Dr. Vasu Divi specializes in the treatment of head and neck cancer, both as a cancer surgeon and a reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Divi has a special interest in high-risk and advanced skin cancers, oral cavity cancers, and osteoradionecrosis of the head and neck. He utilizes advanced 3D-modeling to customize reconstruction of the jaw following surgery for cancer or radiation injuries.
- Cancer > Head and Neck Cancer
- Head and Neck Surgical Oncology
- Microvascular Reconstruction
- Mandibular Reconstruction
- Skin Cancer
Assistant Professor - Med Center Line, Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Divisions
Member, Stanford Cancer Institute
Co-chair, High-Risk Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Working Group, Stanford University (2013 - Present)
Director of Stanford Head and Neck Surgery Fellowship, American Head and Neck Society (2013 - Present)
Board Certification: Otolaryngology, American Board of Otolaryngology (2010)
Fellowship, Harvard Medical School / Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, Head & Neck Surgical Oncology, Microvascular Reconstruction, Skull Base Surgery (2010)
Residency, University of Michigan, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (2009)
M.D., University of Michigan, Medical School (2004)
B.A., University of Michigan, Economics (1998)
Quality Measures in Breast Reconstruction: A Systematic Review.
Annals of plastic surgery
The importance of providing quality care over quantity of care, and its positive effects on health care expenditure and health, has motivated a transition toward value-based payments. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and private payers are establishing programs linking financial incentives and penalties to adherence to quality measures. As payment models based on quality measures are transitioned into practice, it is beneficial to identify current quality measures that address breast reconstruction surgery as well as understand gaps to inform future quality measure development.We performed a systematic review of quality measures for breast reconstruction surgery by searching quality measure databases, professional society clinical practice guidelines, and the literature. Measures were categorized as structure, process, or outcome according to the Donabedian domains of quality.We identified a total of 27 measures applicable to breast reconstruction: 5 candidate quality measures specifically for breast reconstruction surgery and 22 quality measures that relate broadly to surgery. Of the breast reconstruction candidate measures, 3 addressed processes and 2 addressed outcomes. Seventeen of the general quality measures were process measures and 5 were outcome measures. We did not identify any structural measures.Currently, an overrepresentation of process measures exists, which addresses breast reconstruction surgery. There is a limited number of candidate measures that specifically address breast reconstruction. Quality measure development efforts on underrepresented domains, such as structure and outcome, and stewarding the measure development process for candidate quality measures can ensure breast reconstruction surgery is appropriately evaluated in value-based payment models.
View details for DOI 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001088
View details for PubMedID 28570449
Association of Postoperative Radiotherapy With Survival in Patients With N1 Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
JAMA OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY
2016; 142 (12): 1224-1230
The guidelines for head and neck cancer recommend consideration of adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) for patients with pT1N1 or pT2N1 disease in the absence of other adverse features. This recommendation was recently changed for oropharyngeal (OP) squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).To examine the use and outcomes of PORT for N1 OP SCC and oral cavity (OC) SCC.This retrospective cohort study identified 1467 adult patients with OC SCC and 790 patients with OP SCC with pT1N1 or pT2N1 disease in the absence of other adverse features from the National Cancer Database from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2013. Patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy or palliative radiotherapy or who had adverse pathologic features were excluded. Statistical analysis included χ2 tests and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Data were analyzed from November 10, 2015, to June 30, 2016.Overall survival.Of the 1467 patients with OC SCC (842 men [57.4%]; 625 women [42.6%]; mean [SD] age, 61.3 [13.8] years), 740 (50.4%) received PORT. Of the 790 patients with OP SCC (584 men [73.9%]; 206 women [26.1%]; mean [SD] age, 58.2 [10.3] years), 449 (56.8%) received PORT. After controlling for patient demographics, pathologic characteristics, and hospital-level variables, PORT was associated with improved overall survival for patients with OC SCC (hazard ratio [HR], 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63-0.92) and OP SCC (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.41-0.92) with pN1 disease without adverse features. On stratified analysis, this association persisted for patients younger than 70 years (OC SCC HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.61-0.97; OP SCC HR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.31-0.75) and those with pT2 disease (OC SCC HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.43-0.96; OP SCC HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32-0.95), but there was no association with overall survival among patients 70 years or older (OC SCC HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.58-1.06; OP SCC HR, 1.55; 95% CI, 0.63-3.82) and those with pT1 disease (OC SCC HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.60-1.07; OP SCC HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.35-1.24).PORT may be associated with improved survival in patients with pN1 OC and OP SCC, especially in those younger than 70 years or those with pT2 disease.
View details for DOI 10.1001/jamaoto.2016.3519
View details for Web of Science ID 000391467800014
View details for PubMedID 27832255
Contemporary mandibular reconstruction.
Current opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery
2016; 24 (5): 433-439
Multiple disease processes, including neoplasia, trauma, and medication side-effects, necessitate segmental resection and subsequent reconstruction of the mandible. As surgical techniques have advanced, several technologies have been developed with the potential to significantly transform a surgeon's approach to the restoration of mandibular continuity. The purpose of this review is to highlight many of these relatively newer tools and discuss their evolving role in mandibular reconstruction.Several contemporary studies have documented the application of different approaches and modifications to mandibular reconstruction - including computer-aided design or computer-aided modeling, contemporary plating systems, osseointegrated implants, and various modifications to existing osseocutaneous free tissue transfer options - and have reported relatively high success rates.In discussing these reports, we present a survey of current and developing technologies in the field of mandibular reconstruction and aim to provide sufficient context for the gradual integration of these techniques into practice.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000284
View details for PubMedID 27348352
Geographic variation in Medicare treatment costs and outcomes for advanced head and neck cancer
2016; 61: 83-88
Advanced head and neck cancer (HNC) is a complex group of diseases that requires the input and coordination of multiple providers. While there are general guidelines for treatment, there is also considerable variation in how patients are treated, and how long they survive after treatment. It is unclear how the treatment variations relate to treatment costs and survival.We identified 3678 Medicare patients with advanced HNC treated in 12 US regions between 2004 and 2009 using the linked database containing Medicare and Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) data. We calculated average cost per patient during the period three months before to 12months after diagnosis for each region. Costs included inpatient hospital, outpatient, physician, and durable medical equipment charges. We also calculated three-year overall survival for each of the regions.The mean cost-per-patient varied substantially among the regions, ranging from $51,857 for Utah to $82,181 for Detroit. Utah incurred the lowest total costs within one year of advanced HNC diagnosis ($51,857 per patient, 95% CI $42,285-$61,429), whereas Detroit had the highest costs ($82,181 per patient, 95% CI $74,752-$89,610). Overall survival also varied among the regions, ranging from 45months in Kentucky to 58months in Washington. There was little correlation between expenditures and length of survival, with correlation coefficient of 0.0088.Despite significant variation in both expenditures and survival among the regions, we found no correlation between costs and mean survival time, suggesting that more costly care did not lead to improved outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2016.08.018
View details for Web of Science ID 000384695400013
View details for PubMedID 27688109
Establishing quality indicators for neck dissection: Correlating the number of lymph nodes with oncologic outcomes (NRG Oncology RTOG 9501 and RTOG 0234).
Prospective quality metrics for neck dissection have not been established for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between lymph node counts from neck dissection, local-regional recurrence, and overall survival.The number of lymph nodes counted from neck dissection in patients treated in 2 NRG Oncology trials (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group [RTOG] 9501 and RTOG 0234) was evaluated for its prognostic impact on overall survival with a multivariate Cox model adjusted for demographic, tumor, and lymph node data and stratified by the postoperative treatment group.Five hundred seventy-two patients were analyzed at a median follow-up of 8 years. Ninety-eight percent of the patients were pathologically N+. The median numbers of lymph nodes recorded on the left and right sides were 24 and 25, respectively. The identification of fewer than 18 nodes was associated with worse overall survival in comparison with 18 or more nodes (hazard ratio [HR], 1.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-1.74; P = .007). The difference appeared to be driven by local-regional failure (HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.02-2.08; P = .04) but not by distant metastases (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.77-1.53; P = .65). When the analysis was limited to NRG Oncology RTOG 0234 patients, adding the p16 status to the model did not affect the HR for dissected nodes, and the effect of nodes did not differ with the p16 status.The removal and identification of 18 or more lymph nodes was associated with improved overall survival and lower rates of local-regional failure, and this should be further evaluated as a measure of quality in neck dissections for mucosal squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer 2016. © 2016 American Cancer Society.
View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.30204
View details for PubMedID 27419843
- Third party assessment of resection margin status in head and neck cancer ORAL ONCOLOGY 2016; 57: 27-31
Consultation via telemedicine and access to operative care for patients with head and neck cancer in a Veterans Health Administration population
HEAD AND NECK-JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENCES AND SPECIALTIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK
2016; 38 (6): 925-929
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a telemedicine model that utilizes an audiovisual teleconference as a preoperative visit.Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients with head and neck cancer at 2 remote locations were provided access to the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs (PAVA) Health Care System otolaryngology department via the telemedicine protocol: tissue diagnosis and imaging at the patient site; data review at PAVA; and a preoperative teleconference connecting the patient to PAVA. Operative care occurred at PAVA. Follow-up care was provided remotely via teleconference.Fifteen patients were evaluated. Eleven underwent surgery, 4 with high-grade neoplasms (carcinoma). Average time from referral to operation was 28 days (range, 17-36 days) and 72 (range, 31-108 days), respectively, for high-grade and low-grade groups. The average patient was spared 28 hours traveling time and $900/patient was saved on travel-related costs.A telemedicine model enables timely access to surgical care and permits considerable savings among select VHA patients with head and neck cancer. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: 925-929, 2016.
View details for DOI 10.1002/hed.24386
View details for Web of Science ID 000379939900021
View details for PubMedID 26899939
Third party assessment of resection margin status in head and neck cancer.
2016; 57: 27-31
Definitive assessment of primary site margin status following resection of head and neck cancer is necessary for prognostication, treatment determination and qualification for clinical trials. This retrospective analysis determined how often an independent reviewer can assess primary tumor margin status of head and neck cancer resections based on review of the pathology report, surgical operative report, and first follow-up note alone.We extracted from the electronic medical record pathology reports, operative reports, and follow-up notes from head and neck cancer resections performed at Stanford Hospital. We classified margin status as definitive or not. We labeled any pathology report clearly indicating a positive, negative, or close (<5mm) margin as definitive. For each non-definitive pathology report, we reviewed the operative report and then the first follow-up note in an attempt to clarify margin status. We also looked for associations between non-definitive status and surgeon, year, and primary site.743 unique cases of head and neck cancer resection were extracted. We discarded 255 as non-head and neck cancer cases, or cases that did not involve a definitive resection of a primary tumor site. We could not definitively establish margin status in 20% of resections by independent review of the medical record. There was no correlation between margin determination and surgeon, site, or year of surgery.A substantial fraction (20%) of primary site surgical margins could not be definitively determined via independent EMR review. This could have implications for subsequent patient care decisions and clinical trial options.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2016.03.009
View details for PubMedID 27208841
Number of positive nodes is superior to the lymph node ratio and American Joint Committee on Cancer N staging for the prognosis of surgically treated head and neck squamous cell carcinomas
2016; 122 (9): 1388-1397
Recent changes in head and neck cancer epidemiology have created a need for improved lymph node prognostics. This article compares the prognostic value of the number of positive nodes (pN) with the value of the lymph node ratio (LNR) and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) N staging in surgical patients.The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was used to identify cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas from 2004 to 2012. The sample was grouped by the AJCC N stage, LNR, and pN and was analyzed with Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. The sample was also analyzed by the site of the primary tumor.This study identified 12,437 patients. Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed superior prognostic ability for LNR and pN staging in comparison with AJCC staging. Patients with a pN value > 5 had the worst overall survival (5-year survival rate, 16%). Patients with oropharyngeal tumors had better outcomes for all groupings, and a pN value > 5 for oropharyngeal cancers was associated with decreased survival. Multivariate regressions demonstrated larger hazard ratios (HRs) and a lower Akaike information criterion for the pN model versus the AJCC stage and LNR models. The HRs were 1.78 (95% confidence interval, 1.62-1.95) for a pN value of 1, 2.53 (95% confidence interval, 2.32-2.75) for a pN value of 2 to 5, and 4.64 (95% confidence interval, 4.18-5.14) for a pN value > 5.The pN models demonstrated superior prognostic value in comparison with the LNR and AJCC N staging. Future modifications of the nodal staging system should be based on the pN with a separate system for oropharyngeal cancers. Future trials should consider examining adjuvant treatment escalation in patients with >5 lymph nodes. Cancer 2016;122:1388-1397. © 2016 American Cancer Society.
View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.29932
View details for Web of Science ID 000374706500010
View details for PubMedID 26969807
- Use of Pedicled Nasoseptal Flap for Pathologic Oroantral Fistula Closure JOURNAL OF ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY 2016; 74 (4)
Regional variation in head and neck cancer mortality: Role of patient and hospital characteristics
HEAD AND NECK-JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENCES AND SPECIALTIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK
2016; 38: E1896-E1902
The purpose of this study was to determine whether outcomes in head and neck cancer would vary based on geographic location of patients.A dataset from the California Cancer Registry was linked to publicly available discharge abstracts. Patients were separated into geographic areas based on health service areas (HSAs). Multilevel logistic regression models were constructed to include geographic, patient, and hospital-level characteristics.There was significant variation in 5-year survival hazard ratios (HRs) among the majority of the 14 HSAs in the unadjusted model. After adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics, the differences between regions were not significant except for Orange County (HR = 0.75). Commission on Cancer certification (HR = 0.82; p < .01) and hospital volume (HR = 0.975; p < .01) were each independently associated with differences in survival.Geographic variation in 5-year survival outcomes is seen in head and neck cancer. Patient characteristics and treating hospitals explain much of this variation. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E1896-E1902, 2016.
View details for DOI 10.1002/hed.24343
View details for Web of Science ID 000375116400247
View details for PubMedID 26713544
Use of Pedicled Nasoseptal Flap for Pathologic Oroantral Fistula Closure.
Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery
2016; 74 (4): 704 e1-6
Oroantral fistula (OAF) is a pathologic, epithelialized communication between the oral cavity and the maxillary sinus. OAF most commonly results from posterior maxillary tooth or molar extraction owing to proximity of the dental roots to the maxillary antrum and the thinness of the adjacent antral floor. It also can arise secondary to implant and orthognathic surgeries, cyst and tumor removal, dental infection, trauma, or as a sequela of radiation therapy. Communications larger than 5 mm are less likely to heal spontaneously and can epithelialize, forming an OAF. When locoregional flaps and grafts are not ideal or have failed, but primary OAF closure is mandated, surgical options are unclear. This report describes a novel method for autologous tissue flap coverage from the nasal septum, pedicled off the posterior septal artery, for successful extension to, and closure of, OAFs.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.joms.2015.11.010
View details for PubMedID 26704432
A prospective study of electronic quality of life assessment using tablet devices during and after treatment of head and neck cancers.
2015; 51 (12): 1132-1137
Electronic data collection is increasingly used for quality of life (QOL) assessments in the field of oncology. It is important to assess the feasibility of these new data capture technologies.Patients at our institution who were 18years or older with a pathological diagnosis of head and neck cancer were prospectively enrolled. Each patient completed two questionnaires [EORTC-QLQ-C30 and EORTC-QLQ-H&N35] administered on a touch-screen tablet device (iPad™) at initial consult, during treatment, at the completion of treatment and at each subsequent follow up visit for one year after treatment.A total of 50 patients were included in this study. Although all patients completed the surveys at the initial consult, 86% of initially enrolled patients completed surveys at the end of radiation treatment, and 48% of initially enrolled patients completed surveys by the fourth follow-up visit. Average time to complete the survey for all patients over all time points was 9.8min (standard deviation 6.1). Age as a continuous variable was significantly associated with time for survey completion (p<0.001), with older age associated with longer survey completion times.QOL assessment using tablet devices in head and neck cancer patients is feasible, but may be more challenging in elderly patients. Patients ⩾70years old may benefit from more assistance with electronic forms and should be allotted more time for completing tablet-based QOL surveys.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.10.003
View details for PubMedID 26475062
- Anterolateral approach to the upper cervical spine: Case report and operative technique HEAD AND NECK-JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENCES AND SPECIALTIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK 2015; 37 (9): E115-E119
CD271 is a functional and targetable marker of tumor-initiating cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
2014; 5 (16): 6854-6866
Tumor-initiating cells (TICs) in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) are best characterized by their surface expression of CD44. Although there is great interest in identifying strategies to target this population, no marker of these cells has been found to be functionally active. Here, we examined the expression of the purported marker of normal human oral epithelial stem cells, CD271. We show that CD271 expression is restricted to a subset of the CD44+ cells. Using xenograft assays, we show that the CD44+CD271+ subpopulation contains the most tumorigenic cells. Loss of CD271 function results in a block in the G2-M phase of the cell cycle and a profound negative impact on the capacity of these cells to initiate tumor formation in vivo. Incubation with recombinant NGF results in enhanced phosphorylation of Erk, providing additional evidence that CD271 is functionally active. Finally, incubation of SCCHN cells with antibody to CD271 results in decreased Erk phosphorylation and decreased tumor formation in vivo. Thus, our data are the first to demonstrate that CD271 more specifically identifies the TIC subpopulation within the CD44+ compartment in SCCHN and that this receptor is a functionally active and targetable molecule.
View details for PubMedID 25149537
EVALUATION OF CD44 VARIANT EXPRESSION IN ORAL, HEAD AND NECK SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMAS USING A TRIPLE APPROACH AND ITS CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF IMMUNOPATHOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY
2014; 27 (3): 337-349
Cancer stem cells possess the qualities of self-renewal, tumorigenesis and the ability to recapitulate a heterogeneous tumor. Our group was the first to isolate head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) stem cells using the cell surface marker CD44. CD44 is a trans-membrane glycoprotein with a multitude of key-functions that regulate cancer cell proliferation and metastasis. The variety of CD44 functions is due to tissue-specific patterns of glycosylation of the extracellular portion, and to the multiple protein isoforms (CD44 variants, CD44v) generated by alternative splicing. This study investigates the expression pattern of CD44 variants in HNSCC. Ten cell lines from the most common HNSCC locations and representative of various clinical outcomes were assayed by quantitative realtime PCR, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence comparatively with normal oral keratinocytes. The CD44 v4 and v6 were exclusively abundant in HNSCC while the isoform v1,2 was expressed in normal oral keratinocytes. Of interest, the highest level of CD44v6 expression was detected in advanced metastatic HNSCC, suggesting a link between CD44v6 expression and HNSCC metastasis, while the highest CD44v4 was detected in a stage IV HNSCC refractory to chemotherapy which developed recurrence. Oral-derived HNSCC expressed the highest CD44v4 and v6, and levels corresponded with staging, showing also an increasing tendency with recurrence and metastasis. CD44v were detected predominantly in smaller cells (a characteristic that has been associated with stem cell properties) or cells with mesenchymal morphology (a characteristic that has been associated with the migratory and invasive potential of epithelial tumor cells), suggesting that CD44v differential expression in HNSCC may be representative of the morphological changes inherent during tumor progression towards a more aggressive potential, and thus contributing to the individual tumor biology. The mechanism of CD44 variant involvement in HNSCC progression and metastasis is under investigation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000342397100004
View details for PubMedID 25280025
Characterization of tumorigenic cell lines from the recurrence and lymph node metastasis of a human salivary mucoepidermoid carcinoma
2013; 49 (11): 1059-1066
The long-term outcome of patients with mucoepidermoid carcinoma is poor. Limited availability of cell lines and lack of xenograft models is considered a major barrier to improved mechanistic understanding of this disease and development of effective therapies.To generate and characterize human mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell lines and xenograft models suitable for mechanistic and translational studies.Five human mucoepidermoid carcinoma specimens were available for generation of cell lines. Cell line tumorigenic potential was assessed by transplantation and serial in vivo passaging in immunodeficient mice, and cell line authenticity verified by short tandem repeat (STR) profiling.A unique pair of mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell lines was established from a local recurrence (UM-HMC-3A) and from the metastatic lymph node (UM-HMC-3B) of the same patient, 4years after surgical removal of the primary tumor. These cell lines retained epithelial-like morphology through 100 passages in vitro, contain the Crtc1-Maml2 fusion oncogene (characteristic of mucoepidermoid carcinomas), and express the prototypic target of this fusion (NR4A2). Both cell lines generated xenograft tumors when transplanted into immunodeficient mice. Notably, the xenografts exhibited histological features and Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) staining patterns that closely resembled those found in human tumors. STR profiling confirmed the origin and authenticity of these cell lines.These data demonstrate the generation and characterization of a pair of tumorigenic salivary mucoepidermoid carcinoma cell lines representative of recurrence and lymph node metastasis. Such models are useful for mechanistic and translational studies that might contribute to the discovery of new therapies for mucoepidermoid carcinoma.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2013.08.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000325461200004
View details for PubMedID 24035723
Transoral robotic biopsy of the tongue base: A novel paradigm in the evaluation of unknown primary tumors of the head and neck
HEAD AND NECK-JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENCES AND SPECIALTIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK
2013; 35 (4): E126-E130
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck can present as a cervical metastasis from an unknown primary site. The standard diagnostic workup includes panendoscopy and directed biopsies but this will fail to identify a portion of unknown primary tumors.Herein, we present a case report of a male patient with an unknown primary tumor in which the da Vinci surgical robot was used to evaluate the tongue base.Clinical evaluation, imaging, and panendoscopy with directed biopsies failed to detect the primary tumor site. Robot-assisted biopsy of a broad area of the tongue base, incorporating submucosal tissue, identified the primary tumor with minimal postoperative morbidity.Failure to localize an unknown primary tumor often results in widespread irradiation of the upper aerodigestive tract, inducing significant morbidity. Robot-assisted biopsies of the tongue base may identify unknown primaries that would otherwise have been missed through standard directed biopsy techniques.
View details for DOI 10.1002/hed.21968
View details for Web of Science ID 000316575900007
View details for PubMedID 22180229
Diagnostic modalities for distant metastasis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Are we changing life expectancy?
2012; 122 (7): 1507-1511
To determine if the various imaging modalities for distant metastasis (DM) diagnosis alters life expectancy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).Retrospective.One hundred seventy patients (mean age, 59.1 years; male:female, 135:35) with HNSCC who developed DM were reviewed. The main outcome measures were the method of DM diagnosis and time from DM diagnosis to death while controlling for clinical parameters (age, gender, tobacco status, primary tumor site, initial TNM classification, number and site of DM, administration of palliative chemotherapy).Tumor subsites were: 40 oral cavity, 75 oropharynx, 36 larynx, 10 hypopharynx, one nasopharynx, and eight unknown primary. Of the patients, 16.5% (28/170) had distant metastasis at presentation; the remaining 142 patients were diagnosed with DM at a median of 324 days from diagnosis. Although patients diagnosed with DM by positron-emission tomography (PET) scan were more likely to have multiple DM sites (P = .0001), there were no differences in life expectancy in patients who were diagnosed with or without PET scan (median, 185 vs. 165 days, P = .833). There were no differences in life expectancy based on age, gender, site of primary tumor, or number/site of DM. The use of palliative chemotherapy resulted in a significantly longer life expectancy (median, 285 vs. 70 days; P = .001).Although a PET scan is more likely to diagnose multiple DM sites, there was no difference in life expectancy based on imaging modality. Patients who are symptomatic from their distant metastasis have a worse life expectancy, and palliative chemotherapy was able to increase life expectancy, even in patients who were symptomatic from the distant metastasis.
View details for DOI 10.1002/lary.23264
View details for Web of Science ID 000305577400015
View details for PubMedID 22460441
Re-animation and rehabilitation of the paralyzed face in head and neck cancer patients
2012; 25 (1): 99-107
Facial nerve paralysis can occasionally result from the treatment of head and neck cancer. The treatment of paralysis is patient specific, and requires an assessment of the remaining nerve segments, musculature, functional deficits, anticipated recovery, and patient factors. When feasible, reinnervation of the remaining musculature can provide the most natural outcome. However, the complex and topographic nature of facial innervation often prevents complete and meaningful movement. In these instances, a wide variety of procedures can be used to combat the functional and cosmetic sequella of facial paralysis.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ca.21286
View details for Web of Science ID 000298302200010
View details for PubMedID 22025410
Primary TEP Placement in Patients with Laryngopharyngeal Free Tissue Reconstruction and Salivary Bypass Tube Placement
OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD AND NECK SURGERY
2011; 144 (3): 474-476
The authors examined the feasibility and advantages of primary tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) with intraoperative placement of the voice prosthesis for patients undergoing laryngopharyngectomy requiring free tissue reconstruction and salivary bypass tube placement. Six patients were identified; 4 underwent total laryngopharyngectomy, and 2 underwent total laryngectomy with partial pharyngectomy. All 6 required free tissue reconstruction, and a salivary bypass tube was placed in all cases. All patients had a 20F Indwelling Blom-Singer prosthesis (InHealth Technologies, Carpinteria, California) placed. No complications were noted with intraoperative prosthesis placement. No prostheses were dislodged in the postoperative period. At 6 months, 4 patients available for evaluation had successful voice outcomes, and 3 were disease free. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of voice prosthesis placement at the time of primary TEP associated with free tissue reconstruction of a laryngopharyngeal defect with salivary bypass tube placement.
View details for DOI 10.1177/0194599810391960
View details for Web of Science ID 000293997400025
View details for PubMedID 21493216
Metastatic Potential of Cancer Stem Cells in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
ARCHIVES OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY
2010; 136 (12): 1260-1266
to design in vitro and in vivo models of metastasis to study the behavior of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).cells were sorted for CD44 expression using flow cytometry. Sorted cells were used in an in vitro invasion assay. For in vivo studies, CSCs and non-CSCs were injected into the tail veins of mice, and lungs were either harvested or imaged to evaluate for lesions.in vitro, CD44(high) cells were more motile but not more invasive than CD44(low) cells. In vivo, 8 of 17 mice injected with CD44(high) cells and 0 of 17 mice injected with CD44(low) cells developed lung lesions. Two of the lesions arose from CSCs from a primary tumor and 6 from CSCs from HNSCC cell lines.in vitro, CSCs do not have an increased ability to invade through basement membrane, but they migrate more efficiently through a porous barrier. In contrast, CSCs efficiently formed lung lesions in vivo, whereas non-CSCs did not give rise to any distant disease. This phenomenon could be due to the enhanced migratory capacity of CSCs, which may be more important than basement membrane degradation in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID 000285323000014
View details for PubMedID 21173377
CHEMOTHERAPY ALONE FOR ORGAN PRESERVATION IN ADVANCED LARYNGEAL CANCER
HEAD AND NECK-JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENCES AND SPECIALTIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK
2010; 32 (8): 1040-1055
For patients with advanced laryngeal cancer, a trial was designed to determine if chemotherapy alone, in patients achieving a complete histologic complete response after a single neoadjuvant cycle, was an effective treatment with less morbidity than concurrent chemoradiotherapy.Thirty-two patients with advanced laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer received 1 cycle of induction chemotherapy, and subsequent treatment was decided based on response.A histologic complete response was achieved in 4 patients and were treated with chemotherapy alone. All 4 patients' cancer relapsed in the neck and required surgery and postoperative radiotherapy (RT). Twenty-five patients were treated with concomitant chemoradiation. Three patients were treated with surgery. Overall survival and disease-specific survival at 3 years were 68% and 78%, respectively.Chemotherapy alone is not feasible for long-term control of regional disease in patients with advanced laryngeal cancer even when they achieve a histologic complete response at the primary site.
View details for DOI 10.1002/hed.21285
View details for Web of Science ID 000280539500009
View details for PubMedID 19953609
Use-of cross-sectional imaging in predicting surgical location of parotid neoplasms
JOURNAL OF COMPUTER ASSISTED TOMOGRAPHY
2005; 29 (3): 315-319
The purpose of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of using the retromandibular vein as seen on cross-sectional imaging to help differentiate superficial lobe from deep lobe tumors.Of the patients who had parotid neoplasms between January 1997 and July 2002, we were able to identify 44 patients with preoperative imaging studies that were available for evaluation. The films were reviewed by a single head and neck radiologist to determine whether the neoplasms involved the superficial, deep, or both lobes of the parotid gland (total). The lateral margin of the retromandibular vein was used as a marker for the facial nerve, since the nerve is not always visible on CT and MRI scans. The radiologist's findings were then compared with the findings during surgery. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of predicting the location of neoplasms were then calculated.For lesions in the superficial lobe, cross-sectional imaging was able to predict the location of the neoplasm with a sensitivity of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.70-0.98), specificity of 0.86 (95% CI, 0.63-0.96), PPV of 0.88 (95% CI, 0.67-0.97), and NPV of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.67-0.98). For lesions in both lobes (total), cross-sectional imaging was able to predict the location of the neoplasm with a sensitivity of 0.94 (95% CI, 0.68-0.99), specificity of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.71-0.97), PPV of 0.83 (95% CI, 0.58-0.96), and NPV of 0.96 (95% CI, 0.78-0.99).Use of the retromandibular vein as a marker for the facial nerve is a sensitive method for identifying the location of parotid gland neoplasms on cross-sectional imaging. This supports the accuracy of using preoperative imaging to detect the position of parotid neoplasms with respect to the facial nerve.
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View details for PubMedID 15891497