[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the oncological outcomes in patients affected by oral carcinoma treated with radical compartmental surgery followed by microvascular flap reconstruction. We conducted a retrospective analysis on a cohort of 130 patients. All patients underwent ablative tumour resection (compartmental surgery) followed by immediate reconstruction with free flaps and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy, when necessary according to our tumour board and international guidelines. Disease-specific survival (DSS) curves were obtained using the Kaplan-Meier method. Log-rank test and generalised Wilcoxon test were used to investigate the most important prognostic factors on 5-year DSS. A Cox proportional hazards model was constructed to provide hazard ratios or relative risks for individual variables. 88.5% of patients were affected by SCC. There were 46 (35.4%) women and 84 (64.6%) men in the sample with a mean age of 58.5 years. At the end of the follow-up period, 36 (27.7%) patients died, only 3 of which for other causes. The 5-year DSS rate was 67.8% (S.E. 4.9%). In univariate Kaplan-Meier analysis and in multivariate Cox regression model, seven variables were found to have a significant relationship with DSS: T (p = 0.026) and N (p = 0.0001) status, clinical stage (according to the UICC TNM Sixth Edition) (p = 0.007), margins of resection (p = 0.001), extracapsular spread (p = 0.005), recurrence of disease (p = 0.00002) and treatment modality (evaluated as surgery alone or surgery + RT/CHT) (p = 0.004). Our results confirmed findings already reported in the literature, and allowed us to conclude that compartmental surgery combined with free flap reconstruction can increase survival in oral cancer patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives/HypothesisSquamous cell carcinoma arising from the nasal vestibule is a rare condition accounting for about 1% of head and neck malignancies with several peculiarities concerning both staging and treatment. The aim of this study was to compare the oncological and functional results of two different treatment modalities for the primary site: surgery and brachytherapy.Study DesignA case series with the comparison of two different treatment modalities.Methods
We evaluate clinical and survival data of 12 untreated patients, enrolled by a multidisciplinary tumor board, comparing oncological, functional, and esthetic results after surgery or after interstitial brachytherapy as exclusive treatments for the primary site. The functional and esthetic outcome was subjectively rated by the patients using a five-point scale.ResultsLocoregional control and survival are not significantly different between patients primarily treated by surgery and by brachytherapy. The functional and esthetic outcome, as assessed by the degree of satisfaction of the patients, is significantly better after primary brachytherapy than after primary surgery (P = .014).Conclusions
In our experience brachytherapy, accomplished in close cooperation between surgeons and radiation oncologists, achieves oncological results that are not different from surgery, but with a higher degree of patient satisfaction, mainly due to the esthetic outcome.Level of Evidence4 Laryngoscope, 2015
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The Laryngoscope
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 1-9 % of all head and neck squamous cell carcinomas are neck metastases from clinically undetectable primary tumors. Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are proven carcinogenic factors that are associated with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, respectively. In the present study, we evaluated the prevalence of these viruses in neck metastases from unknown primary squamous cell carcinoma.
We evaluated fresh samples from a consecutive series of 22 neck dissections for metastases from unknown primary squamous cell carcinoma obtained between 2010 and 2012 at a single institution. The samples were tested for the presence of HPV E6 and E7 mRNA and EBV DNA.
Oncogenic viral infections were detected in 12 cases (54 % total; 2 HPV18, 5 HPV16, 2 EBV infection, and 3 EBV/HPV16 coinfections). The most frequent primarily involved neck level in our series was IIA (70 %), which had the highest prevalence of viral infection (66 %). We did not find any other significant correlations between virus detection and clinicopathologic parameters or prognosis.
Neck metastasis from unknown primary squamous cell carcinoma could be another virus-related malignancy in the head and neck region, along with nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal carcinoma. An evaluation of the impact of viral infection on patient prognosis and sensitivities to different treatment modalities could modify our prognostic assessments and treatment planning. Furthermore, virus detection would have a decisive impact on diagnostic/decisional algorithms, especially if detection methods are implemented on cytologic samples (e.g., thin prep).
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The primary functional issues following conservative therapy for advanced laryngeal cancer concern swallowing. Here, we evaluated the recovery of swallowing after supracricoid partial laryngectomy (SCL) in patients with primary or recurrent laryngeal cancer. We evaluated the swallowing recovery in 27 SCL patients through oropharyngoesophageal scintigraphy, and we evaluated their quality of life using EORTC questionnaires. Four patients underwent total laryngectomy during follow-up. Patients who retained their larynges were able to feed without nutritional support and without tracheostoma. The only significantly different parameter between the primary and salvage cases was the time elapsed to the removal of nasogastric/PEG tubes, which was longer in salvage cases. SCL has been demonstrated as a valuable option for primary and recurrent laryngeal cancer patients. The present data demonstrate good functional results, particularly in terms of swallowing after previous treatments and in primary settings. The combination of oropharyngoesophageal scintigraphy and questionnaires appears to be an adequate, standardizable approach to assessing swallowing function after SCL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
This study aimed to investigate the impact on patients' quality of life of great auricular nerve sacrifice during parotidectomy.
A retrospective review was conducted of 191 consecutive patients who underwent parotidectomy with great auricular nerve sacrifice between 2006 and 2011. Residual sensory dysfunction and its impact on quality of life was analysed using an eight-item quality of life survey.
In all, 139 out of 191 patients (72.8 per cent) experienced one or more abnormal sensations in the ear or neck region after surgery. There was a moderate inverse correlation between the number of abnormal sensations and time elapsed since surgery. Moreover, the degree of discomfort correlated significantly with the frequency of symptom occurrence (p < 0.001), duration of the abnormal sensation (p < 0.001) and size of the affected area (p < 0.001).
Sacrifice of the great auricular nerve has only a small impact on patient quality of life; their daily activities are not significantly affected.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Countless disadvantages of the "old" pectoralis major have been listed while the amazing versatility of the free flap armamentarium gives the opportunity to suit the defect deriving from virtually every ablative head and neck surgery with a tailored reconstruction. Nevertheless, pectoralis major is still the "workhorse" for head and neck reconstruction in developing countries thanks to its ease of harvest, and minimal requirements in term of instrumentation. Furthermore, even in facilities with a high volume of reconstructions by free flaps, a certain number of pectoralis major flaps is still raised every year. The history, present role and current indications of the most widely head and neck reconstructive procedure ever has been reviewed.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica: organo ufficiale della Società italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpression and prognostic value in head and neck squamous cell cancer is the basis for targeting by anti-EGFR antibodies, which increase the efficacy of radiotherapy. In order to evaluate the best therapeutic schedule, the effects of cetuximab (C225) on Hep-2 cell proliferation, alone and in combination with cisplatin, were studied.
Hep-2 cells were treated with cetuximab alone or in combination with cisplatin. After determining cell viability with trypan blue, morphological features of apoptotic degeneration were analysed by fluorescence microscopy with Hoechst 33258 stain.
Cetuximab alone mildly inhibited Hep-2 proliferation and showed no pro-apoptotic effects. When administered concomitantly with cisplatin, cetuximab synergistically increased inhibition of proliferation and apoptosis.
The antiproliferative activity of cetuximab is consistent with its hypothesised role in inhibiting repopulation. However, the increase in the effects of pro-apoptotic agents induced by cetuximab may be even more relevant to its clinical effectiveness than the inhibition of repopulation.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 infection is associated with oropharyngeal carcinogenesis and is likely the cause of the reported increase in disease incidence. We evaluated the prevalence of HPV infection and the reliability of different diagnostic tools using primary tumor samples from a cohort of 50 patients.
Methods and Materials
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples were collected from all 50 consecutive primary oropharyngeal SCC patients who were enrolled in the study; fresh tumor samples were available in 22 cases. NucliSENS EasyQ HPVv1 was used for RNA, and Digene Hybrid Capture-2(HC2) was used for DNA detection. p16 Expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in FPPE specimens.
Based on the DNA detection assay on FFPE samples, the frequency of high-risk HPV infection was 32%. The agreement rate between HPV RNA and HPV DNA detection in fresh samples was 100%. The agreement rate between p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the detection of HPV DNA in the FFPE samples was fair but not excellent (κ = 0.618). HPV DNA detection was highly significant, as measured by disease-specific survival and determined using a Wilcoxon test (P=.001). p16 IHC also exhibited a prognostic value but with a lower statistical significance (P=.0475). The detection of HPV DNA, but not p16 IHC, was also significantly correlated with locoregional control (P=.0461).
Diagnostic methods based on the detection of HPV nucleic acids appear to be more reliable and objective because they do not require reading by a trained histopathologist. Furthermore, the detection of HPV DNA exhibits an improved correlation with survival, and therefore appears definitely more reliable than p16 IHC for routine use in clinical practice.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
We analyzed the outcomes following clinical management of parotid masses that were determined to be malignant tumors after parotidectomy.
We evaluated data from 70 patients with parotid malignancies between November 1994 and December 2005.
Among salivary histotypes (n=49), the most significant prognostic parameter was cT4 stage at diagnosis (P=0.0055, log-rank) both for clinical involvement of the facial nerve and for invasion of other structures. The main cause of cancer-related death was a distant metastasis.
The present series confirms that the main prognostic parameter in salivary parotid malignancies was cT4 classification at diagnosis, often due to clinical involvement of the facial nerve. The oncological outcome of salivary malignancies was influenced by distant metastasis more than most other head and neck sites. We recommend dissecting and preserving the functioning VIIth cranial nerve during surgery for parotid malignancies.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Clinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies in the last decade evaluated conservative surgical procedures, and in particular supracricoid operations, as an alternative to total laryngectomy for the salvage of recurrences of laryngeal SCC after a first attempt of organ preservation.
The clinical records of 68 consecutive patients, primarily treated by irradiation or endoscopic surgery, and surgically salvaged by total laryngectomy or supracricoid partial laryngectomy in two large University hospitals in Italy from 2004 to 2010, were reviewed.
the survival was not affected by the primary treatment or by salvage modality. The only parameter always keeping a prognostic value is the involvement of resection margins of salvage surgery. Patients with early relapse seems to have a worse prognosis than patients with a delayed relapse (p=0.05 at Cox multivariate analysis, p=0.048 at Wilcoxon test, for overall survival from the primary treatment).
Supracricoid operations, if the indications are careful, can prove reliable salvage procedures. Head Neck, 2013.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
The last decade has seen the development of compartmental surgery (CTS) as a whole new approach to the treatment of advanced head and neck cancer. CTS is based on a new concept and a new approach to demolition and reconstruction that focus on: the removal of the whole anatomo-functional units containing the tumor, including all the potential pathways of progression such as muscular, lymphatic and vascular; identification of territories at high risk of recurrence of disease such as muscular, neuro-vascular and glandular tissues; accurate consideration of the defect resulted from the anatomical demolition and the subsequent rational reconstruction. The aim of this paper is to retrospectively evaluate our series, to describe our experience with CTS and the oncological and functional results in patients with squamocellular oral cavity cancers of the tongue and the floor of mouth.
Material and methods
In this study we evaluated oncological and functional follow ups of patients treated from 2007 to 2012, by a retrospective analysis of the data stored in our oncological digital database (Spider’s net). We evaluated 114 patients with cT2–4a, cN0, cN+, M0 squamocellular cancers of the tongue and the floor of mouth. Reconstructions were performed by a variety of flaps including ALT (52), DIEP (15), VRAM (7) Fibula free flap (19), radial forearm free flap (14) and myofascial pectoralis flap (7).
We discuss our experience of this surgical technique with focus on the functional results of reconstructions performed in our patients. Oncological outcomes and long term follow ups are also discussed.
In our opinion, CTS is the gold standard primary treatment for cancers of the tongue and of the floor of mouth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is an entity with peculiar clinical and molecular characteristics, which mainly arises from the reticulated epithelium lining the crypts of the palatine tonsils and the base of the tongue. The only head and neck site with a definite etiological association between persistent high-risk (HR) HPV infection and development of SCC is the oropharynx. HPV-positive malignancies represent 5-20% of all HNSCCs and 40-90% of those arising from the oropharynx, with widely variable rates depending on the geographic area, population, relative prevalence of environment-related SCC and detection assay. HPV-16 is by far the most common HR HPV genotype detected in oropharyngeal SCC (OPSCC), and the only definitely carcinogenic genotype for the head and neck region. Patients with HPV-induced OPSCC are more likely to be middle-aged white men, non-smokers, non-drinkers or mild to moderate drinkers, with higher socioeconomic status and better performance status than subjects with HPV-unrelated SCC. HPV-induced HNSCCs are often described as non-keratinizing, poorly differentiated or basaloid carcinomas, and are diagnosed in earlier T-category with a trend for a more advanced N-category, with cystic degeneration, than the HPV-unrelated carcinomas. HPV positivity is associated with better response to treatment and modality-independent survival benefit. Treatment selection in HPV-related oropharyngeal carcinoma is becoming a critical issue, and although there is no evidence from randomized, controlled trials to support a treatment de-escalation in HPV-positive SCC, some investigators argue that intensive combined modality strategies may represent an overtreatment.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica: organo ufficiale della Società italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Human papillomavirus 16 infection has been proven to be associated with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and is probably the main reason of the reported increase in the incidence. The role of high-risk (HR) HPV for carcinogenesis of other sites in the head and neck awaits confirmation. With the aim to evaluate the prevalence of HPV infection and the reliability of different diagnostic tools in SCCs of different sites, 109 consecutive untreated head and neck SCCs were enroled, and fresh tumour samples collected.
Human papillomavirus DNA was detected by Digene Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2). Human papillomavirus E6 and E7 mRNA were detected by NucliSENS EasyQ HPVv1. P16 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
In all, 12.84% of cases were infected by HR genotypes and 1.84% by low-risk genotypes. Human papillomavirus 16 accounted for 87% of HR infections. The overall agreement between DNA and RNA detection is 99.1%. Although p16 expression clearly correlates with HPV infection (P=0.0051), the inter-rater agreement is poor (k=0.27). The oropharynx showed the highest HR HPV infection rate (47.6%) and was also the only site in which p16 immunohistochemistry revealed to be a fair, but not excellent, diagnostic assay (κ=0.61).
The prognostic role of HR HPV infection in oropharyngeal oncology, with its potential clinical applications, underscores the need for a consensus on the most appropriate detection methods. The present results suggest that viral mRNA detection could be the standard for fresh samples, whereas DNA detection could be routinely used in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · British Journal of Cancer