Oncology

Oncology Publications

Habib LA, Wolkow N, Freitag SK, Yoon MK. Advances in Immunotherapy and Periocular Malignancy. Semin Ophthalmol 2019;:1-7.Abstract
Immunotherapy has significantly advanced the field of oncology in recent decades. Understanding normal immunosurveillance, as well as the ways in which tumor cells have evolved to evade it, has provided the knowledge for development of drugs that allow one's own immune system to target and destroy malignant cells (immunotherapy). Cutaneous malignancies are particularly sensitive to this class of drugs. In a very sensitive anatomic region such as the periocular tissue, where surgical excision may come with significant morbidity, this technology has had a strong impact in the successful treatment of historically challenging tumors.
Aronow ME, Wiley HE, Gaudric A, Krivosic V, Gorin MB, Shields CL, Shields JA, Jonasch EW, Singh AD, Chew EY. VON HIPPEL-LINDAU DISEASE: Update on Pathogenesis and Systemic Aspects. Retina 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: To provide an update summarizing the biologic pathways governing von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease pathogenesis and to provide an overview of systemic manifestations as well as screening recommendations. METHODS: A PubMed search of the English language literature was reviewed using the following search terms: von Hippel-Lindau, von Hippel-Lindau disease, and VHL. Of 6,696 publications, the most current and pertinent information related to the pathogenesis and systemic aspects of VHL disease were included in this review. RESULTS: von Hippel-Lindau disease is one of the most frequently occurring multisystem familial cancer syndromes. The disease results from germline mutation in the VHL tumor suppressor gene on the short arm of chromosome 3. Mutation in the VHL gene affects multiple cellular processes including transcriptional regulation, extracellular matrix formation, apoptosis, and, in particular, the cellular adaptive response to hypoxia. As a result, there is widespread development of vascular tumors affecting the retina, brain, and spine, as well as a spectrum of benign and malignant tumors and/or cysts in visceral organs. CONCLUSION: The ophthalmologist plays a key role in VHL disease diagnosis, as retinal hemangioblastoma is frequently the first disease manifestation. Screening guidelines for individuals with known VHL disease, and those at risk of VHL disease, help to ensure early detection of potentially vision-threatening and life-threatening disease.
North VS, Habib L, Yoon MK. Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the Eyelid: a Review. Surv Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive tumor of both epithelial and neuroendocrine origin that carries a mortality rate of up to 40%. MCC tumors typically present as painless, expanding nodules on the sun-exposed skin areas of older, white patients. Eyelid and periocular tumors comprise approximately 2.5% of all cases of MCC and may be mistaken for chalazia or basal cell carcinomas. Immunosuppression is a significant risk factor, particularly in solid-organ transplant recipients, patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and patients with HIV. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is often employed for accurate staging of head and neck MCC. Treatment includes wide-local excision, commonly with the addition of radiotherapy for improved locoregional disease control. Historically, adjuvant chemotherapy had been reserved for metastatic disease, but immunotherapy and targeted chemotherapies are currently being investigated for use in primary disease. The clinical characteristics of all available published cases of eyelid MCC are summarized .
Tieger MG, Jakobiec FA, Ma L, Wolkow N. Small Benign Storiform Fibrous Tumor (Fibrous Histiocytoma) of the Conjunctival Substantia Propria in a Child: Review and Clarification of Biologic Behavior. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2019;35(5):495-502.Abstract
PURPOSE: A case of a small benign storiform fibrous tumor of the conjunctival substantia propria is described to clarify the category of fibrous histiocytoma. In addition, a comparison of the various spindle cell tumors of the conjunctival substantia propria is explored. METHODS: The patient underwent a complete tumor excision, and the specimen was analyzed by histopathologic and immunohistochemical investigations. RESULTS: A cellular mass, composed solely of spindle cells in a storiform pattern without a component of histiocytic cells, was found beneath an undisturbed nonkeratinizing squamous epithelium and was separated from the epithelium by a grenz zone of uninvolved collagen. The lesion was sharply demarcated but not encapsulated. The Masson trichrome stain revealed scant deposition of intercellular collagen. The reticulin stain displayed numerous and delicate wiry fibers between the tumor cells and encircling capillaries. The Alcian blue stain demonstrated faint positivity in the interstitium. Immunohistochemistry revealed positivity for vimentin, factor XIIIa, smooth muscle actin, CD10, and CD45. Negative stains were obtained for CD34, CD56, S100, desmin, and Ki67. CONCLUSIONS: The broad term of fibrous histiocytoma should be reserved for deep fibroblastic spindle cell tumors (e.g., those of the orbit) that display an aggressive behavior. More benign superficial spindle cell tumors of the dermis are now preferentially characterized as dermatofibromas. It is suggested that equally benign epibulbar tumors should no longer be designated as fibrous histiocytomas but rather as benign storiform fibrous tumors. Tumors completely composed of polygonal histiocytoid (epithelioid) cells that are CD34+ should be excluded from the benign storiform fibrous tumor category. Positive smooth muscle actin and factor XIIIa staining in conjunction with negative staining for CD34 and desmin in the current spindled tumor cells are findings consistent with those of cutaneous dermatofibromas. Both the epibulbar and dermal spindle cell lesions have displayed an indolent and nonaggressive behavior. Microscopically they contain a high proportion of dendrocytic stellate cells that are either factor XIIIa+ or XIIIa-. Given the anatomic differences between the dermis and conjunctiva, the term dermatofibroma is inappropriate for the current tumor; instead the term benign storiform fibrous tumor has been proposed for superficial tumors of the conjunctiva.
Smith JR, Pe'er J, Belfort RN, Cardoso F, Carvajal RD, Carvalho C, Coupland SE, Desjardins L, Francis JH, Gallie BL, Gombos DS, Grossniklaus HE, Heegaard S, Jager MJ, Kaliki S, Ksander BR, Maeurer M, Moreno E, Pulido JS, Ryll B, Singh AD, Zhao J, Parreira A, Wilson DJ, O'Brien JM. Proceedings of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and Champalimaud Foundation Ocular Oncogenesis and Oncology Conference. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2019;8(1):9.Abstract
The 2018 Ocular Oncogenesis and Oncology Conference was held through a partnership of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the Champalimaud Foundation. Twenty-one experts from international ocular oncology centers, from the Champalimaud Clinical Centre and the Champalimaud Foundation Cancer Research Program, and from patient advocacy organizations, delivered lectures on subjects that ranged from global ocular oncology, to basic research in mechanisms of ocular malignancy, to clinical research in ocular cancers, and to anticipated future developments in the area. The scientific program of the conference covered a broad range of ocular tumors-including uveal melanoma, retinoblastoma, ocular surface tumors, and adnexal and intraocular lymphomas-and pathogenesis and management were deliberated in the context of the broader systemic cancer discipline. In considering the latest basic and clinical research developments in ocular oncogenesis and oncology, and providing the opportunity for cross-talk between ocular cancer biologists, systemic cancer biologists, ocular oncologists, systemic oncologists, patients, and patient advocates, the forum generated new knowledge and novel insights for the field. This report summarizes the content of the invited talks at the 2018 ARVO-Champalimaud Foundation Ocular Oncogenesis and Oncology Conference.
Jakobiec FA, Wolkow N, Zakka FR, Rubin PAD. Myeloid Sarcoma with Megakaryoblastic Differentiation Arising in the Conjunctiva. Ocul Oncol Pathol 2019;5(1):28-35.Abstract
An 87-year-old woman not known to have either a lymphoma or leukemia developed a left multinodular, fish-flesh superior epibulbar and forniceal mass. A biopsy disclosed a blastic tumor with scattered multinucleated immature megakaryoblasts. Immunophenotyping of bone marrow cells revealed strong positivity for CD7, CD31, CD43, CD45, CD61, and CD117; CD71, myeloperoxidase, and lysozyme were also positive in scattered cells. Forty percent of the neoplastic cells were Ki-67 positive. Cytogenetic studies indicated a trisomy 8 (associated with worse prognosis) and a t(12; 17) translocation. Desmin, smooth muscle actin, pancytokeratin, CAM 5.2, adipophilin, tryptase, S100, SOX10, MART1, and E-cadherin were negative, ruling out a nonhematopoietic tumor. The conjunctival lesion was diagnosed as a myeloid sarcoma with megakaryoblastic differentiation, a rare variant. It probably arose from a myelodysplastic syndrome. This is the first case of its type to develop in the conjunctiva.
Wolkow N, Jakobiec FA, Afrogheh AH, Eagle RC, Pai SI, Faquin WC. Programmed Cell Death 1 Ligand 1 and Programmed Cell Death 1 Ligand 2 Are Expressed in Conjunctival Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Therapeutic Implications. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;200:226-241.Abstract
PURPOSE: Novel cancer immunotherapies, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, have demonstrated clinical efficacy in the treatment of squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Tissue expression of programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) and programmed cell death 1 ligand 2 (PD-L2) has been shown to predict tumor response to these drugs. We examine the expression of prognostic immune biomarkers, PD-L1 and PD-L2, in invasive ocular surface squamous neoplasia. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. METHODS: Eighteen cases of ocular surface or ocular adnexal invasive squamous cell carcinomas were identified in pathology case files of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and at the Wills Eye Hospital accessioned between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2017. Immunohistochemical staining for PD-L1, PD-L2, CD8, and p16 was performed and graded in a standardized fashion. RESULTS: PD-L1 and PD-L2 were expressed on tumor cells to varying degrees, and also on some stromal cells and endothelial cells. Stromal and endothelial cell expression was also seen in control conjunctival specimens. Tumor expression of PD-L1 and PD-L2 was present on the cell membranes. All 18 (100%) of the tumors expressed PD-L1: 7 (39%) expressed a high level, 3 (17%) expressed a medium level, and 8 (44%) expressed a low level. Only 9 (50%) tumors expressed PD-L2 and it was at a low level. The expression of PD-L1 in tumor cells correlated with the presence of CD8-positive cytotoxic T lymphocytes among tumor cells (P < .01) and with the presence of CD8-positive cells in the surrounding stroma (P = .04). CONCLUSIONS: A subset of ocular invasive conjunctival squamous carcinomas express high levels of PD-L1 and CD8 and therefore may respond therapeutically to immune checkpoint inhibition.
Duffy DL, Zhu G, Li X, Sanna M, Iles MM, Jacobs LC, Evans DM, Yazar S, Beesley J, Law MH, Kraft P, Visconti A, Taylor JC, Liu F, Wright MJ, Henders AK, Bowdler L, Glass D, Ikram AM, Uitterlinden AG, Madden PA, Heath AC, Nelson EC, Green AC, Chanock S, Barrett JH, Brown MA, Hayward NK, Macgregor S, Sturm RA, Hewitt AW, Hewitt AW, Kayser M, Hunter DJ, Newton Bishop JA, Spector TD, Montgomery GW, Mackey DA, Smith GD, Nijsten TE, Bishop TD, Bataille V, Falchi M, Han J, Martin NG. Publisher Correction: Novel pleiotropic risk loci for melanoma and nevus density implicate multiple biological pathways. Nat Commun 2019;10(1):299.Abstract
The original version of this Article contained errors in the spelling of the authors Fan Liu and M. Arfan Ikram, which were incorrectly given as Fan Lui and Arfan M. Ikram. In addition, the original version of this Article also contained errors in the author affiliations which are detailed in the associated Publisher Correction.
Wolkow N, Jakobiec FA, Lee H, Sutula FC. Long-term Outcomes of Globe-Preserving Surgery With Proton Beam Radiation for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Lacrimal Gland. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;195:43-62.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe outcomes of globe-preserving surgery combined with high-dose proton beam radiation (PBR) in treating primary adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the lacrimal gland. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. METHODS: Twenty-nine patients with primary ACC of the lacrimal gland were identified in the records of a single institution between 1990 and 2017. Patients with nonorbital primary tumor origins or with inadequate follow-ups were excluded. Eighteen patients met inclusion criteria. Clinical data, imaging studies, histopathology, treatment modality, local recurrences, visual outcomes, metastases, and survivals were assessed. Disease-free survivals for the current patients were measured and compared to those of other studies. RESULTS: The eighteen patients (14 female, 4 male) were followed for a median of 12.9 years (range 0.6-22.3 years) after treatment completion. Their median age was 40 years. Four were children (median age 12 years). All were treated with globe-preserving tumor resection and radiation (median dose of 72 cobalt gray equivalents). Three adult patients died of metastatic disease (median of 4.2 years after treatment). Four had local recurrences. Useful vision (20/40 or better) was retained for a median 3 years (range 1-12.9 years). Radiation morbidity included brain injury, retinopathy, optic neuropathy, keratopathy, and cataract. Overall and disease-free survivals were significantly better compared to historical treatments, but did not differ statistically from other modern approaches. CONCLUSIONS: Globe-preserving surgery with PBR, although imperfect, has a favorable long-term survival compared to other modern modalities, and offers a variable period of useful vision.
Oellers P, Wolkow N, Jakobiec FA, Kim IK. Hemorrhagic choroidal melanoma. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2018;10:105-107.Abstract
Purpose: To demonstrate the clinical pathologic correlation in a hemorrhagic choroidal melanoma. Observations: A 52 year old patient presented with a large choroidal mass associated with vitreous and retinal hemorrhage. The eye was enucleated and histopathology demonstrated epithelioid-type MART1 positive tumor cells consistent with choroidal melanoma. The tumor had broken through Bruch's membrane, which led to localized vascular compression with bleeding into the subretinal space, retina and vitreous. Conclusions and importance: Choroidal melanoma rarely presents with hemorrhage. Tumor rupture through Bruch's membrane may result in a tourniquet effect on the tumor vasculature leading to massive hemorrhage, as in this case. A high level of clinical suspicion is required to make the diagnosis.
Singh RB, Thakur S, Ichhpujani P, Kumar S. Ethics of a therapeutic trial: addressing limitations of an active intervention in optic nerve lymphoma. BMJ Case Rep 2018;2018Abstract
We report a unique case of optic nerve lymphoma after completion of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The uncommon nature of presentation, our therapeutic dilemma and the further course of treatment are reported. In cases with extremely poor prognosis, unnecessary treatment puts additional strain both financially and psychologically on the patients and their family. Therapeutic focus should be on hospice care and family counselling. The decision to not treat is a crucial component of cancer management; however, the ethics of this decision are yet to be suitably addressed by the literature.
Wang JC, Jiménez Pérez JC, Friedmann AM, Louissaint A, Freitag SK. Myeloid sarcoma involving the greater wing of the sphenoid bone and additional skeletal sites presenting with unilateral proptosis and fevers. Orbit 2018;:1-4.Abstract
We report a case of myeloid sarcoma with multifocal skeletal involvement, including the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. A 23-month-old boy presented with left-sided proptosis and fevers, and was found to have an infiltrative mass involving the left sphenoid bone on orbital imaging. Full body imaging further demonstrated multiple bony lesions in the pelvis, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, bilateral femura, and left humerus, and biopsies of the humerus were consistent with myeloid sarcoma. The patient was started on a standard chemotherapy regimen and is responding well. Myeloid sarcoma presenting with proptosis due to sphenoid bone involvement with simultaneous multifocal skeletal involvement is very uncommon and highlights the importance of biopsy for establishing a definitive diagnosis.
Oellers P, Mowery YM, Perez BA, Stinnett S, Mettu P, Vajzovic L, Light K, Steffey BA, Cai J, Dutton JJ, Buckley EG, Halperin EC, Marks LB, Kirsch DG, Mruthyunjaya P. Efficacy and Safety of Low-Dose Iodine Plaque Brachytherapy for Juxtapapillary Choroidal Melanoma. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;186:32-40.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate low- vs high-dose plaque brachytherapy for juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma. DESIGN: Retrospective interventional case series. METHODS: Setting: Single institution. STUDY POPULATION: Forty-seven patients with juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma. INTERVENTION: Iodine-125 plaque brachytherapy. Eyes were divided into apex low-dose (LD) and high-dose (HD) groups (≤ or > median apex dose 84.35 Gy). Main outcome measures were time to distant failure, local failure, death, enucleation, radiation retinopathy, optic neuropathy, and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA). RESULTS: Freedom from distant failure rates were 96% and 95% in apex LD and HD groups at 5 years and 77% and 95% at 10 years, respectively (P = .84). Freedom from local failure rates were 90% in the apex LD group vs 89% in the HD group at 5 and 10 years (P = .96). Apex LD and HD groups did not differ for time to death or enucleation. Five- and 10-year freedom from radiation retinopathy and optic neuropathy rates were higher in the apex LD than HD group. Loss of ≥3 BCVA lines, final BCVA 20/40 or better, and final BCVA 20/200 or worse were more favorable in the 5 mm LD compared to HD group. Visual acuity outcomes did not differ between apex LD and HD groups. CONCLUSIONS: Low-dose iodine-125 plaque brachytherapy (67.5-81 Gy at tumor apex) provides safe and effective tumor control for juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma and may be associated with reduced radiation toxicity. Larger trials are needed to determine the optimal therapeutic dose for juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma.

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