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BACKGROUND - Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) constitutes 0.5% of childhood malignancies and exhibits poor prognosis. Complete tumor extirpation either by partial liver resection (LR) or liver transplantation (LT) is the only curative treatment. Due to the poor initial outcomes of LT, LR has remained the mainstay of treatment for all but select children fulfilling the Milan criteria (originally designed for adults).
METHODS - We conducted a retrospective cohort study of pediatric HCC patients (younger than 18 years of age) registered in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database between 2004 and 2015. Survival analysis was performed by means of Kaplan-Meier methods, 2-sided stratified log-rank tests, and Cox regression models.
RESULTS - Of 127 children with HCC, 46 did not undergo operation (36.2%), 32 underwent LT (25.2%), and 49 underwent LR (38.6%). Using the Kaplan-Meier method, the 5-year cancer-specific survival (CSS) rates for LT and LR were 87% and 63%, respectively. LT exhibited superior CSS vs LR (log-rank, p = 0.007). For T1 stage, LT showed equivalent CSS compared with LR (log-rank, p = 0.23), and for T2 and T3 stage, LT exhibited superior CSS (log-rank, p = 0.047 and p = 0.01, respectively). On multivariable Cox regression analysis, T3/T4 stage (adjusted hazard ratio 13.63; 95% CI, 2.9 to 64.07; p = 0.001), and LR (adjusted hazard ratio 7.51; 95% CI, 2.07 to 27.29; p = 0.002) were found to be independently associated with cancer-specific mortality. Fibrolamellar histology and lymph node status were not found to be associated with mortality.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings suggest that children diagnosed with nonmetastatic advanced-stage HCC have a favorable prognosis after LT compared with LR. Early inclusion of an LT consultation after the initial diagnosis is warranted, especially in children with unresectable HCC or when complete tumor extirpation with LR is not feasible.
Copyright © 2020 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - The loss of liver glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) promotes liver steatosis and the transition to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Previous work showed endogenous glucose production is reduced in GNMT-null mice with gluconeogenic precursors being used in alternative biosynthetic pathways that utilize methyl donors and are linked to tumorigenesis. This metabolic programming occurs before the appearance of HCC in GNMT-null mice. The metabolic physiology that sustains liver tumor formation in GNMT-null mice is unknown. The studies presented here tested the hypothesis that nutrient flux pivots from glucose production to pathways that incorporate and metabolize methyl groups in GNMT-null mice with HCC.
METHODS - H/C metabolic flux analysis was performed in conscious, unrestrained mice lacking GNMT to quantify glucose formation and associated nutrient fluxes. Molecular analyses of livers from mice lacking GNMT including metabolomic, immunoblotting, and immunochemistry were completed to fully interpret the nutrient fluxes.
RESULTS - GNMT knockout (KO) mice showed lower blood glucose that was accompanied by a reduction in liver glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. NAD was lower and the NAD(P)H-to-NAD(P) ratio was higher in livers of KO mice. Indices of NAD synthesis and catabolism, pentose phosphate pathway flux, and glutathione synthesis were dysregulated in KO mice.
CONCLUSION - Glucose precursor flux away from glucose formation towards pathways that regulate redox status increase in the liver. Moreover, synthesis and scavenging of NAD are both impaired resulting in reduced concentrations. This metabolic program blunts an increase in methyl donor availability, however, biosynthetic pathways underlying HCC are activated.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.
Uveal melanoma (UM) is an uncommon melanoma subtype with poor prognosis. Agents that have transformed the management of cutaneous melanoma have made minimal inroads in UM. We conducted a single-arm phase II study of pembrolizumab in patients with metastatic UM and performed bioinformatics analyses of publicly available datasets to characterize the activity of anti-PD-1 in this setting and to understand the mutational and immunologic profile of this disease. A total of 5 patients received pembrolizumab in this study. Median overall survival was not reached, and median progression-free survival was 11.0 months. One patient experienced a complete response after one dose and 2 others experienced prolonged stable disease (20% response rate, 60% clinical benefit rate); 2 additional patients had rapidly progressing disease. Notably, the patients who benefited had either no liver metastases or small-volume disease, whereas patients with rapidly progressing disease had bulky liver involvement. We performed a bioinformatics analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas for UM and confirmed a low mutation burden and low rates of T-cell inflammation. Note that the lack of T-cell inflammation strongly correlated with pathway overexpression. Anti-PD-1-based therapy may cause clinical benefit in metastatic UM, seemingly more often in patients without bulky liver metastases. Lack of mutation burden and T-cell infiltration and overexpression may be factors limiting therapeutic responses. NCT02359851.
Copyright © 2019 by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
BACKGROUND - Colorectal liver metastases that demonstrate a complete radiographic response during chemotherapy are increasingly common with advances in chemotherapy regimens and are described as disappearing liver metastases (DLMs). However, these DLMs often continue to harbor residual viable tumor. If these tumors are found in the operating room with ultrasound (US), they should be treated. The intraoperative sonographic visualization of these lesions, however, can be hindered by chemotherapy-associated liver parenchyma changes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of an intraoperative image guidance system, Explorer (Analogic Corporation, Peabody, MA), to aid surgeons in the identification of DLMs initially undetected by US alone.
STUDY DESIGN - In a single-arm prospective trial, patients with colorectal liver metastases undergoing liver resection and/or ablation with one or more DLMs during neoadjuvant chemotherapy were enrolled. Intraoperatively, DLMs were localized with conventional US. Any DLM not found by conventional US was re-evaluated with the image guidance system. The primary outcome was the proportion of sonographically occult DLMs subsequently located by image-guided US.
RESULTS - Between April 2016 and November 2017, 25 patients with 61 DLMs were enrolled. Thirty-eight DLMs (62%) in 14 patients (56%) were not identified with US alone. Six (16%) DLMs in five patients (36%) were subsequently located with assistance of the image guidance system. The image guidance changed the intraoperative surgical plan in four of these patients.
CONCLUSIONS - Image guidance can aid surgeons in the identification of initially sonographically occult DLMs and facilitate the complete surgical clearance of all sites of liver disease.
PURPOSE - Several observational studies suggest that metformin reduces incidence cancer risk; however, many of these studies suffer from time-related biases and several cancer outcomes have not been investigated due to small sample sizes.
METHODS - We constructed a propensity score-matched retrospective cohort of 84,434 veterans newly prescribed metformin or a sulfonylurea as monotherapy. We used Cox proportional hazard regression to assess the association between metformin use compared to sulfonylurea use and incidence cancer risk for 10 solid tumors. We adjusted for clinical covariates including hemoglobin A1C, antihypertensive and lipid-lowering medications, and body mass index. Incidence cancers were defined by ICD-9-CM codes.
RESULTS - Among 42,217 new metformin users and 42,217 matched-new sulfonylurea users, we identified 2,575 incidence cancers. Metformin was inversely associated with liver cancer (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.44, 95% CI 0.31, 0.64) compared to sulfonylurea. We found no association between metformin use and risk of incidence bladder, breast, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, lung, pancreatic, prostate, or renal cancer when compared to sulfonylurea use.
CONCLUSIONS - In this large cohort study that accounted for time-related biases, we observed no association between the use of metformin and most cancers; however, we found a strong inverse association between metformin and liver cancer. Randomized trials of metformin for prevention of liver cancer would be useful to verify these observations.
Pathologic examination of hepatic metastasectomies from patients with metastatic small intestinal or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor frequently reveals micrometastases undetectable by radiologic or macroscopic gross examination. This finding raises the possibility that undetectable micrometastases remain in these patients after metastasectomy. Here we examined liver resections for micrometastases and assessed their impact on prognosis. Hepatic metastasectomies from 65 patients with neuroendocrine tumor of the small intestine (N = 43) or pancreas (N = 22) were reviewed for the presence of micrometastases, which were defined as microscopic tumor foci ≤1 mm in greatest dimension. Medical records were also reviewed for patient demographics, clinical history, and follow-up data. Micrometastasis was identified in 36 (55%) of 65 hepatic resection specimens. More hepatic micrometastases were seen in small intestinal cases than in pancreatic cases (29/43, 67%, versus 7/22, 32%; P < .01). They were typically present within portal tracts, sometimes with extension into the periportal region or sinusoidal spaces away from the portal tracts. Patients without hepatic micrometastases had fewer macrometastases or more R0 hepatic resections than those with micrometastases. The presence of hepatic micrometastases was associated with poor overall survival both before (hazard ratio [HR] 3.43; 95% CI 1.14-10.30; P = .03) and after accounting for confounding variables in stratified Cox regression (HR 4.82; 95% CI 1.0621.79; P = .04). In conclusion, hepatic micrometastases are common in patients with metastatic small intestinal or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor and are independently associated with poor prognosis. These data suggest that surgical resection of hepatic metastases is likely not curative in these patients.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To develop and implement a practical repainting method for efficient interplay effect mitigation in proton pencil beam scanning (PBS).
METHODS AND MATERIALS - A new flexible repainting scheme with spot-adapted numbers of repainting evenly spread out over the whole breathing cycle (assumed to be 4 seconds) was developed. Twelve fields from 5 thoracic and upper abdominal PBS plans were delivered 3 times using the new repainting scheme to an ion chamber array on a motion stage. One time was static and 2 used 4-second, 3-cm peak-to-peak sinusoidal motion with delivery started at maximum inhalation and maximum exhalation. For comparison, all dose measurements were repeated with no repainting and with 8 repaintings. For each motion experiment, the 3%/3-mm gamma pass rate was calculated using the motion-convolved static dose as the reference. Simulations were first validated with the experiments and then used to extend the study to 0- to 5-cm motion magnitude, 2- to 6-second motion periods, patient-measured liver tumor motion, and 1- to 6-fraction treatments. The effect of the proposed method was evaluated for the 5 clinical cases using 4-dimensional (4D) dose reconstruction in the planning 4D computed tomography scan. The target homogeneity index, HI = (D - D)/D, of a single-fraction delivery is reported, where D and D is the dose delivered to 2% and 98% of the target, respectively, and D is the mean dose.
RESULTS - The gamma pass rates were 59.6% ± 9.7% with no repainting, 76.5% ± 10.8% with 8 repaintings, and 92.4% ± 3.8% with the new repainting scheme. Simulations reproduced the experimental gamma pass rates with a 1.3% root-mean-square error and demonstrated largely improved gamma pass rates with the new repainting scheme for all investigated motion scenarios. One- and two-fraction deliveries with the new repainting scheme had gamma pass rates similar to those of 3-4 and 6-fraction deliveries with 8 repaintings. The mean HI for the 5 clinical cases was 14.2% with no repainting, 13.7% with 8 repaintings, 12.0% with the new repainting scheme, and 11.6% for the 4D dose without interplay effects.
CONCLUSIONS - A novel repainting strategy for efficient interplay effect mitigation was proposed, implemented, and shown to outperform conventional repainting in experiments, simulations, and dose reconstructions. This strategy could allow for safe and more optimal clinical delivery of thoracic and abdominal proton PBS and better facilitate hypofractionated and stereotactic treatments.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - For Chinese patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), surgical resection is the most important treatment to achieve long-term survival for patients with an early-stage tumor, and yet the prognosis after surgery is diverse. We aimed to construct a scoring system (Shanghai Score) for individualized prognosis estimation and adjuvant treatment evaluation.
METHODS - A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was constructed based on 4166 HCC patients undergoing resection during 2001-2008 at Zhongshan Hospital. Age, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B e antigen, partial thromboplastin time, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyltransferase, α-fetoprotein, tumor size, cirrhosis, vascular invasion, differentiation, encapsulation, and tumor number were finally retained by a backward step-down selection process with the Akaike information criterion. The Harrell's concordance index (C-index) was used to measure model performance. Shanghai Score is calculated by summing the products of the 14 variable values times each variable's corresponding regression coefficient. Totally 1978 patients from Zhongshan Hospital undergoing resection during 2009-2012, 808 patients from Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital during 2008-2010, and 244 patients from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital during 2010-2011 were enrolled as external validation cohorts. Shanghai Score was also implied in evaluating adjuvant treatment choices based on propensity score matching analysis.
RESULTS - Shanghai Score showed good calibration and discrimination in postsurgical HCC patients. The bootstrap-corrected C-index (confidence interval [CI]) was 0.74 for overall survival (OS) and 0.68 for recurrence-free survival (RFS) in derivation cohort (4166 patients), and in the three independent validation cohorts, the CI s for OS ranged 0.70-0.72 and that for RFS ranged 0.63-0.68. Furthermore, Shanghai Score provided evaluation for adjuvant treatment choices (transcatheter arterial chemoembolization or interferon-α). The identified subset of patients at low risk could be ideal candidates for curative surgery, and subsets of patients at moderate or high risk could be recommended with possible adjuvant therapies after surgery. Finally, a web server with individualized outcome prediction and treatment recommendation was constructed.
CONCLUSIONS - Based on the largest cohort up to date, we established Shanghai Score - an individualized outcome prediction system specifically designed for Chinese HCC patients after surgery. The Shanghai Score web server provides an easily accessible tool to stratify the prognosis of patients undergoing liver resection for HCC.
Advanced breast cancer is frequently associated with skeletal metastases and accelerated bone loss. Recombinant parathyroid hormone [teriparatide, PTH(1-34)] is the first anabolic agent approved in the US for treatment of osteoporosis. While signaling through the PTH receptor in the osteoblast lineage regulates bone marrow hematopoietic niches, the effects of anabolic PTH on the skeletal metastatic niche are unknown. Here, we demonstrate, using orthotopic and intratibial models of 4T1 murine and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer tumors, that anabolic PTH decreases both tumor engraftment and the incidence of spontaneous skeletal metastasis in mice. Microcomputed tomography and histomorphometric analyses revealed that PTH increases bone volume and reduces tumor engraftment and volume. Transwell migration assays with murine and human breast cancer cells revealed that PTH alters the gene expression profile of the metastatic niche, in particular VCAM-1, to inhibit recruitment of cancer cells. While PTH did not affect growth or migration of the primary tumor, it elicited several changes in the tumor gene expression profile resulting in a less metastatic phenotype. In conclusion, PTH treatment in mice alters the bone microenvironment, resulting in decreased cancer cell engraftment, reduced incidence of metastases, preservation of bone microarchitecture and prolonged survival.
BACKGROUND - Although systems of 3-dimensional image-guided surgery are a valuable adjunct across numerous procedures, differences in organ shape between that reflected in the preoperative image data and the intraoperative state can compromise the fidelity of such guidance based on the image. In this work, we assessed in real time a novel, 3-dimensional image-guided operation platform that incorporates soft tissue deformation.
METHODS - A series of 125 alignment evaluations were performed across 20 patients. During the operation, the surgeon assessed the liver by swabbing an optically tracked stylus over the liver surface and viewing the image-guided operation display. Each patient had approximately 6 intraoperative comparative evaluations. For each assessment, 1 of only 2 types of alignments were considered: conventional rigid and novel deformable. The series of alignment types used was randomized and blinded to the surgeon. The surgeon provided a rating, R, from -3 to +3 for each display compared with the previous display, whereby a negative rating indicated degradation in fidelity and a positive rating an improvement.
RESULTS - A statistical analysis of the series of rating data by the clinician indicated that the surgeons were able to perceive an improvement (defined as a R > 1) of the model-based registration over the rigid registration (P = .01) as well as a degradation (defined as R < -1) when the rigid registration was compared with the novel deformable guidance information (P = .03).
CONCLUSION - This study provides evidence of the benefit of deformation correction in providing an accurate location for the liver for use in image-guided surgery systems.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.