Quality of life and performance in advanced head and neck cancer patients on concomitant chemoradiotherapy: a prospective examination. (9/5027)

PURPOSE: To prospectively evaluate performance and quality of life (QOL) in advanced-stage head and neck cancer (HNC) patients on a curative-intent, concomitant-chemoradiotherapy (CT/XRT) (twice-daily radiation, fluorouracil, hydroxyurea, and cisplatin) regimen aimed at improving locoregional control, survival, and QOL. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-four patients were assessed before, during, and at 3-month intervals after treatment. Standardized measures of QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck), performance (Performance Status Scale for Head and Neck Cancer Patients and Karnofsky Performance Status Rating Scale), and patient-reported symptoms (McMaster University Head and Neck Radiotherapy Questionnaire) were administered. RESULTS: Acute treatment toxicities were severe, with declines in virtually all QOL and functional domains. Marked improvement was seen by 12 months; general functional and physical measures returned to baseline levels of good to excellent. Although up to a third of the patients continued to report problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and mouth pain, these difficulties were present in similar magnitudes before treatment. The following symptoms were more frequent at 12 months: dry mouth (58% v 17%), difficulties tasting (32% v 8%), and soft food diet (82% v 42%). Twelve-month diet was not related to pretreatment functioning, disease, treatment, or patient characteristics. Twelve-month QOL was best predicted by pretreatment QOL, with very little relationship to residual side effects or functional impairments. Small numbers of patients in four of the five disease sites precluded examination of outcome by site. CONCLUSION: These data support the feasibility of intense CT/XRT as primary treatment for advanced HNC. Results confirm acute toxicity but indicate that many of the treatment-related performance and QOL declines resolve by 12 months. The persistent inability to eat a full range of foods warrants further attention and monitoring.  (+info)

The potential of plantinum-DNA adduct determination in ex vivo treated tumor fragments for the prediction of sensitivity to cisplatin chemotherapy. (10/5027)

BACKGROUND: Response to cisplatin-therapy is assumed to be related to the formation of platinum (Pt)-DNA adducts. Measurement of these adducts prior to therapy could be of value to improve cisplatin based cancer therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We determined Pt-GG and Pt-AG adduct levels by use of 32P-postlabeling after ex vivo cisplatin treatment of fragments of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) xenografts (five lines), and of tumor biopsies from patients with HNSCC (n = 8) and testicular cancer (n = 8). RESULTS: Adduct levels in fragments (3 x 3 x 3 mm) exposed to 10 to 80 microM cisplatin for one hour, showed positive correlations with the in vivo response to cisplatin treatment (P < 0.05), as well as with the xenograft adduct levels observed after in vivo cisplatin treatment (P < 0.02). After an additional five-hour drug-free incubation period the correlations were absent. When patient tumor fragments were exposed ex vivo to 80 microM cisplatin for one hour, adduct levels were similar in HNSCC and testicular cancer. Persistence of adducts was observed for testicular cancer in the additional drug-free period. The adduct levels in the samples of two HNSCC patients who received cisplatin chemotherapy were in line with the hypothesis that higher adduct levels are associated with a better response. CONCLUSION: Our preliminary results show that analysis of DNA adducts following ex vivo drug treatment is a feasible approach towards a predictive assay, which warrants further investigation.  (+info)

Docetaxel and cisplatin: an active regimen in patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Results of a phase II study of the EORTC Early Clinical Studies Group. (11/5027)

BACKGROUND: Docetaxel and cisplatin are among the most active antitumor agents in head and neck cancer, and phase I studies found the combination of the two drugs to be feasible. The EORTC ECSG performed a multicenter phase II study in patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck to evaluate the antitumor efficacy and toxicity of this combination. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eligibility criteria included written informed consent, a WHO performance status < 2, life expectancy of > 12 weeks, and adequate bone marrow, liver and renal function. Neoadjuvant pretreatment with cisplatin-based chemotherapy or prior radiotherapy were allowed. Patients were ineligible if pretreated with taxoids, had CNS involvement, concurrent malignancy, peripheral neuropathy, or no measurable disease. Treatment consisted of docetaxel 100 mg/m2 (one-hour i.v. infusion), followed by cisplatin 75 mg/m2 (three-hour i.v. infusion), repeated every three weeks. Supportive care included hydration, 5HT3-antagonists, and corticosteroids. RESULTS: Forty-four patients (median age 55 years, range 35-76) entered the trial; 41 patients were eligible, 164 cycles of treatment were evaluable for toxicity, and 31 patients for response. Fourteen patients had undergone prior surgery, 15 had received radiotherapy, and five had had chemotherapy. A median number of four treatment cycles (range 1-6) was given. Hematologic and non-hematologic toxicities were common, but hypersensitivity reactions and fluid retention were very infrequent due to corticosteroid prophylaxis. Four patients were taken off the study due to toxicity, and one toxic death occurred due to pneumonia. Among 41 eligible patients, objective responses as confirmed by independent review included six complete remissions and 16 partial remissions, resulting in an overall response rate of 53.7% (95% confidence interval: 37.4%-69.3%). Responses occurred in locally advanced, recurrent and metastatic disease, both in pre- and non-pretreated patients. Of 22 evaluable, non-pretreated patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease, five achieved complete responses, and 14 partial responses. Observed among nine evaluable pretreated patients with locally advanced or metastatic head and neck cancer were one complete response and two partial responses. CONCLUSION: The combination of docetaxel and cisplatin is feasible and active in locally advanced, recurrent, and metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.  (+info)

Radiation therapy with concomitant hydroxyurea and fluorouracil in stage II and III head and neck cancer. (12/5027)

PURPOSE: In 1986, a multi-institutional phase II trial was begun to study the use of chemotherapy with concomitant radiation in patients with stage II and III head and neck cancer. End points were overall survival, progression-free survival, local/regional control, and toxicity in the setting of organ preservation with concomitant treatment. METHODS: Eligible patients with stage II or III disease received chemotherapy and radiation on a 2-week cycle. Chemotherapy consisted of continuous infusion fluorouracil (5-FU) at 800 mg/m2/d for 5 consecutive days (days 1 to 5) and hydroxyurea (HU) at 1 g orally every 12 hours for 13 doses starting the evening before the start of irradiation. Radiation therapy was given as single 1.8- to 2.0-Gy fractions for 5 consecutive days (days 1 to 5) with chemotherapy. Each 5 days of treatment was followed by a 9-day break (days 6 to 14), during which no additional treatment was given. Treatment cycles were repeated until the completion of the planned radiation dose (six to eight cycles). RESULTS: Between 1989 and 1996, 60 patients were enrolled. All patients were eligible for analysis, with a median follow-up of 52 months for surviving patients and 42 months for all patients. Grade 3 to 4 mucositis occurred in 57% of patients. The 5 year-actuarial overall survival, progression-free survival, and local/regional control were 65%, 82%, and 86%, respectively. Eight patients developed local and/or regional recurrence after treatment. Surgical salvage was possible in three of these patients. Thus, the ultimate 5-year local/ regional control was 91%. CONCLUSION: Concomitant radiation and chemotherapy with 5-FU and HU is an effective regimen in patients with stage II and III head and neck cancer. Progression-free survival and local/regional control appear to be superior to expected rates in patients treated with surgery and radiation. Further testing of this regimen in a phase III setting is indicated.  (+info)

Lymphangiosarcomas in cats: a retrospective study of 12 cases. (13/5027)

Clinical, macroscopic, and histologic features of 12 lymphangiosarcomas in cats are described. Nine tumors were located in the subcutaneous tissue at the caudoventral abdominal wall (eight cats) or in the neck (one cat). The remaining three cats had lymphangiosarcomas around the cranial mesenteric artery (two cats) or precardial in the mediastinum (one cat). Macroscopically, the tumors were noncircumscribed, white, edematous, and intermixed with fat tissue. Histologic features varied from cleft-forming and cavernous growth to papilliform and solid patterns. Follow-up data were available for seven cats with subcutaneous lymphangiosarcomas. All these cats died or were euthanatized within 6 months after surgery because of poor wound healing, local recurrence, or distant metastases. The cats with abdominal or thoracic masses were either euthanatized at surgery or within 6 months after the first surgery because of recurrent chylothorax, chyloperitoneum, or distant metastases.  (+info)

In vitro radiosensitivity of tumour cells and fibroblasts derived from head and neck carcinomas: mutual relationship and correlation with clinical data. (14/5027)

The aim was to characterize the variation in the cellular in vitro radiosensitivities in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, and to test for a possible correlation between different measures of radiosensitivity and the clinical and histopathological data. Cellular in vitro radiosensitivities were assessed in tumour biopsies from 71 patients using the modified Courtenay-Mills soft agar clonogenic assay combined with an immunocytochemical analysis. Radiosensitivity was quantified as the surviving fraction after a radiation dose of 2 Gy irrespective of cell type (overall SF2), or based on identification of cell type (tumour cell SF2, fibroblast SF2). Sixty-three biopsies were from primary tumours, and eight were from recurrences. Overall plating efficiency ranged from 0.005 to 1.60% with a median of 0.052%. The majority of the colonies obtained from the biopsies were fibroblast marker-positive; the proportion of tumour marker-positive colonies ranged from 1 to 88% with a median of 15%. The median overall SF2 was 0.47 (range 0.24-0.96), the median tumour cell SF2 was 0.50 (range 0.11-1.0) and the median fibroblast SF2 was 0.49 (range 0.24-1.0). Comparing data from independent experiments, the overall SF2 was significantly correlated with the SF2 of fibroblasts (2P = 0.006) but not with the tumour cell SF2. The tumour cell and fibroblast radiosensitivities measured in the same individuals were not correlated (r= 0.06, 95% CI [-0.19, 0.30]):This finding seems to preclude a strong correlation between the radiosensitivity of tumour cells and fibroblasts. Concerning the clinical characteristics, neither of the measures of tumour radiosensitivity was correlated with T- and N-category, stage, tumour size, sex and age. However, the tumour cell radiosensitivity decreased with increasing grade of histopathological differentiation (2P = 0.012). The same tendency was found in two independent analyses of the same patient material. This correlation was not significant in case of the overall SF2 or the fibroblast SF2.  (+info)

Apoptosis induction by E2F-1 via adenoviral-mediated gene transfer results in growth suppression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. (15/5027)

E2F-1, a transcription factor by discovery, is thought to play a crucial role in regulating G1/S cell cycle progression. Its activity is modulated by complex formation with the retinoblastoma protein and related proteins. Overexpression of E2F-1 has been shown to induce apoptosis in quiescent fibroblasts. We constructed a recombinant E2F-1 adenovirus to test whether an overexpression of E2F-1 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines would also induce apoptosis. Two cell lines, Tu-138 and Tu-167, were chosen for use in this study. Both cell lines harbor p53 mutations but express different levels of the retinoblastoma protein. Upon E2F-1 adenovirus infection, both cell lines expressed elevated levels of E2F-1 protein and then activated a pRb-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter construct containing an E2F-1 binding motif. In vitro growth assay demonstrated that growth suppression by the E2F-1 protein was effective on both cell lines. Results from DNA fragmentation and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end-labeling analyses indicated apoptosis induction in cells infected with AdCMV-E2F-1. Moreover, ex vivo experiments in nude mice showed total suppression of tumor growth at sites that received cells infected AdCMV-E2F-1. An in vivo analysis of apoptosis using in situ end-labeling further demonstrated the induction of apoptosis by AdCMV-E2F-1 in tumor-bearing animals. These data indicate that overexpression of E2F-1 via an adenoviral vector suppresses in vitro and in vivo growth of head and neck squamous carcinoma cell lines through induction of apoptosis.  (+info)

Malignant granular cell tumor at the retrotracheal space. (16/5027)

We report a case of an extremely rare neoplasm, malignant granular cell tumor (MGCT). The patient was a 21-year-old woman, who was 5 months pregnant. The tumor occurred in the retrotracheal space, extending from the level of the larynx to the thoracic inlet. In addition, there were multiple, variable-sized tumor nodules within both lung fields on chest CT scan. Histologically, tissue biopsied from the periphery of the tumor consisted of solid sheets of large ovoid cells with ample, eosinophilic cytoplasm, eccentric nuclei, and prominent nucleoli. Each cell showed slight atypism of the nuclei. There was a focal necrosis at the periphery of the lesion. These cells stained strongly for S-100 protein, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and CD68. On electron microscopy, the tumor cells contained autophagic vacuoles. The patient refused further treatment and died 7 months later. The exact cause of death was not known. Until now, the diagnosis of MGCTs has been made only when metastasis and an aggressive clinical course are identified, although some observers advocate that some histologic features such as nuclear pleomorphism, necrosis, and the presence of any mitotic activity are indicative of malignancy. These histologic findings are not easily detectable in every case of MGCT, as in our case. So the diagnosis of a MGCT should be considered in cases with aggressive clinical findings and some histologic features, such as necrosis, nuclear atypism, and mitotic activities, which could suggest the malignant behavior of this neoplasm.  (+info)