Samuel R Fisher

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (12)71.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives We propose the use of morphological optical biomarkers for rapid detection of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) by leveraging the underlying tissue characteristics in aerodigestive tracts. Materials and Methods Diffuse reflectance spectra were obtained from malignant and contra-lateral normal tissues of 57 patients undergoing panendoscopy and biopsy. Oxygen saturation, total hemoglobin concentration, and the reduced scattering coefficient were extracted. Differences in malignant and normal tissues were examined based on two different groupings: anatomical site and morphological tissue type. Results and Conclusions Measurements were acquired from 252 sites, of which 51 were pathologically classified as SCC. Optical biomarkers exhibited statistical differences between malignant and normal samples. Contrast was enhanced when parsing tissues by morphological classification rather than anatomical subtype for unpaired comparisons. Corresponding linear discriminant models using multiple optical biomarkers showed improved predictive ability when accounting for morphological classification, particularly in node-positive lesions. The false-positive rate was retrospectively found to decrease by 34.2% in morphologically- vs. anatomically-derived predictive models. In glottic tissue, the surgeon exhibited a false-positive rate of 45.7% while the device showed a lower false-positive rate of 12.4%. Additionally, comparisons of optical parameters were made to further understand the physiology of tumor staging and potential causes of high surgeon false-positive rates. Optical spectroscopy is a user-friendly, non-invasive tool capable of providing quantitative information to discriminate malignant from normal head and neck tissues. Predictive models demonstrated promising results for real-time diagnostics. Furthermore, the strategy described appears to be well suited to reduce the clinical false-positive rate.
    Oral Oncology. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: As multidisciplinary cancer treatment evolves, strategies to identify patients needing early resection/salvage are necessary. Some have suggested that vocal cord function after organ-preservation treatment may be an indicator. A retrospective review was performed of patients presenting with fixed or impaired vocal cord function at a tertiary center. Local recurrence rates were examined in patients with and without improved/normal mobilization after treatment. Sixty-nine patients met the inclusion criteria, with 35 patients having vocal cord fixation and 34 patients with impaired mobility. After treatment, 44 patients had normalization of vocal cord function, while 25 patients did not, with 2-year local control rates of 70% and 77%, p = .23, respectively. No difference in local control was found between patients with normalized/improved cord function (n = 53) and those who remained the same/worsened (n = 16; p = .81). Therapy-induced changes in vocal cord mobility did not correlate with local recurrence. Other criteria are needed to identify patients most likely to benefit from early surgical resection/salvage after organ preservation.
    Head & Neck 08/2011; 34(6):792-6. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiosarcoma of the face is a vascular tumor with poor local control and short median survival despite standard treatment. Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which can inhibit tumor growth. It is synergistic with radiotherapy in gastrointestinal malignancies. Given the vascular nature of angiosarcoma and the need for better treatment of this disease, we investigated the concurrent use of bevacizumab with preoperative radiotherapy for head and neck angiosarcoma. Two patients diagnosed with angiosarcoma of the nose were treated preoperatively with bevacizumab (5-10 mg/kg) and concurrent radiotherapy (50 Gy), followed by resection of the tumor bed. Both patients had a complete pathologic response with no residual disease. Neither has developed recurrence, with follow-up of 8.5 months and 2.1 years. The neoadjuvant combination of bevacizumab and radiation therapy is promising and should be further studied in the setting of vascular malignancies.
    Head & Neck 03/2008; 30(2):262-6. · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics - INT J RADIAT ONCOL BIOL PHYS. 01/2007; 69(3).
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    ABSTRACT: To examine satisfaction with the match process and reported failures to comply with the match rules among applicants of the January 2002 Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery match. A survey was mailed to all applicants completing the 2002 San Francisco Matching Program match. Surveys were mailed to 312 applicants, and the 151 returned surveys were entered into a database, which was then subjected to statistical analysis. Survey questions asked whether the applicant matched and how highly, how well the applicant considers the match to fulfill its goals, how many interviews the applicant attended, and how many of these included perceived noncompliance with San Francisco Matching Program rules by region of the country. Satisfaction with the match correlated significantly (P<.001) to how highly the applicant matched among those successfully matching. The satisfaction among matching applicants was significantly better (P<.001) than those not matching. The 151 respondents had a total of 970 interviews. The respondents reported that they identified noncompliance with the match rules in 42 (4.3%) of these encounters. Most (87%) respondents reported full adherence to the match rules, and the degree of adherence did not correlate significantly to applicants' satisfaction (P =.71). Applicants' satisfaction with the match process depended significantly on their match outcome. Rule noncompliance was rare and not significantly related to applicant satisfaction. This study suggests that otolaryngology applicants perceive high levels of satisfaction with the match and infrequent breaches of stated match rules.
    Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 10/2004; 130(9):1017-23. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neck dissection has traditionally played an important role in the treatment of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck who present with regionally advanced neck disease (N2-N3). Radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy improves overall survival in advanced head-and-neck cancer compared with radiotherapy alone. The necessity for postchemoradiation neck dissection is controversial. The intent of this report was to define the value of neck dissection in this patient population better. Patients with locally advanced squamous carcinoma of the head and neck who also presented with nodal disease and underwent hyperfractionated radiotherapy and concurrent cisplatin/5-fluorouracil chemotherapy constituted the study population. Adjuvant modified neck dissection (MND) was planned 6 to 8 weeks after completion of chemoradiation in those patients who had a biopsy-proven pathologically complete response at the primary tumor site, irrespective of the clinical/radiographic neck response. A cohort of patients underwent electrode assessment of tumor oxygenation. Pathologic findings from the MND were used to compute the negative and positive predictive values and overall accuracy of the clinical/radiographic response (cCR). Regional control, failure-free survival, and survival were compared according to whether patients actually underwent MND. A total of 154 patients received concurrent chemoradiation. Of these, 108 presented with nodal disease: N1, n = 30; and N2-N3, n = 78. MND was performed in 65 (60%) of 108 patients, including 13 (43%) of 30 with Stage N1 and 52 (66%) of 78 with Stage N2-N3. For N1 patients, the negative predictive value of a cCR, positive predictive value of less than a cCR, and the overall accuracy for clinical response was 92%, 100%, and 92%, respectively. For N2-N3 patients, the corresponding values were 74%, 44%, and 60%. Patients with poorly oxygenated tumors were more likely to have residual disease at MND. The median follow-up was 4 years. The 4-year disease-free survival rate was 70% for N1 patients, irrespective of the clinical response or whether MND was performed. The 4-year disease-free survival rate was 75% for N2-N3 patients who had a cCR and underwent MND vs. 53% for patients who had a cCR but did not undergo MND (p = 0.08). The 4-year overall survival rate was 77% vs. 50% for these two groups of patients (p = 0.04). The clinical and pathologic responses in the neck correlated poorly with one another for patients with N2-N3 neck disease undergoing concurrent chemoradiation for advanced head-and-neck cancer. MND still appears to confer a disease-free survival and overall survival advantage with acceptably low morbidity. Tumor oxygenation assessment may be useful in selecting patients who are especially prone to have residual disease. Better tools need to be developed to determine prospectively whether this procedure is required for individual patients.
    International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics 05/2004; 58(5):1418-23. · 4.52 Impact Factor
  • Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 04/2004; 130(3):360-2. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While mucosal-based melanomas of the head and neck region are uncommon lesions, when they do arise they usually follow an inexorably aggressive course. Experience with these tumors is, necessarily, limited; as such, well-worked out treatment protocols for the treatment of such lesions are in short supply. It appears as though mucosal melanomas (MuMs) develop more frequently in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinus region, and less often in the oral cavity. It seems that the incidence of nodal metastasis is significantly lower for sinonasal MuMs than it is for MuMs of the oral cavity; this observation may influence decisions about performing neck dissection as a function of location of the primary MuM. At present, surgical excision remains the mainstay of treatment; however, anatomical complexities within the region can hamper attempts at complete excision. Radiotherapy has not traditionally been relied on for routine treatment of MuM, although some recent reports have challenged this view. Chemotherapy is, at present, employed principally in the treatment of disseminated disease and for palliation. As a diagnostic matter, MuM belongs to the class of tumors that, on light microscopy, may with some regularity be confused with other malignancies (including sarcomas, plasmacytomas, and carcinomas); as a consequence, this is a diagnosis which is often best confirmed by way of ancillary testing via immunohistochemical studies. A better grasp of the best means of treating MuM will likely come only when large referral centers are able to pool their experiences with these uncommon yet virulent malignancies.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 07/2003; 83(2):116-22. · 2.64 Impact Factor
  • Acta Oto-Laryngologica 01/2003; 122(8):900-6. · 1.11 Impact Factor
  • Samuel R Fisher
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to evaluate the effects on survival, disease-free interval, and recurrence patterns for patients undergoing elective, therapeutic, and delayed lymph node dissection for malignant melanoma of the head and neck. A retrospective computer-aided analysis was performed comparing 1444 patients treated from 1970 to 1998 at Duke University Medical Center. A total of 446 of the 1444 (32%) of patients with head and neck melanoma underwent some form of lymph node dissection. Survival, disease-free interval, and recurrence rates for patients having 1) no initial lymph node dissection (no LND), 2) elective lymph node dissection (ELND) within 2 months of date of diagnosis, 3) therapeutic lymph node dissection (TLND) for metastatic regional disease at diagnosis, or 4) delayed lymph node dissection (DLND) for patients developing regional lymph node metastasis later than 3 months from the date of diagnosis were compared. A total of 246 patients undergoing ELND demonstrated 11% with occult disease. DLND for regional lymph node recurrence was reported at a median time interval of 1.2 years from diagnosis. Multivariate analysis indicated a significant improvement in survival for DLND when compared with patients undergoing ELND plus sign in circle or TLND (P =.01). Distant metastasis was the site of first recurrence in 12% of patients undergoing no initial LND. Five-year survival after DLND and TLND was 56% and 36%, respectively. Patients undergoing DLND had an overall better survival than patients undergoing TLND or ELND with positive nodes. The progression of metastatic disease following regional node disease occurred in 35% to 45% of cases, underscoring the need for effective adjunctive therapy.
    The Laryngoscope 02/2002; 112(1):99-110. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy is often the primary treatment for advanced head and neck cancer, but the rates of locoregional recurrence are high and survival is poor. We investigated whether hyperfractionated irradiation plus concurrent chemotherapy (combined treatment) is superior to hyperfractionated irradiation alone. Patients with advanced head and neck cancer who were treated only with hyperfractionated irradiation received 125 cGy twice daily, for a total of 7500 cGy. Patients in the combined-treatment group received 125 cGy twice daily, for a total of 7000 cGy, and five days of treatment with 12 mg of cisplatin per square meter of body-surface area per day and 600 mg of fluorouracil per square meter per day during weeks 1 and 6 of irradiation. Two cycles of cisplatin and fluorouracil were given to most patients after the completion of radiotherapy. Of 122 patients who underwent randomization, 116 were included in the analysis. Most patients in both treatment groups had unresectable disease. The median follow-up was 41 months (range, 19 to 86). At three years the rate of overall survival was 55 percent in the combined-therapy group and 34 percent in the hyperfractionation group (P=0.07). The relapse-free survival rate was higher in the combined-treatment group (61 percent vs. 41 percent, P=0.08). The rate of locoregional control of disease at three years was 70 percent in the combined-treatment group and 44 percent in the hyperfractionation group (P=0.01). Confluent mucositis developed in 77 percent and 75 percent of the two groups, respectively. Severe complications occurred in three patients in the hyperfractionation group and five patients in the combined-treatment group. Combined treatment for advanced head and neck cancer is more efficacious and not more toxic than hyperfractionated irradiation alone.
    New England Journal of Medicine 07/1998; 338(25):1798-804. · 51.66 Impact Factor
  • Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 135(2):P61.