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PURPOSE - Automated delineation of structures and organs is a key step in medical imaging. However, due to the large number and diversity of structures and the large variety of segmentation algorithms, a consensus is lacking as to which automated segmentation method works best for certain applications. Segmentation challenges are a good approach for unbiased evaluation and comparison of segmentation algorithms.
METHODS - In this work, we describe and present the results of the Head and Neck Auto-Segmentation Challenge 2015, a satellite event at the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions (MICCAI) 2015 conference. Six teams participated in a challenge to segment nine structures in the head and neck region of CT images: brainstem, mandible, chiasm, bilateral optic nerves, bilateral parotid glands, and bilateral submandibular glands.
RESULTS - This paper presents the quantitative results of this challenge using multiple established error metrics and a well-defined ranking system. The strengths and weaknesses of the different auto-segmentation approaches are analyzed and discussed.
CONCLUSIONS - The Head and Neck Auto-Segmentation Challenge 2015 was a good opportunity to assess the current state-of-the-art in segmentation of organs at risk for radiotherapy treatment. Participating teams had the possibility to compare their approaches to other methods under unbiased and standardized circumstances. The results demonstrate a clear tendency toward more general purpose and fewer structure-specific segmentation algorithms.
© 2017 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
BACKGROUND - Planning and delivery of IMRT for locally advanced head and neck cancer (LAHNC) can be performed using sequential boost or simultaneous integrated boost (SIB). Whether these techniques differ in treatment-related outcomes including survival and acute and late toxicities remain largely unexplored.
METHODS - We performed a single institutional retrospective matched cohort analysis on patients with LAHNC treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy to 69.3 Gy in 33 fractions. Treatment was delivered via sequential boost (n = 68) or SIB (n = 141). Contours, plan evaluation, and toxicity assessment were performed by a single experienced physician. Toxicities were graded weekly during treatment and at 3-month follow up intervals. Recurrence-free survival, disease-free survival, and overall survival were estimated via Kaplan-Meier statistical method.
RESULTS - At 4 years, the estimated overall survival was 69.3% in the sequential boost cohort and 76.8% in the SIB cohort (p = 0.13). Disease-free survival was 63 and 69% respectively (p = 0.27). There were no significant differences in local, regional or distant recurrence-free survival. There were no significant differences in weight loss (p = 0.291), gastrostomy tube placement (p = 0.494), or duration of gastrostomy tube dependence (p = 0.465). Rates of acute grade 3 or 4 dysphagia (82% vs 55%) and dermatitis (78% vs 58%) were significantly higher in the SIB group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.012 respectively). Moreover, a greater percentage of the SIB cohort did not receive the prescribed dose due to acute toxicity (7% versus 0, p = 0.028).
CONCLUSIONS - There were no differences in disease related outcomes between the two treatment delivery approaches. A higher rate of grade 3 and 4 radiation dermatitis and dysphagia were observed in the SIB group, however this did not translate into differences in late toxicity. Additional investigation is necessary to further evaluate the acute toxicity differences.
Laminin peptides influence tumor behavior. In this study, we addressed whether laminin peptide C16 (KAFDITYVRLKF, γ1 chain) would increase invadopodia activity of cells from squamous cell carcinoma (CAL27) and fibrosarcoma (HT1080). We found that C16 stimulates invadopodia activity over time in both cell lines. Rhodamine-conjugated C16 decorates the edge of cells, suggesting a possible binding to membrane receptors. Flow cytometry showed that C16 increases activated β1 integrin, and β1 integrin miRNA-mediated depletion diminishes C16-induced invadopodia activity in both cell lines. C16 stimulates Src and ERK 1/2 phosphorylation, and ERK 1/2 inhibition decreases peptide-induced invadopodia activity. C16 also increases cortactin phosphorylation in both cells lines. Based on our findings, we propose that C16 regulates invadopodia activity over time of squamous carcinoma and fibrosarcoma cells, probably through β1 integrin, Src and ERK 1/2 signaling pathways.
BACKGROUND - Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) E6 antibodies are a promising biomarker of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC); however, seropositivity among non-OPC cases is not well characterized.
METHODS - Pre-treatment sera from 260 (38 OPC, 222 non-OPC) incident head and neck cancers diagnosed at the University of Pittsburgh between 2003 and 2006 were tested for HPV16 (L1,E1,E2,E4,E6,E7) and non-HPV16 E6 (HPV6,11,18,33) antibodies. Sensitivity and specificity of HPV16 E6 antibodies for HPV-driven tumors was evaluated among tumors with known HPV status (n=25).
RESULTS - 63.2% of OPC versus 27.5% of non-OPC cases were HPV16 seropositive; HPV16 E6 seroprevalence was 60.5% and 6.3% respectively, odds ratio 22.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 9.8-53.1). Sensitivity and specificity of HPV16 E6 antibodies for HPV-driven OPC was 100% [95% CI: 50-100%; n=6] and 100% [95% CI: 60-100%, n=4] compared to 0% (n=2) and 0% (n=13) for non-OPC cases.
CONCLUSIONS - HPV16 antibodies were significantly more common in OPC versus non-OPC cases, particularly HPV16 E6 antibodies.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Associations between anthropometry and head and neck cancer (HNC) risk are inconsistent. We aimed to evaluate these associations while minimizing biases found in previous studies.
METHODS - We pooled data from 1,941,300 participants, including 3760 cases, in 20 cohort studies and used multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association of anthropometric measures with HNC risk overall and stratified by smoking status.
RESULTS - Greater waist circumference (per 5 cm: HR = 1.04, 95% CI 1.03-1.05, P-value for trend = <0.0001) and waist-to-hip ratio (per 0.1 unit: HR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.05-1.09, P-value for trend = <0.0001), adjusted for body mass index (BMI), were associated with higher risk and did not vary by smoking status (P-value for heterogeneity = 0.85 and 0.44, respectively). Associations with BMI (P-value for interaction = <0.0001) varied by smoking status. Larger BMI was associated with higher HNC risk in never smokers (per 5 kg/m(2): HR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.06-1.24, P-value for trend = 0.0006), but not in former smokers (per 5 kg/m(2): HR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.93-1.06, P-value for trend = 0.79) or current smokers (per 5 kg/m(2): HR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.71-0.82, P-value for trend = <0.0001). Larger hip circumference was not associated with a higher HNC risk. Greater height (per 5 cm) was associated with higher risk of HNC in never and former smokers, but not in current smokers.
CONCLUSIONS - Waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio were associated positively with HNC risk regardless of smoking status, whereas a positive association with BMI was only found in never smokers.
© The Author 2015; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.
IMPORTANCE - The PIK3CA mutation is one of the most common mutations in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Through this research we attempt to elicit the role of oncogene dependence and effects of targeted therapy on this PIK3CA mutation.
OBJECTIVES - (1) To determine the role of oncogene dependence on PIK3CA-one of the more common and targetable oncogenes in HNSCC, and (2) to evaluate the consequence of this oncogene on the effectiveness of newly developed targeted therapies.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - This was a cell culture-based, in vitro study performed at an academic research laboratory assessing the viability of PIK3CA-mutated head and neck cell lines when treated with targeted therapy.
EXPOSURES - PIK3CA-mutated head and neck cell lines were treated with 17-AAG, GDC-0941, trametinib, and BEZ-235.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - Assessment of cell viability of HNSCC cell lines characterized for PIK3CA mutations or SCC25 cells engineered to express the PIK3CA hotspot mutations E545K or H1047R.
RESULTS - Surprisingly, in engineered cell lines, the hotspot E545K and H1047R mutations conferred increased, rather than reduced, IC50 assay measurements when treated with the respective HSP90, PI3K, and MEK inhibitors, 17-AAG, GDC-0941, and trametinib, compared with the SCC25 control cell lines. When treated with BEZ-235, H1047R-expressing cell lines showed increased sensitivity to inhibition compared with control, whereas those expressing E545K showed slightly increased sensitivity of unclear significance.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - (1) The PIK3CA mutations within our engineered cell model did not lead to enhanced oncogene-dependent cell death when treated with direct inhibition of the PI3K enzyme yet did show increased sensitivity compared with control with dual PI3K/mTOR inhibition. (2) Oncogene addiction to PIK3CA hotspot mutations, if it occurs, is likely to evolve in vivo in the context of additional molecular changes that remain to be identified. Additional study is required to develop new model systems and approaches to determine the role of targeted therapy in the treatment of PI3K-overactive HNSCC tumors.
OBJECTIVE - We describe development and preliminary testing of Vanderbilt Head and Neck Symptom Survey-Recurrent/Metastatic (VHNSS-RM) to assess residual symptoms, tumor-related symptoms, and side effects from therapy.
METHODS - Items were identified through patient and provider interviews. Card sort selected high-yield and high-impact items. The VHNSS-RM was administered to 50 patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancer (RMHNC).
RESULTS - The VHNSS-RM includes 12 unique symptoms (diet change, tongue movement affecting speech/swallowing, face/neck swelling, neck/jaw cramping, bad breath, drooling, wound drainage/pain/odor, nasal congestion/drainage, eyes watering, face/tongue/ear/scalp numbness, headaches, and confusion) and 7 unique psychosocial issues (burden to family/friends, lost independence, fear, embarrassment, mood swings, stress, and boredom).
CONCLUSIONS - The VHNSS-RM contains 35 physical and 12 psychosocial issues. The VHNSS-RM is feasible and not overly burdensome. Nineteen unique items may improve palliation to patients with RMHNC.
© The Author(s) 2015.
The Cancer Genome Atlas profiled 279 head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) to provide a comprehensive landscape of somatic genomic alterations. Here we show that human-papillomavirus-associated tumours are dominated by helical domain mutations of the oncogene PIK3CA, novel alterations involving loss of TRAF3, and amplification of the cell cycle gene E2F1. Smoking-related HNSCCs demonstrate near universal loss-of-function TP53 mutations and CDKN2A inactivation with frequent copy number alterations including amplification of 3q26/28 and 11q13/22. A subgroup of oral cavity tumours with favourable clinical outcomes displayed infrequent copy number alterations in conjunction with activating mutations of HRAS or PIK3CA, coupled with inactivating mutations of CASP8, NOTCH1 and TP53. Other distinct subgroups contained loss-of-function alterations of the chromatin modifier NSD1, WNT pathway genes AJUBA and FAT1, and activation of oxidative stress factor NFE2L2, mainly in laryngeal tumours. Therapeutic candidate alterations were identified in most HNSCCs.
INTRODUCTION - A combination of cetuximab and sorafenib in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic (R/M) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) were assessed for potential benefit.
MATERIAL AND METHODS - In a randomized phase II study, R/M HNSCC patients were treated with cetuximab 400mg/m(2) IV on day 1 followed by 250mg/m(2) IV weekly (Arm A), or cetuximab at the same dose/schedule plus sorafenib 400mg PO twice-a-day (Arm B). Each cycle was 21days. Tumor p16 and HPV status, and plasma immunomodulatory cytokine levels were assessed.
RESULTS - Of 55 patients enrolled (Arm A-27, Arm B-28), 52 patients received assigned treatments and 43 were evaluable for response. Overall response rate was 8% for both arms. Median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 9.0 and 3.0months in Arm A, and 5.7 and 3.2months in Arm B, respectively. Forty-four patients had tumors available for p16 staining (35-negative, 9-positive). Three of nine p16-positive tumors were also HPV positive. The p16-negative patients had significantly better PFS compared to the p16-positive patients (3.7 vs. 1.6months; p-value: 0.03), regardless of study arms. Twenty-four plasma samples were tested for 12 cytokine levels and patients with higher TGFβ1 levels had inferior PFS compared to lower levels (1.9 vs. 4.7months; adjusted p-value: 0.015), regardless of study arms.
CONCLUSIONS - A subset of R/M patients with p16-negative tumors or lower plasma TGFβ1 levels had longer PFS given the cetuximab-based therapy. However, both arms showed only modest response and sorafenib given with cetuximab did not demonstrate clinical benefit.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - CUDC-101 is a small molecule that simultaneously inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), human growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), and histone deacetylase (HDAC) with preclinical activity in head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). The primary objective of this investigation is to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of CUDC-101 with cisplatin-radiotherapy in the treatment of HNSCC.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - CUDC-101 monotherapy was administered intravenously three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for a one-week run-in, then continued with concurrent cisplatin (100 mg/m(2) every 3 weeks) and external beam radiation (70 Gy to gross disease) over 7 weeks.
RESULTS - Twelve patients with intermediate or high-risk HNSCC enrolled. Eleven were p16INKa (p16)-negative. The MTD of CUDC-101-based combination therapy was established at 275 mg/m(2)/dose. Five patients discontinued CUDC-101 due to an adverse event (AE); only one was considered a dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), at the MTD. Pharmacokinetic evaluation suggested low accumulation with this dosing regimen. HDAC inhibition was demonstrated by pharmacodynamic analyses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), tumor biopsies, and paired skin biopsies. Paired tumor biopsies demonstrated a trend of EGFR inhibition. At 1.5 years of median follow-up, there has been one recurrence and two patient deaths (neither attributed to CUDC-101). The remaining nine patients are free of progression.
CONCLUSIONS - CUDC-101, cisplatin, and radiation were feasible in intermediate-/high-risk patients with HNSCC, with no unexpected patterns of AE. Although the MTD was identified, a high rate of DLT-independent discontinuation of CUDC-101 suggests a need for alternate schedules or routes of administration.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.