Publications by authors named "Jing-Yi Chern"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Tobacco Smoking and Survival Following a Diagnosis with Ovarian Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2022 Jul;31(7):1376-1382

Department of Cancer Epidemiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida.

Background: Little is known about the influence of smoking on ovarian cancer survival. We investigated this relationship in a hospital-based study.

Methods: Analyses included 519 women with ovarian cancer. We used multivariable adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: Risk of all-cause mortality was increased for current smokers (HR = 1.70; 95% CI: 1.09-2.63) versus never smokers, especially for those with ≥15 cigarettes per day (HR = 1.92; 95% CI: 1.15-3.20). Results were largely similar after additional adjustment for debulking status (current vs. never smokers, HR = 2.96; 95% CI: 1.07-8.21) or neoadjuvant chemotherapy (comparable HR = 2.87; 95% CI: 1.02-8.06). Compared with never smokers, smoking duration ≥20 years (HR = 1.38; 95% CI: 0.94-2.03) and ≥20 pack-years (HR = 1.35; 95% CI: 0.92-1.99) were suggestively associated with worse outcomes. Current smoking was also positively associated with the risk of mortality among patients with ovarian cancer recurrence (current vs. never/past smokers, HR = 2.79; 95% CI: 1.44-5.41), despite the null association between smoking and recurrence (HR = 1.46; 95% CI: 0.86-2.48). Furthermore, no association was observed for smoking initiation before age 18 (HR = 1.22; 95% CI: 0.80-1.85), or either environmental smoke exposure at home (HR = 1.16; 95% CI: 0.76-1.78) or at work (HR = 1.10; 95% CI: 0.75-1.60).

Conclusions: Our results suggest active tobacco smoking is associated with worse ovarian cancer outcomes, particularly after a recurrence.

Impact: Our findings support structured smoking cessation programs for patients with ovarian cancer, especially in recurrent settings. Further research to confirm these findings and examine the interplay between smoking and the tumor immune microenvironment may help provide insight into ovarian cancer etiology.
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July 2022

The impact of distance to closest negative margin on survival after pelvic exenteration.

Gynecol Oncol 2022 Jun 26;165(3):514-521. Epub 2022 Apr 26.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, United States of America. Electronic address:

Objective: To determine the effect of distance to closest negative margin on survival after pelvic exenteration (PE).

Methods: In this retrospective analysis of PE at Moffitt Cancer Center from 2000 to 2019, baseline characteristics, clinical details, and outcomes were ascertained. Distance to closest negative margin was measured. Close and distant negative margins were defined as <3 mm and ≥3 mm from malignancy to nearest surgical margin, respectively. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were determined, and Kaplan-Meier curves were compared. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to examine the association of margin status with OS and PFS.

Results: Of 124 PEs with malignancy, 80 (64.5%) had negative margins. Median survival was 62 (95% confidence interval [CI] 27-70) months for negative and 21 (95% CI 15-29) months for positive margins. Of 76 with negative margins and documented margin length, 26 had close and 50 had distant margins. Median survival was 32 (95% CI 14-62) months for close and 111 (95% CI 42-166) months for distant margins. Distant margins were associated with improved OS (p = 0.0054) and PFS (p = 0.0099) compared to close margins. After adjusting for other prognostic factors, patients with distant margins had significantly decreased risk of all-cause mortality (HR 0.39, 95% CI 0.19-0.78; p = 0.008) and progression (HR 0.48, 95% CI 0.23-0.99; p = 0.04) compared to positive margins. No significant differences in OS or PFS were observed between close and positive margins. This survival benefit remained among those with cervical cancer. Median survival in this cohort was 34.1 (95% CI 2.0-69.8) months for close and 165.7 (95% CI 24.5-165.7) for distant margins.

Conclusions: Distant margins following PE are associated with improved OS and PFS compared to close margins.
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June 2022

Utility of germline multi-gene panel testing in patients with endometrial cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2022 06 26;165(3):546-551. Epub 2022 Apr 26.

NYU Langone Health, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Objectives: Patients with germline mutations in mismatch repair genes (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2) associated with Lynch syndrome (LS) have an increased lifetime risk of endometrial cancer (EC). Multi-gene panel testing (MGPT) is a recent hereditary cancer risk tool enabling next-generation sequencing of numerous genes in parallel. We determined the prevalence of actionable cancer predisposition gene mutations identified through MGPT in an EC patient cohort.

Methods: A single center retrospective cohort study was conducted of patients with EC who had a clinical indication for genetic testing and who underwent MGPT as part of standard of care treatment between 2012 and 2021. Pathogenic mutations were identified and actionable mutations were defined as those with clinical management implications. Additionally, the number of individuals identified with LS was compared between MGPT and tumor-based screening.

Results: The study included a total of 224 patients. Thirty-three patients [14.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 10.4-20.1] had actionable mutations. Twenty-one patients (9.4%, 95% CI = 5.9-14.0) had mutations in LS genes (4 MLH1, 5 MSH2, 7 MSH6, 4 PMS2, 1 Epcam-MSH2). MGPT revealed two patients with LS (9.5% of LS cases) not identified through routine tumor-based screening. Thirteen patients (5.8%, 95% CI = 3.1-9.7) had at least one actionable mutation in a non-Lynch syndrome gene (6 CHEK2, 2 BRCA2, 2 ATM, 2 APC, 1 RAD51C, 1 BRCA1).

Conclusions: Germline MGPT is both feasible and informative as it identifies LS cases not found on tumor testing as well as additional actionable mutations in patients with EC.
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June 2022

Trends in ureteral surgery on an academic gynecologic oncology service.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 12 19;163(3):552-556. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Oncologic Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, United States of America.

Objective: To describe the incidence, complications, and trends associated with ureteral surgeries on a gynecologic oncology service in the context of a fellowship training program over a 24-year period.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of ureteral surgeries by gynecologic oncologists at either Moffitt Cancer Center or Tampa General Hospital from 1997 to 2020. Patient characteristics, predisposing factors, location and type of injury, repair method, postoperative management and complications were abstracted from the medical record. The recent cohort (2005-2020) was compared to our prior series (1997-2004).

Results: Eighty-eight cases were included. The average number of ureteral surgeries per year decreased from 5.75 (1997-2004) to 2.63 (2005-2020). Of 46 iatrogenic injuries, 45 were recognized and repaired intraoperatively. Ureteral transection was the most common type (85% [39 of 46]) and the distal 5 cm was the most common location of injury (63% [29 of 46]). Ureteroneocystostomy was the most common method of repair (83% [73 of 88]). Postoperative management, including stenting and imaging, has not changed significantly. Length of urinary catheter usage decreased in the recent cohort without associated complications. Five patients had major postoperative complications and 4 involved the urinary tract. Of those with follow-up, 96% (66 of 69) of ureteroneocystostomies and 75% (9 of 12) of ureteroureterostomies had radiologically normal urinary tracts.

Conclusions: Ureteral surgery is necessary in the case of injury or involvement with invasive disease. There has been a decrease in number of procedures. Ureteroneocystostomy has remained the most common method of reconstruction for both injury and resection with acceptable postoperative complication rates.
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December 2021

Enhanced recovery Pathways in gynecologic surgery: Are they safe and effective in the elderly?

Gynecol Oncol Rep 2021 Nov 20;38:100862. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

New York University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, New York, NY, United States.

Objective: To compare perioperative outcomes of the elderly versus non-elderly patients on ERPs undergoing laparotomy for gynecologic surgery.

Methods: From January 2016 to June 2017, patients undergoing elective laparotomies for gynecologic surgery were enrolled in a perioperative ERP protocol. Outcomes were compared between the elderly (age ≥ 70 years) and the non-elderly (age ≤ 69 years). Primary outcomes were length of stay and perioperative complication rates. Comparisons were performed using chi-squared tests or Fisher's exact tests for categorical data and Student's -test or Wilcoxon rank-sum tests for continuous variables, with p < 0.05 for significance.

Results: One hundred eighty-nine patients were enrolled in the study, including 16 patients ≥ 70 years old. The median age was 75 years for the elderly and 45 years for the non-elderly. Elderly patients were more likely to have more complex surgery and longer operative times (absolute median difference of 39 min). Despite the increasing complexity of surgical procedures for elderly patients, there were no statistically significant differences in serious inpatient complications (Clavien-Dindo score 3A or greater), pain and nausea scores, 30-day complications and readmission rates. Elderly patients had a longer median length of stay compared to non-elderly patients by one day (p < 0.001), however, this was not statistically significant on multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: In our series, elderly patients on the ERP had similar rates of complications and readmission when compared to non-elderly patients, despite undergoing more complex surgeries. This suggests that ERP may be feasible and safe in the elderly population undergoing elective gynecologic laparotomy.
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November 2021

Major vascular injury during gynecologic cancer surgery.

Gynecol Oncol Rep 2021 Aug 25;37:100815. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Gynecologic Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL, USA.

Objective: Vascular injury during major gynecologic cancer surgery is a rare but potentially fatal complication. The purpose of this study was to review our experience with major vascular injury during gynecologic cancer surgery.

Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of women undergoing surgery by our gynecologic oncology department from 7/1/99 to 6/30/20 who had a major vascular injury. We identified women who sustained a vascular injury by a combination of CPT code and medical record searches, fellow case logs and a list maintained for an ongoing quality assurance program. Data were expressed as median and range for continuous variables and as frequency and percentage for categorical variables. Fisher's exact test was used to analyze differences in complication rates between groups.

Results: Major vascular injury was identified in 52 patients and procedures. The inferior vena cava was the most common site of injury, 32.7% (17/52), followed by the external iliac vein, 23.1% (12/52). Lymph node dissection was the most common time for a vascular injury to occur 51.9% (27/52). The majority of injuries required suture repair, 80.8% (42/52). Estimated blood loss in cases with vascular injury ranged from 100 mL to massive unquantifiable blood loss in the case of an aortic injury. Patients required a median of 2units of packed red blood cells. Postoperative complications included anemia requiring blood transfusion, 19.6% (9/46) and venous thromboembolism, 19.6% (9/46).

Conclusions: Vascular injury remains a rare but potentially morbid complication of gynecologic oncologic surgery. Prompt recognition and management are imperative in minimizing persistent bleeding and complications.
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August 2021

Comparison of Definitive Cervical Cancer Management With Chemotherapy and Radiation Between Two Centers With Variable Resources and Opportunities for Improved Treatment.

JCO Glob Oncol 2020 10;6:1510-1518

Department of Radiation Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL.

Purpose: Cervical cancer remains a major health challenge in low- to middle-income countries. We present the experiences of two centers practicing in variable resource environments to determine predictors of improved radiochemotherapy treatment.

Methods And Materials: This comparative review describes cervical cancer presentation and treatment with concurrent chemoradiotherapy with high-dose-rate brachytherapy between 2014 and 2017 at the National Radiotherapy Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Center (NRONMC) in Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana, and Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC), Tampa, FL.

Results: Median follow-up for this study was 16.9 months. NRONMC patients presented with predominantly stage III disease (42% 16%; = .002). MCC patients received para-aortic node irradiation (16%) and interstitial brachytherapy implants (19%). Median treatment duration was longer for NRONMC patients compared with MCC patients (59 52 days; < .0001), and treatment duration ≥ 55 days predicted worse survival on multivariable analysis (MVA; = .02). Stage ≥ III disease predicted poorer local control on MVA. There was a difference in local control among patients with stage III disease (58% 91%; = .03) but not in survival between MCC and NRONMC. No significant difference in local control was observed for stage IB, IIA, and IIB disease.

Conclusion: Although there were significant differences in disease presentation between the two centers, treatment outcomes were similar for patients with early-stage disease. Longer treatment duration and stage ≥ III disease predicted poor outcomes.
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October 2020

High-dose intensity-modulated chemoradiotherapy in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma: Outcome and toxicity.

Gynecol Oncol 2020 02 23;156(2):349-356. Epub 2019 Nov 23.

Department of Radiation Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: To evaluate clinical outcomes, pattern of failure, and toxicity after high-dose intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for advanced vulvar cancer.

Methods: In this IRB approved retrospective study, the charts of women with histologically confirmed, non-metastatic vulvar cancer consecutively treated at our institution from 2012 to 2018 were reviewed to identify patients that received high-dose IMRT with curative intent. The treatment compliance, toxicities, and patterns of failure were investigated. Actuarial local, regional and distant recurrence and survival were estimated using Kaplan-Meier method and compared using log rank test.

Results: Twenty-six patients were identified, 23 were unresectable, and 3 refused surgery. Fifteen patients (58%) had inguinal node metastases; 10(38%) had pelvic node metastases. Elective surgical staging of groins was performed in 9-patients. Median tumor dose was 65.4Gy. Concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy was administered in 22(84.6%) patients. Complete response (CR) was achieved in 21/26 (80.7%) patients. Five patients had persistent disease following treatment and one sustained recurrence 5-months following radiotherapy. All persistent or recurrent disease occurred inside the irradiated volume. Median follow-up was 19 months (3-52 months). Actuarial 1-year local, regional and distant controls were 72.4%, 85.4%, and 86%, respectively. One and 2-year overall survivals were 91% and 62%, respectively. Complete response at 3-months was a strong predictor for overall survival (1-yr OS 73% vs 27%, HR 7.1 (95% CI 1.2-44); p = 0.01). Lymph node metastases adversely affected overall survival (2-yr OS 49% vs. 83%, p = 0.09). Grade 3-4 late urinary and soft-tissue toxicity was seen in 5 patients. Tumor doses >66 Gy (p = 0.03) and prior pelvic radiotherapy (p = 0.002) predicted grade 3-4 toxicity.

Conclusion: High-dose IMRT for vulvar cancer achieves high rates of local control with acceptable dose dependent long-term toxicity.
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February 2020

The influence of BRCA variants of unknown significance on cancer risk management decision-making.

J Gynecol Oncol 2019 Jul 27;30(4):e60. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Objective: To compare gynecological cancer risk management between women with BRCA variants of unknown significance (VUS) to women with negative genetic testing.

Methods: Ninety-nine patients whose BRCA genetic testing yielded VUS were matched with 99 control patients with definitive negative BRCA results at a single institution. Demographics and risk management decisions were obtained through chart review. Primary outcome was the rate of risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (RRBSO). Chi square tests, t-tests, and logistic regression were performed, with significance of p<0.05.

Results: VUS patients were more likely to be non-Caucasian (p=0.000) and of Ashkenazi-Jewish descent (p=0.000). There was no difference in gynecologic oncology referrals or recommendations to screen or undergo risk-reducing surgery for VUS vs. negative patients. Ultimately, 44 patients (22%) underwent RRBSO, with no significant difference in surgical rate based on the presence of VUS. Ashkenazi-Jewish descent was associated with a 4.5 times increased risk of RRBSO (OR=4.489; 95% CI=1.484-13.579) and family history of ovarian cancer was associated with a 2.6 times risk of RRBSO (OR=2.641; 95% CI=1.107-6.299).

Conclusion: In our institution, patients with VUS were surgically managed similarly to those with negative BRCA testing. The numbers of patients with VUS are likely to increase with the implementation of multi-gene panel testing. Our findings underscore the importance of genetic counseling and individualized screening and prevention strategies in the management of genetic testing results.
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July 2019

Safety of robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery and early hospital discharge in elderly patients.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2019 03 15;220(3):253.e1-253.e7. Epub 2018 Dec 15.

New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY. Electronic address:

Background: A minimally invasive surgical approach has proven to decrease peri- and postoperative complications and shorten duration of hospital stay; however, there are limited data evaluating the safety of robotic-assisted surgery and early hospital discharge in the elderly population. Because age is a well-known, independent risk factor for perioperative morbidity and gynecologists treat many elderly patients, this is an important area of study.

Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate discharge timing and surgical outcomes in elderly compared with younger patients undergoing robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery.

Study Design: This was a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery at a high-volume, single institution from January 2013 through May 2016. Demographic information, discharge timing, and peri- and postoperative outcomes were compared for patients <65 years with those ≥65 years using univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: There were 2757 patients included, with 2521 <65 years and 236 ≥65 years. Median age of the younger group was 42 years, while the median age of the elderly group was 69 years. Elderly patients had a higher body mass index (kilograms per square meter) (28 vs 26, P < .001) and higher American Society of Anesthesia classification (P < .001). Elderly were more likely to have malignancy as the indication for surgery (68% vs 11%, P < .001) and to undergo hysterectomy (81% vs 38%, P < .001) or surgery with lymph node dissection (44.5% vs 7.1%, P < .001). Elderly patients had a higher incidence of intraoperative complications (9% vs 4.6%, P = .002) and longer median hospital stay (17 vs 7 hours, P < .001) compared with younger patients. Same-day discharge was more common in younger patients (76% vs 45%, P < .001), and elderly patients were more likely to have admissions lasting >23 hours (13% vs 3%, P < .001) on univariate and multivariate analysis. Analysis of postoperative outcomes included 2023 patients with available postoperative data (80% of total population) (1794 <65 years, 229 ≥ 65 years). There were no differences between elderly and younger patients in overall postoperative complications, reoperations, intensive care unit admissions, emergency room visits, or hospital readmission within 6 weeks of surgery.

Conclusion: Despite having more preoperative risk factors and more surgically complex procedures, elderly patients undergoing robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery had similar postoperative complication rates, and almost half of elderly patients were safely discharged the day of surgery. Our data suggest that robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery and early hospital discharge are safe in elderly patients.
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March 2019

Ovarian cancer survivors' acceptance of treatment side effects evolves as goals of care change over the cancer continuum.

Gynecol Oncol 2017 08 8;146(2):386-391. Epub 2017 Jun 8.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States.

Objectives: Women with ovarian cancer can have long overall survival and goals of treatment change over time from cure to remission to stable disease. We sought to determine whether survivors' acceptance of treatment side effects also changes over the disease continuum.

Methods: Women with ovarian cancer completed an online survey focusing on survivors' goals and priorities. The survey was distributed through survivor networks and social media.

Results: Four hundred and thirty-four women visited the survey website and 328 (76%) completed the survey. Among participants, 141 (43%) identified themselves as having ever recurred, 119 (36%) were undergoing treatment at the time of survey completion and 86 (26%) had received four or more chemotherapy regimens. Respondents' goals of care were cure for 115 women (35%), remission for 156 (48%) and stable disease for 56 (17%). When asked what was most meaningful, 148 women (45%) reported overall survival, 135 (41%) reported quality of life and 40 (12%) reported progression-free survival. >50% of survivors were willing to tolerate the following symptoms for the goal of cure: fatigue (283, 86%), alopecia (281, 86%), diarrhea (232, 71%), constipation (227, 69%), neuropathy (218, 66%), arthralgia (210, 64%), sexual side effects (201, 61%), reflux symptoms (188, 57%), memory loss (180, 55%), nausea/vomiting (180, 55%), hospitalization for treatment side effects (179, 55%) and pain (169, 52%). The rates of tolerance for most symptoms decreased significantly as the goal of treatment changed from cure to remission to stable disease.

Conclusions: Women with ovarian cancer willingly accept many treatment side effects when the goal of treatment is cure, however become less accepting when the goal is remission and even less so when the goal is stable disease. Physicians and survivors must carefully consider treatment toxicities and quality of life effects when selecting drugs for patients with incurable disease.
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August 2017

Uterine Sarcomas: The Latest Approaches for These Rare but Potentially Deadly Tumors.

Oncology (Williston Park) 2017 Mar;31(3):229-36

Uterine sarcomas are rare malignant uterine neoplasms that are responsible for a large majority of uterine cancer-associated deaths. The subtypes include leiomyosarcomas, endometrial stromal tumors, and adenosarcomas. Standard treatment includes complete surgical resection. Adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or radiation may be considered in patients with high-risk disease. However, because the ability of adjuvant treatment to improve overall survival in patients with uterine sarcomas is unclear, there is no standard recommendation regarding adjuvant therapy. The risk in forgoing chemotherapy is that uterine sarcomas have a tendency to develop distant recurrences. Many cytotoxic agents have been investigated in clinical trials in an attempt to identify an effective treatment that can improve the course of this disease. Adjuvant radiation appears to improve local control but has no significant impact on survival. In this review we discuss preoperative diagnosis and the role of pathology, and we summarize the current literature regarding the management of uterine sarcomas.
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March 2017

Robotically Assisted Laparoscopic Ovarian Transposition in Women with Lower Gastrointestinal Cancer Undergoing Pelvic Radiotherapy.

Ann Surg Oncol 2017 Jan 9;24(1):251-256. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Pelvic radiotherapy (RT) is a standard component of the management for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer or squamous cell carcinoma of the anus. Pelvic RT leads to permanent and irreversible ovarian failure in young women. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of robotically assisted laparoscopic ovarian transposition (OT) before RT in women with rectal or anal cancer who wanted to preserve normal ovarian function.

Methods: The study reviewed the medical records of all patients treated at our institution from August 2009 to October 2014 who received robotically assisted laparoscopic OT for rectal or anal cancer before RT. Clinical and hormonal data were abstracted to determine ovarian function.

Results: The study identified 22 women with rectal (n = 20) or anal (n = 2) cancer. The median age of the women was 39 years (range 26-45 years). For one patient, OT was technically not feasible. The postoperative course was uneventful in all but one case. Follow-up data on ovarian function were unavailable for 3 patients. The median times from RT initiation to the last gynecologic or hormonal evaluation were 9 months (range 5-47 months) and 10.5 months (range 5-47 months), respectively. At the last gynecologic or hormonal follow-up visit, ovarian function was preserved in 12 (67%) of 18 evaluable patients, including 9 (90%) of 10 patients 40 years of age or younger and 3 (38%) of 8 patients older than 40 years (P = 0.07).

Conclusions: Robotically assisted laparoscopic bilateral OT is safe and can lead to preservation of ovarian function in two-thirds of patients with low gastrointestinal cancer undergoing pelvic RT. It should be considered in this setting, especially for women age 40 years or younger, to avoid premature menopause and its associated sequelae.
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January 2017

The safety of same-day discharge after laparoscopic hysterectomy for endometrial cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2016 09 30;142(3):508-13. Epub 2016 Jun 30.

New York University School of Medicine, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, 240 East 38th Street, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: To determine factors influencing discharge patterns after laparoscopic hysterectomy for endometrial cancer and to evaluate the safety of same-day discharge during the 30-day postoperative period.

Methods: Using the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Project's database, patients who underwent hysterectomy for endometrial cancer from 2010 to 2014 were identified and categorized by their hospital length of stay. Statistical analyses were performed to assess the relationship between hospital stay and demographics, medical comorbidities, intraoperative surgical factors and postoperative outcomes.

Results: A total of 9020 patients had laparoscopic hysterectomies for endometrial cancer and of these, 729 patients (8.1%) were successfully discharged on the day of surgery. These patients were younger and had lower body mass indexes and fewer medical comorbidities than patients who were admitted after their procedure. The same-day discharge group underwent surgical procedures of less complexity than the hospital admission group based on shorter operative times and fewer relative value units (RVUs). There was a lower rate of surgical site infections in the same-day discharge group, and no difference in rates of other postoperative complications including hospital readmissions and reoperations.

Conclusions: Rates of laparoscopic hysterectomy for endometrial cancer are gradually increasing but the rates of same-day discharge have increased at a much slower rate. Same-day discharge has been successful despite differences in preoperative demographics, medical comorbidities and intraoperative surgical complexity. Overall postoperative complication rates were equivalent despite length of hospital stay, demonstrating the safety and feasibility of same-day discharge after laparoscopic hysterectomy for endometrial cancer.
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September 2016

Preoperative experience for public hospital patients with gynecologic cancer: Do structural barriers widen the gap?

Cancer 2016 Mar 27;122(6):859-67. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

Background: Widespread disparities in care have been documented in women with gynecologic cancer in the United States. This study was designed to determine whether structural barriers to optimal care were present during the preoperative period for patients with gynecologic cancer.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted for patients undergoing surgery for a gynecologic malignancy at a public hospital or a private hospital staffed by the same team of gynecologic oncologists between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014.

Results: Two hundred fifty-seven cases were included for analysis (public hospital, 69; private hospital, 188). Patients treated at the private hospital were older (58 vs 52 years; P = .004) and had similar medical comorbidities (median Charlson comorbidity index at both hospitals, 6) but required fewer hospital visits in preparation for surgery (2 vs 4; P < .001). Public hospital patients had a longer wait time from the diagnosis of disease to surgery (63 vs 34 days; P < .001). According to a multiple linear regression model, the public hospital setting was associated with a longer interval from diagnosis to surgery with adjustments for the insurance status, age at diagnosis, cancer stage, and number of preoperative hospital visits (P < .001).

Conclusions: Patients at the public hospital were subject to a greater number of preoperative visits and had to wait longer for surgery than patients at the private hospital. Attempts to reduce health care disparities should focus on improving efficiency in health care delivery systems once contact has been established.
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March 2016

Appropriate Recommendations for Surgical Debulking in Stage IV Ovarian Cancer.

Curr Treat Options Oncol 2016 Jan;17(1)

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, NYU Langone Medical Center, NYU School of Medicine, 550 First Ave, NBV 9E2, New York, NY, 10016, USA.

Opinion Statement: Epithelial ovarian cancer continues to be the leading cause of death due to gynecologic malignancy, and it is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women in the USA and seventh worldwide. In most women with ovarian cancer, the disease is diagnosed at an advanced stage and primary cytoreductive surgery is considered standard of care. Traditionally, the gynecologic oncology literature supports the dictum that aggressive radical debulking to reduce intra-abdominal tumor burden to minimal or less than 1 cm of disease has significant impact on overall survival. However, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) trial found that survival after neoadjuvant followed by interval debulking surgery was similar to survival with the standard approach of primary surgery followed by chemotherapy. Many gynecologic oncologists have now adopted neoadjuvant chemotherapy for the treatment of stage IV ovarian cancer given the complex nature of this disease. Currently, there are conflicting results in the literature with regards to neoadjuvant chemotherapy versus primary debulking for stage IV ovarian cancer. While there is evidence that neoadjuvant treatment is not inferior to primary debulking, the literature also supports that maximizing debulking efforts with radical surgery can provide a survival benefit in patients with stage IV ovarian carcinoma.
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January 2016

Rescreening for genetic mutations using multi-gene panel testing in patients who previously underwent non-informative genetic screening.

Gynecol Oncol 2015 Nov 18;139(2):211-5. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, US.

Objective: The availability of next-generation sequencing and identification of multiple cancer-related genes has caused a shift away from single gene testing towards multi-gene panel testing for hereditary cancer syndromes. However, the utility of panels in individuals who previously underwent non-informative genetic screening has yet to be evaluated. We aim to evaluate the use of rescreening and results of multi-gene panels in this rescreened population.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records for patients who had previously undergone genetic testing and then underwent multi-gene panel testing at a single institution between 9/2013 and 11/2014.

Results: One hundred and twenty-seven patients with prior genetic testing underwent multi-gene panels. One hundred and four patients (82%) had a history of cancer and 118 (93%) had at least one family member with cancer. On primary testing, no pathogenic mutations were detected and 10 patients (8%) were found to have variants of uncertain significance (VUS). On repeat multi-gene panel testing, nine patients (7%) were found to have a pathogenic mutation and 53 patients (42%) were VUS not identified on prior testing.

Conclusions: Seven percent of patients with non-informative primary testing were found to have a pathogenic mutation with multi-gene panels, suggesting that there is a potential benefit to be gained from rescreening. However, 42% of patients were found to have new VUS with panels, a result that can cause patients anxiety without clear clinical implications.
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November 2015

Nucleofection mediates high-efficiency stable gene knockdown and transgene expression in human embryonic stem cells.

Stem Cells 2008 Jun 6;26(6):1436-43. Epub 2008 Mar 6.

Department of Biological Chemistry, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Program, Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California 92697, USA.

High-efficiency genetic modification of human embryonic stem (hES) cells would enable manipulation of gene activity, routine gene targeting, and development of new human disease models and treatments. Chemical transfection, nucleofection, and electroporation of hES cells result in low transfection efficiencies. Viral transduction is efficient but has significant drawbacks. Here we describe techniques to transiently and stably express transgenes in hES cells with high efficiency using a widely available vector system. The technique combines nucleofection of single hES cells with improved methods to select hES cells at clonal density. As validation, we reduced Oct4 and Nanog expression using siRNAs and shRNA vectors in hES cells. Furthermore, we derived many hES cell clones with either stably reduced alkaline phosphatase activity or stably overexpressed green fluorescent protein. These clones retained stem cell characteristics (normal karyotype, stem cell marker expression, self-renewal, and pluripotency). These studies will accelerate efforts to interrogate gene function and define the parameters that control growth and differentiation of hES cells. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
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June 2008

The cathepsin L first intron stimulates gene expression in rat sertoli cells.

Biol Reprod 2007 May 17;76(5):813-24. Epub 2007 Jan 17.

Division of Reproductive Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Large amounts of cathepsin L (CTSL), a cysteine protease required for quantitatively normal spermatogenesis, are synthesized by mouse and rat Sertoli cells during stages VI to VII of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium. We previously demonstrated that all of the regulatory elements required in vivo for both Sertoli cell- and stage-specific expression of the Ctsl gene are present within a ~3-kb genomic fragment that contains 2065 nucleotides upstream of the transcription start site and 977 nucleotides of downstream sequence. Most of the downstream region encodes the first intron. In this study, transient transfection assays using primary Sertoli cell cultures and the TM4 Sertoli cell line established that the Ctsl first intron increased reporter gene activity by ~5-fold. While the intron-mediated enhancement in reporter gene activity was not restricted to the Ctsl promoter, positioning the first intron upstream of the Ctsl promoter in either orientation abolished its stimulatory activity, suggesting that it does not contain a typical enhancer. Mutating the 5'-splice site of the Ctsl first intron or replacing the first intron by the Ctsl fourth intron abolished the stimulatory effect. Finally, the intron-dependent increase in reporter gene activity could be explained in part by an increase in the amounts of total RNA and transcript polyadenylation. Results from this study suggest that the stimulatory effect mediated by the Ctsl first intron may explain in part why Sertoli cells in seminiferous tubules at stages VI to VII produce high levels of CTSL.
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May 2007