Clinical Remission of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Auricle with Cetuximab and Nivolumab.
ABSTRACT: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) affecting the regions of the head and neck can be challenging to resect surgically and refractory to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Consequently; the treatment of squamous cell carcinomas of the skin is a focus of current research. One such advancement is immunotherapy. Herein we describe clinical remission of invasive, poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma of the pre-auricular region with external auditory canal involvement using cetuximab, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody; and nivolumab, a programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) antibody. Such durable and comprehensive disease resolution demonstrates the therapeutic potential of cetuximab and nivolumab in surgically challenging, treatment-resistant cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
Project description:Thymic carcinomas is rare and highly aggressive carcinoma. Most patients with them are diagnosed as being at surgically unresectable stages due to it. There are several reports which showed the effect of chemotherapy, however, it is controversial. Recently, immune checkpoint inhibitors have changed conventional chemotherapy due to their effect against various types of cancers. We administered nivolumab, anti-Programmed Cell Death (PD)-1 antibody, to four patients with unresectable thymic carcinomas who had previously undergone conventional chemotherapy. A histopathology on tumors from these patients revealed the presence of squamous cell carcinoma and PD-L1 high expression. After treatment with nivolumab, it seemed to be beneficial to all patients; The best clinical responses of 3 patients were partial response and that of the other one was stable disease. None of them experienced severe immune-related adverse events. Our results suggest the potential benefits of using these inhibitors to treat thymic carcinomas in real world clinical setting as is the cases in recent clinical trials for the evaluation of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of thymic carcinoma.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Locoregionally advanced, recurrent, and metastatic squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN) remain difficult to treat disease entities, in which systemic treatment often forms an integral part of their management. Immunotherapy is based on functional restoration of the host immune system, helping to counteract various tumour evasion strategies. Broadly, immunotherapeutic approaches encompass tumour-specific antibodies, cancer vaccines, cytokines, adoptive T-cell transfer, and immune-modulating agents. Until 2015, the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor cetuximab, a tumour-specific antibody, represented the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved targeted therapy for SCCHN. Subsequently, in 2016, the results from two prospective trials employing the immune-modulating antibodies nivolumab and pembrolizumab heralded a new era of anticancer treatment. DISCUSSION:Nivolumab and pembrolizumab are monoclonal antibodies against programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), an 'immune checkpoint' receptor. Found on the surface of T-cells, PD-1 negatively regulates their activation and can thus be exploited during carcinogenesis. The second-line phase III trial CheckMate-141 randomly assigned 361 patients with recurrent and/or metastatic SCCHN in a 2:1 ratio to receive either single-agent nivolumab (3 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks) or standard monotherapy (methotrexate, docetaxel, or cetuximab). Nivolumab improved the objective response rate (13% versus 6%) and median overall survival (OS; 7.5 versus 5.1 months, p?=?0.01) without increasing toxicity. Exploratory biomarker analyses indicated that patients treated with nivolumab had longer OS than those given standard therapy, regardless of tumour PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) expression or p16 status. In the non-randomised, multicohort phase Ib study KEYNOTE-012, treatment with pembrolizumab achieved comparable results. Importantly, most of the responding patients had a long-lasting response. CONCLUSION:Based on recent results, nivolumab and pembrolizumab have been approved by the FDA as new standard-of-care options for the second-line treatment of recurrent and/or metastatic SCCHN. Generally well tolerated, these novel drugs demonstrated modest response rates, with tumour regressions usually being durable, even in platinum-resistant/refractory cases. The next step will be to extend the observed benefit to first-line treatment, currently dominated by the EXTREME regimen (platinum/5-fluorouracil/cetuximab), and to the locoregionally advanced setting, where concurrent chemoradiation with cisplatin is standard. Regimens combining immunotherapy with other modalities will probably further improve outcomes.
Project description:Children suffering from microtia have few options for auricular reconstruction. Tissue engineering approaches attempt to replicate the complex anatomy and structure of the ear with autologous cartilage but have been limited by access to clinically accessible cell sources. Here we present a full-scale, patient-based human ear generated by implantation of human auricular chondrocytes and human mesenchymal stem cells in a 1:1 ratio. Additional disc construct surrogates were generated with 1:0, 1:1, and 0:1 combinations of auricular chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells. After 3 months in vivo, monocellular auricular chondrocyte discs and 1:1 disc and ear constructs displayed bundled collagen fibers in a perichondrial layer, rich proteoglycan deposition, and elastin fiber network formation similar to native human auricular cartilage, with the protein composition and mechanical stiffness of native tissue. Full ear constructs with a 1:1 cell combination maintained gross ear structure and developed a cartilaginous appearance following implantation. These studies demonstrate the successful engineering of a patient-specific human auricle using exclusively human cell sources without extensive in vitro tissue culture prior to implantation, a critical step towards the clinical application of tissue engineering for auricular reconstruction.
Project description:R0 resection is paramount in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, in the setting of recurrence, immunocompromised patients, or non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) with a spindle growth pattern, tumor borders are difficult, if not impossible, to determine. Fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS) aids in this differentiation. Potential targets for FGS of CSCC and HNSCC were evaluated. Most sections stained intensely for ?v?6 and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on tumor cells. Normal epithelium stained less for ?v?6 than for EGFR. In addition, soft tissue and stroma stained negative for both, allowing for clear discrimination of the soft tissue margin. Tumor cells weakly expressed urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) while expression on stromal cells was moderate. Normal epithelium rarely expressed uPAR, resulting in clear discrimination of superficial margins. Tumors did not consistently express integrin ?3, carcinoembryonic antigen, epithelial cell adhesion molecule, or vascular endothelial growth factor A. In conclusion, ?v?6 and EGFR allowed for precise discrimination of SSC at the surgically problematic soft tissue margins. Superficial margins are ideally distinguished with uPAR. In the future, FGS in the surgically challenging setting of cutaneous and mucosal SCC could benefit from a tailor-made approach, with EGFR and ?v?6 as targets.
Project description:A low percentage of actinic keratoses progress to develop into cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The immune mechanisms that successfully control or eliminate the majority of actinic keratoses and the mechanisms of immune escape by invasive squamous cell carcinoma are not well-understood. Here, we took a systematic approach to evaluate the neoantigens present in actinic keratosis and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma specimens. We compared the number of mutations, the number of neoantigens predicted to bind MHC class I, and the number of neoantigens that are predicted to bind MHC class I and be recognized by a T cell receptor in actinic keratoses and cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. We also considered the relative binding strengths to both MHC class I and the T cell receptor in a fitness cost model that allows for a comparison of the immune recognition potential of the neoantigens in actinic keratosis and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma samples. The fitness cost was subsequently adjusted by the expression rates of the neoantigens to examine the role of neoantigen expression in tumor immune evasion. Our analyses indicate that, while the number of mutations and neoantigens are not significantly different between actinic keratoses and cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas, the predicted immune recognition of the neoantigen with the highest expression-adjusted fitness cost is lower for cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas compared with actinic keratoses. These findings suggest a role for the down-regulation of expression of highly immunogenic neoantigens in the immune escape of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. Furthermore, these findings highlight the importance of incorporating additional factors, such as the quality and expression of the neoantigens, rather than focusing solely on tumor mutational burden, in assessing immune recognition potential.
Project description:Activating mutations in the TERT promoter were recently identified in up to 71% of cutaneous melanoma. Subsequent studies found TERT promoter mutations in a wide array of other major human cancers. TERT promoter mutations lead to increased expression of telomerase, which maintains telomere length and genomic stability, thereby allowing cancer cells to continuously divide, avoiding senescence or apoptosis. TERT promoter mutations in cutaneous melanoma often show UV-signatures. Non-melanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are very frequent malignancies in individuals of European descent. We investigated the presence of TERT promoter mutations in 32 basal cell carcinomas and 34 cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas using conventional Sanger sequencing. TERT promoter mutations were identified in 18 (56%) basal cell carcinomas and in 17 (50%) cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. The recurrent mutations identified in our cohort were identical to those previously described in cutaneous melanoma, and showed a UV-signature (C>T or CC>TT) in line with a causative role for UV exposure in these common cutaneous malignancies. Our study shows that TERT promoter mutations with UV-signatures are frequent in non-melanoma skin cancer, being present in around 50% of basal and squamous cell carcinomas and suggests that increased expression of telomerase plays an important role in the pathogenesis of these tumors.
Project description:Importance:Keratinocyte carcinoma (ie, cutaneous basal and squamous cell carcinoma) is the most common cancer in the United States. Objective:To determine whether topical fluorouracil could prevent surgically treated keratinocyte carcinoma. Design, Setting, and Participants:The Veterans Affairs Keratinocyte Carcinoma Chemoprevention Trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of topical fluorouracil for chemoprevention of keratinocyte carcinoma. Participants were recruited from May 2009 to September 2011 from 12 Veterans Affairs medical centers and followed until June 30, 2013. Participants were veterans (n = 932) with a history of at least 2 keratinocyte carcinomas in the past 5 years; almost all were white males and the median age was 70 years. Interventions:Application of fluorouracil, 5%, (n = 468) or vehicle control cream (n = 464) to the face and ears twice daily for 2 to 4 weeks upon randomization. Main Outcomes and Measures:Surgically treated keratinocyte, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinoma risk on the face and ears in the first year after enrollment; and time to first surgically treated keratinocyte, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinoma. The a priori hypothesis was that fluorouracil would be effective in preventing these cancers. Results:Of 932 participants (916 men [98%]; 926 white [99%]; median age, 70 years), 299 developed a basal cell carcinoma end point (95 in year 1) and 108 developed a squamous cell carcinoma end point (25 in year 1) over 4 years (median follow-up, 2.8 years). Over the entire study, there was no difference between treatment groups in time to first keratinocyte, basal cell, or squamous cell carcinoma. During the first year, however, 5 participants (1%) in the fluorouracil group developed a squamous cell carcinoma vs 20 (4%) in the control group, a 75% (95% CI, 35%-91%) risk reduction (P = .002). The 11% reduction in basal cell carcinoma risk during year 1 (45 [10%] in the fluorouracil group vs 50 [11%] in the control group) was not statistically significant (95% CI, 39% reduction to 31% increase), nor was there a significant effect on keratinocyte carcinoma risk. However, a reduction in keratinocyte carcinomas treated with Mohs surgery was observed. Conclusions and Relevance:A conventional course of fluorouracil to the face and ears substantially reduces surgery for squamous cell carcinoma for 1 year without significantly affecting the corresponding risk for basal cell carcinoma. Trial Registration:clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00847912.
Project description:Non-melanoma skin cancers are one of the most common human malignancies accounting for 2-3% of tumors in the US and represent a significant health burden. Epidemiology studies have implicated Tp53 mutations triggered by UV exposure, and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection to be significant causes of non-melanoma skin cancer. However, the relationship between Tp53 and cutaneous HPV infection is not well understood in skin cancers. In this study we assessed the association of HPV infection and Tp53 polymorphisms and mutations in lesional specimens with squamous cell carcinomas.We studied 55 cases of histologically confirmed cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and 41 controls for the presence of HPV infection and Tp53 genotype (mutations and polymorphism).We found an increased number of Tp53 mutations in the squamous cell carcinoma samples compared with perilesional or control samples. There was increased frequency of homozygous Tp53-72R polymorphism in cases with squamous cell carcinomas, while the Tp53-72P allele (Tp53-72R/P and Tp53-72P/P) was more frequent in normal control samples. Carcinoma samples positive for HPV showed a decreased frequency of Tp53 mutations compared to those without HPV infection. In addition, carcinoma samples with a Tp53-72P allele showed an increased incidence of Tp53 mutations in comparison carcinomas samples homozygous for Tp53-72R.These studies suggest there are two separate pathways (HPV infection and Tp53 mutation) leading to cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas stratified by the Tp53 codon-72 polymorphism. The presence of a Tp53-72P allele is protective against cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and carcinoma specimens with Tp53-72P are more likely to have Tp53 mutations. In contrast Tp53-72R is a significant risk factor for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and is frequently associated with HPV infection instead of Tp53 mutations. Heterozygosity for Tp53-72R/P is protective against squamous cell carcinomas, possibly reflecting a requirement for both HPV infection and Tp53 mutations.
Project description:In locoregionally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, outcomes using single-modality therapy are usually poor. Although chemotherapy alone is not considered a curative therapy, the addition of chemotherapy to other modalities can lead to improved outcomes. Discussed here is the use of chemotherapy for oropharyngeal and/or oral cavity squamous cell carcinomas in 3 settings: in combination with radiation as definitive therapy, as induction treatment before definitive therapy, and in combination with radiation therapy as adjuvant treatment following surgical resection. The role of the targeted agent cetuximab in combination with radiation therapy for locally advanced disease is also discussed.