patients who were followed for up to 9.4 years. Formalin fixed tumor specimens were tested for p16 protein expression by immunohistochemistry. HPV type-16 DNA and RNA was detected by MY09/11-PCR and E6/E7 RT-PCR on matched frozen tissue, respectively. P16 protein expression was detected more often in oropharyngeal tumors (53%) as compared with laryngeal (24%), hypopharyngeal (8%), or oral cavity tumors (4%; P<0.0001). With respect to prognosis, p16-positive oropharyngeal tumors exhibited significantly better overall survival than p16-negative tumors (log-rank test p=0.04), whereas no survival benefit was observed for non-oropharyngeal tumors. However, when both p16 and HPV DNA test results were considered, concordantly positive non-oropharyngeal tumors had significantly better disease-specific survival than concordantly negative non-oropharyngeal tumors after controlling for sex, nodal stage, tumor size, tumor subsite, primary tumor site number, smoking, and drinking (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]=0.04, 0.01–0.54). Compared with concordantly negative non-oropharyngeal HNSCC, p16(+)/HPV16(-) non-oropharyngeal HNSCC (n=13, 7%) demonstrated no significant improvement in disease-specific survival when HPV16 was detected by RNA (adjusted HR=0.83, 0.22–3.17). Our findings show that p16 immunohistochemistry alone has potential as a prognostic test for oropharyngeal cancer survival, but combined p16/HPV testing is necessary to identify HPV-associated non-oropharyngeal HNSCC with better prognosis. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 04/2014; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical research with adolescents can be challenging due to issues of informed consent, parental involvement, institutional review board requirements, and adolescent psychosocial development. These requirements present a dilemma, particularly in the area of sexual health research, as adolescents are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV). To successfully conduct adolescent research in the clinical setting, one requires an awareness of state statutes regarding adolescent confidentiality and consent for medical care, and a close partnership with the IRB. In 2007, the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in collaboration with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine developed a longitudinal research study to examine the natural history of oral, cervical, and anal HPV in an adolescent female population engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors. We use this research project as a case study to explore the ethical, methodological, and clinical issues related to conducting adolescent health research. Several strategies were identified to promote adolescent study participation, including: (1) building a research team that is motivated to work with adolescents; (2) combining research and patient care visits to avoid duplication of services; and (3) establishing a personalized communication network with participants. Using these methods, adolescent sexual health research can successfully be integrated into the clinical setting. While retaining a prospective cohort of adolescents has its challenges, a persistent and multi-disciplinary approach can help improve recruitment, sustain participation, and acquire critical data that will lead to improved healthcare knowledge applicable to understudied populations of adolescents.
    Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 12/2013; · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients have better survival than HPV-negative patients. However, it is unclear if similar patterns for survival exist across different tumor sites, and whether HPV-associated prognosis is modified by type of treatment. We prospectively tested 222 histologically confirmed HNSCC primary tumors for HPV DNA by PCR and HPV E6/E7 RNA by RT-PCR prior to treatment at a large urban health center. Cox proportional hazard ratio models were constructed to assess HPV-associated differences in overall and disease-specific survival adjusting for clinical and demographic covariates. HPV detection varied significantly by primary HNSCC tumor site, from 35 % for oropharynx, to 25 % for hypopharynx, 5 % for larynx, and 3 % for oral cavity (p < 0.0001), with HPV16 accounting for the majority (95 %) of HPV-positive tumors. The hazard-risk of overall and disease-specific death comparing HPV16-positive versus negative oropharyngeal HNSCC was reduced by 74 and 89 %, respectively (p values < 0.05), and was independent of other prognostic indicators; no statistically significant changes in outcomes were observed for non-oropharyngeal HNSCC sites. Prediction of overall survival was better with combined DNA and RNA HPV16 positive PCR detection. There was no difference in HPV16-associated survival whether patients received either surgery or (chemo)radiotherapy as their initial treatment modality. Improved HPV-associated HNSCC survival is limited to patients with oropharyngeal primaries. No selective treatment advantage is observed for HPV-positive tumors, although clinical trials are needed to evaluate which treatment modalities provide the most benefit for HPV-positive HNSCC.
    Head and Neck Pathology 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We have utilized a genome-wide approach to identify novel differentially methylated CpG dinucleotides that are seen in different anatomic sites of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), as well as those that might be related to HPV status in the oropharynx. We performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of primary tumor samples and corresponding adjacent mucosa from 118 HNSCC patients undergoing treatment at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY using the Illumina HumanMethylation27 beadchip. For each matched tissue set, we measured differentially methylated CpG loci using a change in methylation level (M-value). When datasets were individually analyzed by anatomic site of the primary tumor, we identified 293 differentially methylated CpG loci in oral cavity SCC, 219 differentially methylated CpG loci in laryngeal SCC, and 460 differentially methylated in oropharyngeal SCC. A subset of these differentially methylated CpG loci was common across all anatomic sites of HNSCC. Stratification by HPV status revealed a significantly higher number of differentially methylated CpG loci in HPV-positive patients. Novel epigenetic biomarkers derived from clinical HNSCC specimens can be used molecular classifiers of this disease, revealing many new avenues of investigation for this disease.
    Clinical Cancer Research 07/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To demonstrate the importance of comorbid conditions in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), we assessed the association between comorbidity and survival in an inner-city population of HNSCC patients. Comorbid status at diagnosis was derived using medical records and the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27 (ACE-27) index on 288 patients with histologically confirmed HNSCC from Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx (NY) between 2002 and 2011. The association between comorbidity, tumor human papillomavirus (HPV) status and overall and disease specific survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariable Cox regression adjusting for clinico-pathologic factors. The study population consisted of primary oropharyngeal (36%), laryngeal (33%) and oral cavity cancer patients (31%). Overall, 19% had no comorbidity, 43% mild comorbidity, 29% moderate comorbidity, and 9% severe comorbidity. The most common comorbid conditions were hypertension, diabetes mellitus, respiratory disease, other malignancies, and illicit drug use. Survival analyses revealed that increased comorbidity at diagnosis was significantly related to poorer overall survival (p=0.016), but not to cancer survival (p=0.369) or recurrence (p=0.652). Oropharyngeal cancer patients with HPV DNA positive tumors and lower levels of comorbidity had significantly better overall survival compared to patients with HPV negative tumors (hazard ratio=0.2, 95%CI: 0.04-0.8), however there was no significant difference in overall (or disease specific) survival by HPV status among patients with higher levels of comorbidity at diagnosis (hazard ratio=0.7, 95%CI: 0.2-2.8). In an inner-city predominantly minority population, comorbidity at HNSCC diagnosis is relatively common and associated with poor overall survival, but not cancer survival or recurrence. Interestingly, the relationship between HPV and improved survival appears to be specific to patients with low comorbidity at diagnosis.
    Oral Oncology 07/2013; · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viral load measurements may predict whether human papillomavirus (HPV) type16 infections may become persistent and eventually lead to cervical lesions. Today, multiple PCR methods exist to estimate viral load. We tested three protocols to investigate viral load as a predictor of HPV clearance. We measured viral load in 418 HPV16-positive cervical smears from 224 women participating in the Ludwig-McGill cohort study by low-stringency PCR (LS-PCR) using consensus L1 primers targeting over 40 known HPV types, and quantitative real-time PCR (qRTPCR) targeting the HPV16-E6 and L1 genes. HPV16 clearance was determined by MY09/11 and PGMY PCR testing on repeated smears collected over five years. Correlation between viral load measurements by qRTPCR (E6 vs. L1) was excellent (r=0.88), but decreased for L1 qRTPCR versus LS-PCR (r=0.61). Viral load by LS-PCR was higher for HPV16 and related types independently of other concurrent HPV infections. Median duration of infection was longer for smears with high copy number by all three PCR protocols (log rank p<0.05). Viral load is inversely related to HPV16 clearance independently of concurrent HPV infections and PCR protocol.
    Journal of General Virology 05/2013; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate reproducibility of oral rinse self-collection for human papillomavirus (HPV) detection and investigate associations between oral HPV, oral lesions, immune and sociodemographic factors, we performed a cross-sectional study of older adults with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. STUDY DESIGN: We collected oral rinse samples from 52 subjects at 2 different times of day, followed by an oral examination and interview. We identified HPV with the use of polymerase chain reaction platforms optimized for detection of mucosal and cutaneous types. RESULTS: Eighty-seven percent of individuals had oral HPV, of which 23% had oncogenic alpha, 40% had nononcogenic alpha, and 46% had beta or gamma HPV. Paired oral specimens were concordant in all parameters tested. Significant associations observed for oral HPV with increased HIV viral load, hepatitis C seropositivity, history of sexually transmitted diseases, and lifetime number of sexual partners. CONCLUSIONS: Oral cavity may be a reservoir of subclinical HPV in older adults who have HIV infection. Understanding natural history, transmission, and potential implications of oral HPV warrants further investigations.
    Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology. 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The Risk Model is a validated outcome predictor for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (Brandwein-Gensler et al. in Am J Surg Pathol 20:167-178, 2005; Am J Surg Pathol 34:676-688, 2010). This model may potentially shift treatment paradigms for patients with low-stage cancers, as current protocols dictate that they might receive only primary surgery. Here we test the hypothesis that the Risk Model has added prognostic value for low-stage oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) patients. 299 patients with Stage I/II OCSCC were characterized according to the Risk Model (Brandwein-Gensler et al. in Am J Surg Pathol 20:167-178, 2005; Am J Surg Pathol 34:676-688, 2010). Cumulative incidence and competing risk analysis were performed for locoregional recurrence (LRR) and disease-specific survival (DSS). Receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed for worst pattern of invasion (WPOI) and the risk categories. 292 patients were analyzed; 30 T1N0 patients (17 %) and 26 T2N0 patients (23 %) developed LRR. Disease-specific mortality occurred in 9 T1N0 patients (6 %) and 9 T2N0 patients (10 %). On multivariable analysis, the Risk Model was significantly predictive of LRR (p = 0.0012, HR 2.41, 95 % CI 1.42, 4.11) and DSS (p = 0.0005, HR 9.16, 95 % CI 2.65, 31.66) adjusted for potential confounders. WPOI alone was also significantly predictive for LRR adjusted for potential confounders with a cut-point of either WPOI-4 (p = 0.0029, HR 3.63, 95 % CI 1.56, 8.47) or WPOI-5 (p = 0.0008, HR 2.55, 95 % CI 1.48, 4.41) and for DSS (cut point WPOI-5, p = 0.0001, HR 6.34, 95 % CI 2.50, 16.09). Given a WPOI-5, the probability of developing locoregional recurrence is 42 %. Given a high-risk classification for a combination of features other than WPOI-5, the probability of developing locoregional recurrence is 32 %. The Risk Model is the first validated model that is significantly predictive for the important niche group of low-stage OCSCC patients.
    Head and Neck Pathology 12/2012;
  • Journal of Urban Health 08/2012; · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Small, noncoding microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to be abnormally expressed in every tumor type examined. We used comparisons of global miRNA expression profiles of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) samples and adjacent normal tissue to rank those miRNAs that were most significantly altered in our patient population. Rank Consistency Score analysis revealed miR-375 to have the most significantly lowered miRNA levels in tumors relative to matched adjacent nonmalignant tissue from the same patient among 736 miRNAs that were evaluated. This result has been previously observed by other groups; however, we extend this finding with the unique observation that low miR-375 expression levels correlate significantly with cancer survival and distant metastasis. In a study of 123 primary HNSCC patients using multivariable Cox proportional hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), both death from disease (HR: 12.8, 95% CI: 3 to 49) and incidence of distant metastasis (HR: 8.7, 95% CI: 2 to 31) correlated with lower expression levels of miR-375 regardless of the site or stage of the tumor. In addition, we found that oral cavity tumor cell lines (eg, UMSCC1 and UMSCC47) overexpressing miR-375 were significantly less invasive in vitro than their matched empty vector controls. We conclude that miR-375 represents a potential prognostic marker of poor outcome and metastasis in HNSCC and that it may function by suppressing the tumor's invasive properties.
    American Journal Of Pathology 03/2012; 180(3):917-28. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the 4.1 superfamily of proteins, including ezrin, moesin, merlin, and willin regulate many normal physiologic processes such as cellular shape, motility, and proliferation. In addition, they contribute both to tumor development and tumor progression. We reported previously that strong cytoplasmic ezrin expression was independently associated with poorer patient survival. One hundred and thirty-one histologically confirmed primary head and neck squamous cell carcinomas were examined prospectively for cancer progression and survival at a large health care center in the Bronx, NY, USA. Immunohistochemical analysis of ezrin, moesin, merlin, and willin expression in tissue microarray samples of primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma revealed a significant association of increased cytoplasmic ezrin with poor cancer survival. Global RNA analyses suggest that cancers with high cytoplasmic ezrin have a more invasive phenotype. This study supports our previous findings associating cytoplasmic ezrin with more aggressive behavior and poorer outcome and indicates the need for a multi-institutional study to validate the use of cytoplasmic ezrin as a biomarker for treatment planning in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
    Head and Neck Pathology 01/2012; 6(2):232-43.
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    ABSTRACT: Published human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine trials indicate efficacy is strongest for those naive to the vaccine-types. However, few high-risk young women have been followed and cervical HPV has been the predominant outcome measure. We collected cervical and anal swabs, as well as oral rinse specimens from 645 sexually active inner-city young females attending a large adolescent health-clinic in New York City that offers free care and HPV vaccination. Specimens were tested for HPV-DNA using a MY09/MY11-PCR system. Type-specific prevalence of HPV at each anatomic site was compared for individuals by vaccination dose using generalized estimating equation logistic regression models. The majority of subjects reported being of non-Caucasian (92%) and/or Hispanic ethnicity (61%). Median age was 18 years (range:14-20). All had practiced vaginal sex, a third (33%) practiced anal sex, and most (77%) had also engaged in oral sex. At enrollment, 21% had not received the vaccine and 51% had received three doses. Prevalent HPV infection at enrollment was detected in 54% of cervical, 42% of anal and 20% of oral specimens, with vaccine types present in 7%, 6% and 1% of specimens, respectively. Comparing prevalence for vaccine types, the detection of HPV in the cervix of vaccinated compared to unvaccinated adolescents was significantly reduced: HPV6/11 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.19, 95%CI:0.06-0.75), HPV16 (OR = 0.31, 95%CI:0.11-0.88) and HPV18 (OR = 0.14, 95%CI:0.03-0.75). For anal HPV, the risk of detecting vaccine types HPV6/11 (OR = 0.27, 95%CI:0.10-0.72) and HPV18(OR = 0.12, 95%CI:0.01-1.16) were significantly reduced for vaccinated adolescents however, the risk for HPV16 was not significantly decreased (OR = 0.63, 95%CI:0.18-2.20). HPV Prevalence is extremely high in inner-city female adolescents. Administration of the HPV vaccine reduced the risk for cervical HPV; however continued follow-up is required to assess the protection for HPV at all sites in young women with high exposure.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e37419. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) primarily sort into 3 genera: Alphapapillomavirus (α-HPV), predominantly isolated from mucosa, and Betapapillomavirus (β-HPV) and Gammapapillomavirus (γ-HPV), predominantly isolated from skin. HPV types might infect body sites that are different from those from which they were originally isolated. We investigated the spectrum of HPV type distribution in oral rinse samples from 2 populations: 52 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive men and women and 317 men who provided a sample for genomic DNA for a prostate cancer study. HPV types were detected with the MY09/MY11 and FAP59/64 primer systems and identified by dot blot hybridization and/or direct sequencing. Oral rinse specimens from 35 (67%) of 52 HIV-positive individuals and 117 (37%) of 317 older male participants tested positive for HPV DNA. We found 117 type-specific HPV infections from the HIV-positive individuals, including 73 α-HPV, 33 β-HPV, and 11 γ-HPV infections; whereas, the distribution was 46 α-HPV, 108 β-HPV, and 14 γ-HPV infections from 168 type-specific infections from the 317 male participants. The oral cavity contains a wide spectrum of HPV types predominantly from the β-HPV and γ-HPV genera, which were previously considered to be cutaneous types. These results could have significant implications for understanding the biology of HPV and the epidemiological associations of HPV with oral and skin neoplasia.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2011; 204(5):787-92. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) in head and neck cancer has therapeutic implications. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry for p16 are used by surgical pathologists. We compared the sensitivity and specificity of three popular commercial tests for HPV detection in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas with a 'gold standard' HPV PCR assay. A total of 110 prospectively collected, formalin-fixed tumor specimens were compiled onto tissue microarrays and tested for HPV DNA by in situ hybridization with two probe sets, a biotinylated probe for high-risk (HR) HPV types 16/18 (Dako, CA, USA) and a probe cocktail for 16/18, plus 10 additional HR types (Ventana, AZ, USA). The p16(INK4) expression was also assessed using a Pharmingen immunohistochemistry antibody (BD Biosciences, CA, USA). Tissue microarrays were stained and scored at expert laboratories. HPV DNA was detected by MY09/11-PCR, using Gold AmpliTaq and dot-blot hybridization on matched-fresh frozen specimens in a research laboratory. HPV 16 E6 and E7-RNA expression was also measured using RT-PCR. Test performance was assessed by a receiver operating characteristic analysis. HR-HPV DNA types 16, 18 and 35 were detected by MY-PCR in 28% of tumors, with the majority (97%) testing positive for type 16. Compared with MY-PCR, the sensitivity and specificity for HR-HPV DNA detection with Dako in situ hybridization was 21% (95% confidence interval (CI): 7-42) and 100% (95% CI: 93-100), respectively. Corresponding test results by Ventana in situ hybridization were 59% (95% CI: 39-78) and 58% (95% CI: 45-71), respectively. The p16 immunohistochemistry performed better overall than Dako (P=0.042) and Ventana (P=0.055), with a sensitivity of 52% (95% CI: 32-71) and specificity of 93% (95% CI: 84-98). Compared with a gold standard HPV-PCR assay, HPV detection by in situ hybridization was less accurate for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma on tissue microarrays than p16 immunohistochemistry. Further testing is warranted before these assays should be recommended for clinical HPV detection.
    Modern Pathology 05/2011; 24(10):1295-305. · 5.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Identification of epigenetically affected genes has become an important tool for understanding both normal and aberrant gene expression in cancer. Here we report a whole-genome analysis of DNA methylation profiles in fresh-frozen oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) tissues and normal mucosa samples using microarray technology with patient genomic DNA. We initially compared whole-genome patterns of DNA methylation among 24 OPSCC primary tumors and 24 matched normal mucosal samples. From a survey of 27,578 CpG dinucleotide loci spanning more than 14,000 genes, we identified 958 CpG loci in which measurements of DNA methylation were altered in the primary tumors relative to the normal mucosal samples. These alterations were validated in an independent set of 21 OPSCC patients. A survey of these loci by chromosomal location revealed an abnormally high number of differentially methylated loci on chromosome 19. Many of the loci on chromosome 19 are associated with genes belonging to the Krüppel-type zinc finger protein genes. Hypermethylation was accompanied by a significant decrease in expression of these genes in OPSCC primary tumors relative to adjacent mucosa. This study reports the epigenetic silencing of Krüppel-type zinc finger protein genes on chromosome 19q13 in oropharyngeal cancer. The aberrant methylation of these genes represents a new avenue of exploration for pathways affected in this disease.
    American Journal Of Pathology 05/2011; 178(5):1965-74. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphocytic host response (LHR) in the Risk Model is histologically quantified as the density of lymphocytes at the tumor interface (Brandwein-Gensler in Am J Surg Pathol, 34:676-688, 1; in, Am J Surg Pathol 29:167-178, 2). It is classified as strong, intermediate or weak, and is inversely associated with the risk of decreased time to disease progression. In this study, we test the hypothesis that strong LHR corresponds to a greater degree of adaptive cytotoxic T cell response as compared to moderate LHR. We studied resection specimens of primary oral squamous carcinoma classified as having either strong (n = 16), intermediate (n = 20) or weak (n = 4) LHR. CD20+, CD4+, & CD8+ cells were detected by immunohistochemistry and quantified at 40× with a grid; counting the 10 fields with the most lymphocytes at the tumor interface and within tumors. Mean counts/tumor were analyzed by the 2-sided T-test. Statistically significant differences were observed for interface CD8 cells with respect to strong versus moderate LHR, strong versus weak LHR, and moderate versus weak LHR, and tumor infiltrating CD8 cells with respect to strong versus weak LHR. Statistically significant differences were also observed for interface CD4 cells with respect to strong versus weak LHR, and moderate versus weak LHR. Statistically significant differences in interface B cell counts were seen with respect to strong versus weak LHR, and moderate versus weak LHR. Decreased CD8+ T cells were significantly associated with higher stage at presentation (P = 0.005); a direct, but nonsignificant correlation was seen between decreased CD8+ T cells and decreased survival time. Immune response at the tumor interface correlates with an adaptive T cell response; the degree of cytotoxic CD8+ cells infiltrate can distinguish between strong and intermediate LHR at the interface of oral carcinomas.
    Head and Neck Pathology 02/2011; 5(2):117-22.
  • Gynecologic Oncology - GYNECOL ONCOL. 01/2011; 120.
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    ABSTRACT: Half of the patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) can be expected to fail therapy, indicating that more aggressive treatment is warranted for this group. We have developed a novel risk model that can become a basis for developing new treatment paradigms. Here we report on the performance of our model in a new multicenter cohort. Eligible patients from 3 institutions (Montefiore Medical Center, University of Manitoba, and New York University Medical Center) were identified and pathology slides from their resection specimens were reviewed by Margaret Brandwein-Gensler; risk category was assigned as previously published. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed for disease progression and survival. Cox proportional hazards regression was performed, adjusted for potential confounders. A teaching module was also developed; attending pathologists were asked to score coded slides after a lecture and multiheaded microscope teaching session. Agreement was assessed by calculating Cohen unweighted kappa coefficients. The validation cohort consisted of 305 patients, from the above institutions, with 311 primary HNSCC of the oral cavity, oropharynx, and larynx. The median follow-up period for all patients was 27 months. Risk category predicts time to disease progression (P=0.0005), locoregional recurrence (P=0.013), and overall survival (P=0.0000) by Kaplan-Meier analysis. High-risk status is significantly associated with decreased time to disease progression, adjusted for clinical confounders (P=0.015, hazard ratio 2.32, 95% confidence interval 1.18-4.58) compared with collapsed intermediate and low-risk groups. We also demonstrate substantial interrater agreement (kappa=0.64), and very good rater agreement when compared with the standard (kappa=0.87). We demonstrate significant predictive performance of the risk model in a new cohort of patients with primary HNSCC, adjusted for confounders. Our training experience also supports the feasibility of adapting the risk model in clinical practice.
    The American journal of surgical pathology 05/2010; 34(5):676-88. · 4.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
217.34 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2014
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
      • • Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Epidemiology & Population Health
      • • Oncology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
      • Department of Pediatrics (RWJ Medical School)
      Newark, New Jersey, United States
  • 1998–2013
    • McGill University
      • Department of Oncology
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2012
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Division of Preventive Medicine
      Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 2009
    • Yeshiva University
      • Department of Pathology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2008
    • Mount Sinai School of Medicine
      • Department of Otolaryngology
      Manhattan, NY, United States
  • 2002
    • Government of Nunavut
      Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada