Publications by authors named "Stacey Gargano"

5 Publications

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Discordant Responses Between Primary Head and Neck Tumors and Nodal Metastases Treated With Neoadjuvant Nivolumab: Correlation of Radiographic and Pathologic Treatment Effect.

Front Oncol 2020 2;10:566315. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

PD-1 blockade represents a promising treatment in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). We analyzed results of a neoadjuvant randomized window-of-opportunity trial of nivolumab plus/minus tadalafil to investigate whether immunotherapy-mediated treatment effects vary by site of involvement (primary tumor, lymph nodes) and determine how radiographic tumor shrinkage correlates with pathologic treatment effect.

Patients And Methods: Forty-four patients enrolled in trial NCT03238365 were treated with nivolumab 240 mg intravenously on days 1 and 15 with or without oral tadalafil, as determined by random assignment, followed by surgery on day 31. Radiographic volumetric response (RVR) was defined as percent change in tumor volume from pretreatment to posttreatment CT scan. Responders were defined as those with a 10% reduction in the volume of the primary tumor or lymph nodes (LN). Pathologic treatment effect (PTE) was defined as the area showing fibrosis or lymphohistiocytic inflammation divided by total tumor area.

Results: Sixteen of 32 patients (50%) with pathologic evidence of LN involvement exhibited discordant PTE between primary sites and LN. In four patients with widely discordant adjacent LN, increased PTE was associated with increased infiltration of tumor CD8 T cells and CD163 macrophages, whereas stromal regulatory T cells were associated with low nodal PTE. RVR correlated with PTE at both primary tumor (slope = 0.55, < 0.001) and in LN (slope = 0.62, < 0.05). 89% (16/18) of radiographic non-responders with T1-T3 primary sites had no (n = 7) or minimal PTE (n = 9), whereas 15/17 (88%) of radiographic responders had moderate (n = 12) or complete (n = 3) PTE.

Conclusion: Nivolumab often induces discordant treatment effects between primary tumor sites and metastatic lymph nodes within subjects. This treatment discordance was also demonstrated in adjacent lymph nodes, which may correlate with local immune cell makeup. Finally, although these data were generated by a relatively small population size, our data support the use of early radiographic response to assess immunotherapy treatment effect in HNSCC.
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December 2020

Patient with uncontrolled diabetes with a nonpainful, exophytic, purulent mandibular mass.

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 2020 Nov 5. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Associate Professor, Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Pathology, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

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November 2020

Cytological interpretation of p16 immunohistochemistry in head and neck carcinomas: does the choice of fixative matter?

J Am Soc Cytopathol 2021 Mar-Apr;10(2):216-224. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Introduction: Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of nodal metastases plays a key role in the diagnosis of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Because of significant clinical implications of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related OPSCC, immunohistochemistry for p16 as a surrogate marker for high-risk HPV is an important ancillary test. After our laboratory switched from CytoLyt to formalin fixative for FNA needle rinses generating cell block (CB) material, we investigated the impact of this protocol change on the accuracy of p16 results.

Materials And Methods: FNA specimens of head and neck lesions with p16 staining performed on CB, from 1 year before and after the implementation of formalin-fixed CB (FCB) were identified. Nuclear and cytoplasmic p16 expression was scored and compared to p16 status on corresponding surgical specimens.

Results: There were no false-positive results with either fixative. CytoLyt-fixed CB (CCB) had 47% (7 of 15) false-negative cases, whereas FCB had none, with 100% diagnostic accuracy for p16-negative (n = 6) and p16-positive (n = 15) results. False-negative CCB showed 0% to 10% nuclear and 0% to 65% weak cytoplasmic staining, whereas true-positive CCB showed 10% to 85% nuclear and 35% to 90% cytoplasmic staining. p16-negative FCB showed 0% nuclear and cytoplasmic staining, and p16-positive FCB showed 30% to 100% moderate-strong nuclear and cytoplasmic staining. Interobserver variability was greater with CCB.

Conclusions: In our laboratory, formalin fixation of CB material improved the accuracy of p16 interpretation. Staining in FCB was also more robust than CCB, which showed weaker cytoplasmic and more focal nuclear staining. Therefore, we advocate formalin fixation for head and neck cytology specimens that may require p16 testing.
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September 2020

Cytohistologic correlation of basaloid salivary gland neoplasms: Can cytomorphologic classification be used to diagnose and grade these tumors?

Cancer Cytopathol 2020 02 19;128(2):92-99. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Basaloid salivary gland neoplasms (BSNs), which include benign primary tumors and primary or metastatic malignancies, show overlapping morphology in fine-needle aspiration (FNA). The Milan system recommends assigning a grade (low or high) to malignant salivary neoplasms because of the impact on surgical planning. This study investigated cytomorphologic features of BSNs on FNA that would help to favor a high-grade malignancy over a low-grade malignancy or a benign tumor.

Methods: Two pathologists performed a double-blinded cytologic evaluation of FNA cases diagnosed as BSNs that had corresponding surgical resections. The diagnosis made with the Milan system was correlated with the final surgical diagnosis and grade. Cytologic sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values were calculated.

Results: There were 132 BSN FNA cases; cytology slides were available for 77 of 87 patients who had undergone resection. The risk of malignancy for the benign neoplasm (BN), salivary gland neoplasm of uncertain malignant potential (SUMP), suspicious for malignancy (SFM), and malignant categories were 13.6%, 22%, 100%, and 100%, respectively. The sensitivity of the malignant/SFM category was 51.7%; another 37.9% of confirmed malignancies were diagnosed as SUMP. The specificity of the BN category was 86%. Favoring a high-grade malignancy on FNA had 100% accuracy (5 of 5). Favoring a low-grade malignancy on FNA had 75% accuracy (6 of 8). The most specific cytomorphologic clues for a high-grade malignancy were necrotic/apoptotic debris, mitoses, discohesion, and anisonucleosis.

Conclusions: BSNs encompass a broad spectrum of primary and metastatic tumors. Necrotic/apoptotic debris, mitotic activity, discohesion, and significant anisonucleosis, alone or especially in combination, should make a cytopathologist suspect a high-grade malignancy.
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February 2020

Novel therapeutic targets in salivary duct carcinoma uncovered by comprehensive molecular profiling.

Cancer Med 2019 12 14;8(17):7322-7329. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Caris Life Sciences, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) is a rare, aggressive salivary gland malignancy, which often presents at an advanced stage. A proportion of SDC are characterized by HER2 amplification and/or overexpression of androgen receptor (AR), which could be targeted in a subset of patients, but the presence of AR splice variant-7 (AR-V7) in some SDC cases could result in resistance to anti-androgen therapy. We evaluated a cohort of 28 cases of SDC for potentially targetable biomarkers and pathways using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and next-generation sequencing (DNA and RNA) assays. Pathogenic genetic aberrations were found in all but 1 case and affected TP53 (n = 19), HRAS (n = 7), PIK3CA, ERBB2 (HER2), and NF1 (n = 5 each); KMT2C (MLL3) and PTEN (n = 3 each); BRAF (p.V600E), KDM5C and NOTCH1 (n = 2 each). Androgen receptor was expressed in all cases and 13 of 27 harbored the AR-V7 splice variant (including a case without any other detectable genetic alteration). HER2 IHC was expressed in 11 of 28 cases. The majority of SDC cases had no biomarkers predictive of immunotherapy response: 5 cases exhibited low (1%-8%) programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in tumor cells, 2 cases exhibited elevated TMB, and no samples exhibited microsatellite instability. Notably, the pre-treatment biopsies from 2 patients with metastatic disease, who demonstrated clinical responses to anti-androgen therapy, showed AR expression and no AR splice variants. We conclude that comprehensive molecular profiling of SDCs can guide the selection of patients for targeted therapies involving AR, HER2, PD-L1, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and PIK3CA pathways.
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December 2019