Oncology

Oncology Publications

Karg MM, John L, Refaian N, Buettner C, Rottmar T, Sommer J, Bock B, Resheq YJ, Ksander BR, Heindl LM, Mackensen A, Bosch JJ. Midkine promotes metastasis and therapeutic resistance via mTOR/RPS6 in uveal melanoma. Mol Cancer Res 2022;Abstract
Uveal melanoma is a rare form of melanoma that originates in the eye, exerts widespread therapeutic resistance and displays an inherent propensity for hepatic metastases. Since metastatic disease is characterized by poor survival, there is an unmet clinical need to identify new therapeutic targets in uveal melanoma. Here, we show that the pleiotropic cytokine midkine is expressed in uveal melanoma. Midkine expression in primary uveal melanoma significantly correlates with poor survival and is elevated in patients that develop metastatic disease. Monosomy 3 and histopathological staging parameters are associated with midkine expression. In addition, we demonstrate that midkine promotes survival, migration across a barrier of hepatic sinusoid endothelial cells and resistance to AKT/mTOR inhibition. Furthermore, midkine is secreted and mediates mTOR activation by maintaining phosphorylation of the mTOR target RPS6 in uveal melanoma cells. Therefore, midkine is identified as a uveal melanoma cell survival factor that drives metastasis and therapeutic resistance, and could be exploited as a biomarker as well as a new therapeutic target. Implications: Midkine is identified as a survival factor that drives liver metastasis and therapeutic resistance in melanoma of the eye.
Bloom JR, Castillejos AG, Jones B, Patel N, Rosenstein BS, Stock RG. Ocular complications with the use of radium-223: a case series. Radiat Oncol 2022;17(1):97.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Radium-223 is used for the treatment of osseous metastases in castrate-resistant prostate cancer, and has been shown to increase time to the first skeletal-related event, reduce the rate of hospitalization, and improve quality of life. It is well tolerated, with hematologic toxicity as the main adverse event. Thus far, no ocular complication has been reported in the literature after initial administration of radium-223 with a single case reported of ocular complications after a patient's second course of radium-223. CASE PRESENTATIONS: We present three cases of ocular complications after the use of radium-223 in patients with metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma. Ocular complications presented as blurry vision, and formal diagnosis included uveitis and hyphema. CONCLUSIONS: Documentation of adverse events is exceedingly important due to the high incidence of metastatic prostate cancer and increasing interest for the use of radium-223 in other osteoblastic disease. The authors postulate that these ocular complications may be a result of radiation's potential effect on neovascularization, polypharmacy, or the biomolecular effects of radium-223 on integral signaling proteins, potentially coupled with poor underlying ocular health.
Rhee JY, Torun N, Neilan TG, Guidon AC. Consider Myocarditis When Patients Treated with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Present with Ocular Symptoms. Oncologist 2022;Abstract
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been associated with neurological immune related adverse events (irAE-N) and patients with ICI toxicity may present with neurological or ocular symptoms. Furthermore, patients on ICI may initially present to oncology or neurology. We report a case series of 3 patients treated with ICIs presenting with diplopia or ptosis, found to have concurrent myocarditis in addition to immune-related myopathy (irMyopathy) or myasthenia gravis (irMG). None of the patients described cardiac symptoms, underscoring the importance of screening for myocarditis in patients presenting with diplopia and/or other neuromuscular symptoms which may suggest either irMyopathy or irMG.
Neerukonda VK, Kim IK, Stagner AM. Primary vitreoretinal involvement and immunopositivity for BRAFV600E help distinguish metastatic from primary intraocular melanoma: a detailed histopathologic study of metastatic cutaneous melanoma to the eye. Histopathology 2022;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinicopathologic characteristics of metastatic cutaneous melanoma to the eye and identify potential distinguishing characteristics from the more common primary uveal melanoma; particularly, tumor location within the eye, cytomorphology and immunohistochemical/specific molecular genetic features. METHODS: A retrospective observational case series using surgical enucleation and diagnostic vitrectomy cytologic specimens from seven patients with suspected intraocular melanoma, eventually diagnosed as metastatic melanoma, was conducted. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections of tumor and immunohistochemical (IHC) stains for BRAFV600E and Ki-67 were critically reviewed; BAP1 IHC was also evaluated in cases where additional tissue was available. Clinical imaging studies and medical records were reviewed. RESULTS: The majority of patients (86%) with metastatic melanoma have primary vitreoretinal (not uveal) involvement and epithelioid, highly malignant cytomorphology (100%); many (50%) harbor BRAFV600E mutations, a finding not seen in large cohorts of primary uveal melanoma. CONCLUSIONS: Characteristics favoring or defining metastatic intraocular melanoma over primary uveal melanoma include high-grade epithelioid cytology, predominant involvement of the vitreous cavity and/or retina, and presence of positive immunostaining for BRAFV600E.
Barrantes PC, Zhou P, MacDonald SM, Ioakeim-Ioannidou M, Lee NG. Granular Cell Tumor of the Orbit: Review of the Literature and a Proposed Treatment Modality. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;38(2):122-131.Abstract
PURPOSE: To document a unique case of granular cell tumor of the orbit, located lateral to and abutting the optic nerve, that benefited from treatment with proton beam irradiation, with a comprehensive review of the literature on granular cell tumor of the orbit. METHODS: Clinicopathologic case report with detailed imaging features and histopathologic and immunohistochemical evaluation for cytoplasmic tumor biomarkers differentiating granular cell tumor (GCT) from it mimicking lesions with relevant literature citations. The authors reviewed 20 cases of orbital GCT from 2011 to 2020 in addition to 40 cases from 1948 to 2011 and included a summary of imaging and clinical features, outcomes, and recommended treatment modalities. RESULTS: A 32-year-old man with 1-year history of left retrobulbar pain and diplopia on lateral gaze, intermittent left eyelid swelling, and a tonic left pupil was found to have a fusiform intraconal mass extending toward the orbital apex and abutting the optic nerve. Histopathologic and immunohistochemical investigations collectively supplied data diagnostic of a GCT with an initial low proliferation rate. GCT is a soft tissue neoplasm that originates in the nervous system and can occur anywhere in the body. This enhancing tumor is isointense to gray matter on T1-weighted MRI, hypointense on T2. After an incisional biopsy, the patient's symptoms persisted, and follow-up imaging several months later revealed further growth of the mass. The impossibility of complete surgical removal prompted the decision to treat with proton beam radiation therapy, which resulted in substantial regression in the size of the residual tumor. Most frequently involving the inferior rectus muscle (42%), orbital GCT is usually benign with only 4 reported cases of malignant orbital GCT (7%). Wide surgical resection with complete removal is usually curative for benign orbital GCT, and proton beam radiation therapy can aid in tumor shrinkage. CONCLUSIONS: GCT should be considered in the differential diagnosis when encountering patients with mass lesions involving the extraocular muscles, peripheral nerves, or less frequently, the optic nerve or orbital apex. Immunohistochemical analysis of biopsied tissue is required for the definitive diagnosis of GCT. Consideration of adjuvant therapies such as proton beam radiation therapy may be appropriate in cases of incomplete surgical resection of benign GCT. Proton beam radiation therapy can be an excellent therapeutic option for symptomatic relief and residual tumor size reduction with an acceptable toxicity profile.
Neerukonda VK, Stagner AM, Wolkow N. Lymphoma of the Lacrimal Sac: The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Experience With a Comparison to the Previously Reported Literature. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;38(1):79-86.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe the frequency, clinical features, and histologic subtypes of biopsy proven lacrimal sac lymphomas, and to compare these results to the previously published literature. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed at a single institution from 2004 to 2017. Pathology reports, operative notes, and patients' medical charts were reviewed. RESULTS: Of 566 lacrimal sacs submitted for routine histopathologic evaluation, 16 cases of lymphoma were identified. All were low-grade, non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas, biopsied at an average age of 71 years. Thirteen patients (81.25%) had a pre-existing lymphoma diagnosis; the average interval between the diagnosis of systemic or nonocular adnexal lymphoma and lacrimal sac lymphoma was 7.9 years (range 2-26 years; median 5.5 years). Three cases of primary lacrimal sac lymphoma were identified. Histopathology showed 3 cases (18.75%) of follicular lymphoma, 3 (18.75%) of extranodal marginal zone lymphoma, and 10 (62.5%) of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Primary cases presented with epiphora and nasolacrimal duct obstruction, while secondary cases predominantly manifested as dacryocystitis. All lacrimal sac neoplasms were locally responsive (without local recurrence) to chemotherapy, radiation, or both. CONCLUSIONS: Lacrimal sac lymphoma is uncommon but should be suspected among patients with known lymphoma who develop dacryocystitis. In this series, primary lacrimal sac lymphoma most often presented as a mass or nasolacrimal duct obstruction. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma was the most commonly identified cause of secondary lacrimal sac lymphoma. Distinguishing primary from secondary lacrimal sac lymphomas is important, as the extent of disease and histopathologic subtypes differ, which may affect patient management.
Papageorgiou GI, Symeonidis DG, Tsakatikas SA, Liatsos AD, Douglas KA, Douglas VP, Moschos MM, Kosmas C. Central neurotoxicity induced by trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1): a case report. Anticancer Drugs 2021;32(10):1146-1149.Abstract
Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2) - targeted antibody-drug conjugate that is approved for patients previously treated with trastuzumab and a taxane for Her2-positive advanced breast cancer and those who have progressed within 6 months of completion of adjuvant chemotherapy, as well as for patients with residual invasive Her2-positive disease after the completion of adjuvant chemotherapy. Peripheral neuropathy is a common adverse event; however, ocular events have also been described. With the current report we present the case of a 67-year old woman who developed transient grade 2-3 blurred vision after the first T-DM1 infusion, which was complicated with grade 2 diplopia causing vertigo after the second infusion. After extended investigation, this symptomatology was attributed to central neurotoxicity, and gradually resolved after T-DM1 discontinuation.
Chen Y, Yang Y-C, Tang L-Y, Ge Q-M, Shi W-Q, Su T, Shu H-Y, Pan Y-C, Liang R-B, Li Q-Y, Shao Y. Risk Factors and Their Diagnostic Values for Ocular Metastases in Gastric Adenocarcinoma. Cancer Manag Res 2021;13:5835-5843.Abstract
Objective: Gastric adenocarcinoma originates from the glands in the superficial layer or mucosa of the stomach. It is prone to metastases, of which ocular metastasis (OM) is rare, but once it occurs the disease is considered more serious. The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors for OM in gastric adenocarcinoma. Methods: Patients with gastric adenocarcinoma were recruited to this study between June 2003 and July 2019. Demographic data and serological indicators (SI) were compared between patients with and without OM, and binary logistic regression was used to explore whether the relevant SI may be risk factors for OM of gastric adenocarcinoma. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to analyze different SIs for OM in gastric cancer patients. Results: Chi-square tests showed significant between-groups difference in gender composition (P < 0.05), but not in age or histological grade (P > 0.05). t-test results showed that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and carbohydrate antigen-724 (CA724) were significantly higher in patients with than without OM (P < 0.05). Binary logistic regression analysis showed that LDL was an independent risk factor for OM (P < 0.001). ROC curve analysis showed that the areas under the curves (AUC) for LDL and CA724 were 0.903 and 0.913 respectively, with higher AUC for combined LDL and CA724 (0.934; P < 0.001). Conclusion: LDL and CA724 have value as predictors for OM in patients with gastric adenocarcinoma, with higher predictive value when these factors are combined.
Ozawa H, Usui Y, Takano Y, Horiuchi N, Kuribayashi T, Kurihara T, Smith LEH, Tsubota K, Tomita Y. Iris metastasis as the initial presentation of metastatic esophageal cancer diagnosed by fine needle aspiration biopsy: A case report. Medicine (Baltimore) 2021;100(22):e26232.Abstract
RATIONALE: Metastasis of neoplasms to the eye is quite uncommon. In this case report, we describe a patient where primary esophageal cancer was diagnosed by fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of an iris tumor. PATIENT CONCERNS: A 70-year-old male complained of redness and discomfort in the right eye. DIAGNOSIS AND INTERVENTIONS: The patient's right eye was diagnosed as idiopathic uveitis, and a topical steroid was administered. As vitreous opacities were observed even after topical therapy, oral prednisolone was administered. On slit-lamp examination of the right eye, an iris mass with neovascularization was seen in the anterior chamber. A metastatic tumor was suspected, and FNAB was performed. Histology revealed squamous cell carcinoma. Systemic workup revealed esophageal cancer with several metastases. Best-corrected visual acuity decreased to 20/400, and intraocular pressure was 40 mmHg in the right eye. Two iris tumors with neovascularization were present extending into the anterior chamber with posterior iris synechiae and 360 degree peripheral anterior synechiae. Intraocular pressure in the right eye was medically managed with hypotensive eye drops and oral acetazolamide. Iris metastases were treated with 40 Gray of radiation therapy and concurrent chemotherapy. OUTCOMES: The tumor regressed, but intraocular pressure was refractory to treatment because of 360 degree goniosynechial closure. The right eye lost light perception six months after treatment commenced, and the patient died 9 months after the onset of therapy due to multiple systemic metastases. LESSONS: This is a rare case of masquerade syndrome without systemic symptoms in which FNAB of an iris tumor led to a diagnosis of metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Although the patient lost his sight due to uncontrollable ocular hypertension, systemic chemotherapy, and radiation therapy were initially effective in the treatment of the metastatic iris tumor. As the prognosis of patients with metastatic iris tumors is poor, it is important for ophthalmologists to consider such diagnoses and conduct systemic investigations when necessary.
Venkateswaran N, Sripawadkul W, Karp CL. The role of imaging technologies for ocular surface tumors. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2021;32(4):369-378.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review will discuss the utility of high-resolution anterior segment optical coherence tomography (HR-OCT), in-vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) in characterizing and diagnosing various ocular surface tumors, namely ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), conjunctival lymphoma and conjunctival melanoma. The strengths and limitations of each imaging modality will be discussed along with the characteristics findings of each lesion on each imaging platform. RECENT FINDINGS: HR-OCT can consistently be utilized in the clinic setting to distinguish between epithelial ocular surface tumors such as OSSN as compared with subepithelial tumors such as conjunctival lymphoma and conjunctival melanoma given their distinctive findings. IVCM can be used as an adjunct to HR-OCT to obtain cellular and surface characteristics, whereas UBM can be used to assess tumor depth and thickness for larger and highly pigmented lesions as well as to detect intraocular invasion. SUMMARY: HR-OCT, IVCM and UBM are all helpful imaging modalities to diagnose and characterize various ocular surface tumors and can serve as valuable adjuncts to monitor treatment response and assess for recurrence ocular surface tumors.
Lonial S, Nooka AK, Thulasi P, Badros AZ, Jeng BH, Callander NS, Potter HA, Sborov D, Zaugg BE, Popat R, Esposti SD, Byrne J, Opalinska J, Baron J, Piontek T, Gupta I, Dana R, Farooq AV, Colby K, Jakubowiak A. Management of belantamab mafodotin-associated corneal events in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Blood Cancer J 2021;11(5):103.Abstract
Belantamab mafodotin (belamaf) demonstrated deep and durable responses in patients with heavily pretreated relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) in DREAMM-2 (NCT03525678). Corneal events, specifically keratopathy (including superficial punctate keratopathy and/or microcyst-like epithelial changes (MECs), eye examination findings with/without symptoms), were common, consistent with reports from other antibody-drug conjugates. Given the novel nature of corneal events in RRMM management, guidelines are required for their prompt identification and appropriate management. Eye examination findings from DREAMM-2 and insights from hematology/oncology investigators and ophthalmologists, including corneal specialists, were collated and used to develop corneal event management guidelines. The following recommendations were formulated: close collaboration among hematologist/oncologists and eye care professionals is needed, in part, to provide optimal care in relation to the belamaf benefit-risk profile. Patients receiving belamaf should undergo eye examinations before and during every treatment cycle and promptly upon worsening of symptoms. Severity of corneal events should be determined based on corneal examination findings and changes in best-corrected visual acuity. Treatment decisions, including dose modifications, should be based on the most severe finding present. These guidelines are recommended for the assessment and management of belamaf-associated ocular events to help mitigate ocular risk and enable patients to continue to experience a clinical benefit with belamaf.
Brouwer NJ, Konstantinou EK, Gragoudas ES, Marinkovic M, Luyten GPM, Kim IK, Jager MJ, Vavvas DG. Targeting the YAP/TAZ Pathway in Uveal and Conjunctival Melanoma With Verteporfin. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021;62(4):3.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether YAP/TAZ activation in uveal melanoma (UM) and the susceptibility of melanoma cell lines to YAP/TAZ inhibition by verteporfin (VP) is related to the tumor's genetic background. Methods: Characteristics of 144 patients with enucleated UM were analyzed together with mRNA expression levels of YAP/TAZ-related genes (80 patients from the The Cancer Genome Atlas [TCGA] project and 64 patients from Leiden, The Netherlands). VP was administered to cell lines 92.1, OMM1, Mel270, XMP46, and MM28 (UM), CRMM1 and CRMM2 (conjunctival melanoma), and OCM3 (cutaneous melanoma). Viability, growth speed, and expression of YAP1-related proteins were assessed. Results: In TCGA data, high expression of YAP1 and WWTR1 correlated with the presence of monosomy 3 (P = 0.009 and P < 0.001, respectively) and BAP1-loss (P = 0.003 and P = 0.001, respectively) in the primary UM; metastasis development correlated with higher expression of YAP1 (P = 0.05) and WWTR1 (P = 0.003). In Leiden data, downstream transcription factor TEAD4 was increased in cases with M3/BAP1-loss (P = 0.002 and P = 0.006) and related to metastasis (P = 0.004). UM cell lines 92.1, OMM1, and Mel270 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-positive) and the fast-growing cell line OCM3 (BRAF-mutation) showed decreased proliferation after exposure to VP. Two slow-growing UM cell lines XMP46 and MM28 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-negative) were not sensitive to VP, and neither were the two conjunctival melanoma cell lines (BRAF/NRAS-mutation). Conclusions: High risk UM showed an increased expression of YAP/TAZ-related genes. Although most UM cell lines responded in vitro to VP, BAP1-negative and conjunctival melanoma cell lines did not. Not only the mutational background, but also cell growth rate is an important predictor of response to YAP/TAZ inhibition by VP.
Raval V, Binkley E, Aronow ME, Valenzuela J, Peereboom DM, Singh AD. Primary central nervous system lymphoma - ocular variant: an interdisciplinary review on management. Surv Ophthalmol 2021;66(6):1009-1020.Abstract
Primary central nervous system lymphoma-ophthalmic variant (PCNSL-O) is an ocular subset of PCNSL predominantly involving subretinal pigment epithelium space, retina, and vitreous. The ophthalmic manifestations can precede, occur simultaneously, or follow other compartments of the CNS. Clinical trials have resulted in a significantly improved outcome in PCNSL patients over the past 2 decades, with a higher proportion of patients receiving frontline high dose methotrexate-based polychemotherapy regimens with curative intent; however, the current management of PCNSL-O remains controversial owing to lack of prospective data. The goals of PCNSL-O treatment are both to achieve local (ocular) control and to prevent tumor-specific mortality from further CNS involvement. Despite achieving high rates of ocular control with intravitreal agents like methotrexate and rituximab, the overall survival is poor, as 65-85% of patients eventually succumb to CNS disease. Few studies define the role of systemic chemotherapy with/without local treatment as a first line induction treatment for PCNSL-O considering limiting factors such as ocular penetration of systemically administered drugs and treatment related neurotoxicity. Also, the role of adjuvant treatment for PCNSL-O to prevent CNS progression and to improve overall survival is unknown. In this systematic review of the literature, we analyze treatment outcomes of various regimens (local, systemic, and combination) in terms of local control, CNS progression, and overall survival.

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