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head and neck cancer - Top 30 Publications

A mutational signature associated with alcohol consumption and prognostically significantly mutated driver genes in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is often diagnosed at an advanced and incurable stage. Information on driver genes and prognosticators in ESCC remains incomplete. The objective was to elucidate significantly mutated genes (SMGs), mutational signatures, and prognosticators in ESCC.

Superoxide Dismutase Mimetic GC4419 Enhances the Oxidation of Pharmacological Ascorbate and Its Anticancer Effects in an H₂O₂-Dependent Manner.

Lung cancer, together with head and neck cancer, accounts for more than one-fourth of cancer deaths worldwide. New, non-toxic therapeutic approaches are needed. High-dose IV vitamin C (aka, pharmacological ascorbate; P-AscH-) represents a promising adjuvant to radiochemotherapy that exerts its anti-cancer effects via metal-catalyzed oxidation to form H₂O₂. Mn(III)-porphyrins possessing superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic activity have been shown to increase the rate of oxidation of AscH-, enhancing the anti-tumor effects of AscH- in several cancer types. The current study demonstrates that the Mn(II)-containing pentaazamacrocyclic selective SOD mimetic GC4419 may serve as an AscH-/O₂•- oxidoreductase as evidenced by the increased rate of oxygen consumption, steady-state concentrations of ascorbate radical, and H₂O₂ production in complete cell culture media. GC4419, but not CuZnSOD, was shown to significantly enhance the toxicity of AscH- in H1299, SCC25, SQ20B, and Cal27 cancer cell lines. This enhanced cancer cell killing was dependent upon the catalytic activity of the SOD mimetic and the generation of H₂O₂, as determined using conditional overexpression of catalase in H1299T cells. GC4419 combined with AscH- was also capable of enhancing radiation-induced cancer cell killing. Currently, AscH- and GC4419 are each being tested separately in clinical trials in combination with radiation therapy. Data presented here support the hypothesis that the combination of GC4419 and AscH- may provide an effective means by which to further enhance radiation therapy responses.

Variability Assessment of 90 Salivary Proteins in Intra-Day and Inter-Day Samples from Healthy Donors by Multiple Reaction Monitoring-Mass Spectrometry.

Saliva is an attractive sample source for the biomarker-based testing of several diseases, especially oral cancer. Here, we sought to apply multiplexed LC-MRM-MS to precisely quantify 90 disease-related proteins and assess their intra- and inter-individual variability in saliva samples from healthy donors.

Retrospective audit of patients referred for further treatment following Mohs surgery for non-melanoma skin cancer.

To describe the characteristics, subsequent management and outcomes of patients referred for further management following Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Performance Improvement in Head and Neck Cancer.

Performance improvement requires establishing a platform to set benchmarks and monitor the quality of care provided through quality indicators and metrics. This has long been recognized as critical to overall quality improvement and more recently, has become federally mandated. Here, we review recent studies evaluating performance in head and neck cancer care, from those spanning all phases of head and neck cancer care to others focused on head and neck surgical performance, including both national and departmental/institutional efforts.

Rhabdomyomatous Mesenchymal Hamartoma Presenting as a Midline Mass on a Chin.

A 17-month-old boy was evaluated for a midline mass on his chin. The mass was anchored to the mentalis muscle with a stalk-like structure. The pathological diagnosis of the mass was rhabdomyomatous mesenchymal hamartoma. This is the first report of rhabdomyomatous mesenchymal hamartoma presenting as a midline chin mass in Korean pediatric patients.

Protein methyltransferases and demethylases dictate CD8+ T-cell exclusion in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

A subset of patients with recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) benefit from pembrolizumab and nivolumab, but the majority of patients do not probably due to lack of activated cytotoxic CD8+ T-cells in their tumor tissues. Herein, we aim to investigate whether specific protein methyltransferases (PMTs) and demethylases (PDMTs) could play any roles in the CD8+ T-cell exclusion process in HPV-negative SCCHN. RNA sequencing data from the TCGA database were interrogated for HPV-negative SCCHN patients using a 10-gene chemokine signature that classifies SCCHN tissues into CD8+ T-cell inflamed and non-CD8+ T-cell inflamed phenotypes. Among 53 PMT/PDMT genes examined in the TCGA HPV-negative SCCHN database, expression levels of 15 PMT/PDMT genes were significantly negatively correlated with the chemokine signature score and CD8 mRNA expression levels. The expression level of each of these 15 PMT/PDMT genes showed significantly negative correlations with immune-active chemokines, as well as HLA class I and APM molecules. siRNA-mediated knockdown of a candidate PMT, SMYD3, led to upregulation of CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11 and TAP1 at mRNA and protein levels in HPV-negative SCCHN cell lines. These findings demonstrate that overexpression of some PMTs and PDMTs seems to be related with the non-CD8+ T-cell inflamed phenotype and may drive CD8+ T-cell exclusion in HPV-negative SCCHN. This study suggests that chromatin modifiers contribute to CD8+ T-cell exclusion and antigen presentation capacity of HPV-negative SCCHN, supporting that targeting of specific PMTs and/or PDMTs could enhance CD8+ T-cell infiltration and increase the proportion of patients that may benefit from immunotherapy.

Combined surgery and radiation improves survival of tonsil squamous cell cancers.

The study evaluated the addition of surgery (S) to radiation (RT) on survival of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of tonsillar-fossa (TF) in a modern cohort with similar epidemiology and treatment as current patients.

Interferon-alpha enhances the antitumour activity of EGFR-targeted therapies by upregulating RIG-I in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted therapies have been tested in the clinic as treatments for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Owing to intrinsic or acquired resistance, EGFR-targeted therapies often lead to a low response rate and treatment failure. Interferon-alpha (IFNα) is a chemosensitising agent and multi-functional cytokine with a tumour inhibitory effect. However, the synergic effect of IFNα and EGFR-targeted therapies (erlotinib and nimotuzumab) and their mechanisms in HNSCC remain unclear.

Piperlongumine and p53-reactivator APR-246 selectively induce cell death in HNSCC by targeting GSTP1.

TP53 mutations frequently occur in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients without human papillomavirus infection. The recurrence rate for these patients is distinctly high. It has been actively explored to identify agents that target TP53 mutations and restore wild-type (WT) TP53 activities in HNSCC. PRIMA-1 (p53-reactivation and induction of massive apoptosis-1) and its methylated analogue PRIMA-1Met (also called APR-246) were found to be able to reestablish the DNA-binding activity of p53 mutants and reinstate the functions of WT p53. Herein we report that piperlongumine (PL), an alkaloid isolated from Piper longum L., synergizes with APR-246 to selectively induce apoptosis and autophagic cell death in HNSCC cells, whereas primary and immortalized mouse embryonic fibroblasts and spontaneously immortalized non-tumorigenic human skin keratinocytes (HaCat) are spared from the damage by the co-treatment. Interestingly, PL-sensitized HNSCC cells to APR-246 are TP53 mutation-independent. Instead, we demonstrated that glutathione S-transferase pi 1 (GSTP1), a GST family member that catalyzes the conjugation of GSH with electrophilic compounds to fulfill its detoxification function, is highly expressed in HNSCC tissues. Administration of PL and APR-246 significantly suppresses GSTP1 activity, resulting in the accumulation of ROS, depletion of GSH, elevation of GSSG, and DNA damage. Ectopic expression of GSTP1 or pre-treatment with antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) abrogates the ROS elevation and decreases DNA damage, apoptosis, and autophagic cell death prompted by PL/APR-246. In addition, administration of PL and APR-246 impedes UMSCC10A xenograft tumor growth in SCID mice. Taken together, our data suggest that HNSCC cells are selectively sensitive to the combination of PL and APR-246 due to a remarkably synergistic effect of the co-treatment in the induction of ROS by suppression of GSTP1.

LTBP3 promotes early metastatic events during cancer cell dissemination.

Latent transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)-binding proteins (LTBPs) are important for the secretion, activation, and function of mature TGFβ, especially so in cancer cell physiology. However, specific roles of the LTBPs remain understudied in the context of the primary tumor microenvironment. Herein, we investigated the role of LTBP3 in the distinct processes involved in cancer metastasis. By using three human tumor cell lines of different tissue origin (epidermoid HEp-3 and prostate PC-3 carcinomas and HT-1080 fibrosarcoma) and several metastasis models conducted in both mammalian and avian settings, we show that LTBP3 is involved in the early dissemination of primary cancer cells, namely in the intravasation step of the metastatic cascade. Knockdown of LTBP3 in all tested cell lines led to significant inhibition of tumor cell intravasation, but did not affect primary tumor growth. LTBP3 was dispensable in the late steps of carcinoma cell metastasis that follow tumor cell intravasation, including vascular arrest, extravasation, and tissue colonization. However, LTBP3 depletion diminished the angiogenesis-inducing potential of HEp-3 cells in vivo, which was restorable by exogenous delivery of LTBP3 protein. A similar compensatory approach rescued the dampened intravasation of LTBP3-deficient HEp-3 cells, suggesting that LTBP3 regulates the induction of the intravasation-supporting angiogenic vasculature within developing primary tumors. Using our recently developed microtumor model, we confirmed that LTBP3 loss resulted in the development of intratumoral vessels with an abnormal microarchitecture incompatible with efficient intravasation of HEp-3 carcinoma cells. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that LTBP3 represents a novel oncotarget that has distinctive functions in the regulation of angiogenesis-dependent tumor cell intravasation, a critical process during early cancer dissemination. Our experimental data are also consistent with the survival prognostic value of LTBP3 expression in early-stage head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, further indicating a specific role for LTBP3 in cancer progression toward metastatic disease.

Final Results of a Multi-institutional Phase II Trial of Re-Irradiation with Concurrent Weekly Cisplatin and Cetuximab for Recurrent or Second Primary Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck.

The optimal regimen of chemotherapy and re-irradiation (re-XRT) for recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is controversial. We report the final outcomes of a multi-center Phase II trial evaluating cetuximab and cisplatin-based chemotherapy concurrent with re-XRT for patients with recurrent HNSCC.

Activity and safety of afatinib in a window pre-operative EORTC study in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).

To investigate the activity and safety of afatinib in the pre-operative treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Patients and methods: This study was an open-label, randomized, multicenter, phase II window of opportunity trial. Treatment-naïve SCCHN patients selected for primary curative surgery were randomized (5:1 ratio) to receive afatinib during 14 days (day -15 until day -1) before surgery (day 0) or no treatment. Tumor biopsies, 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed at diagnosis and just before surgery. The primary end point was metabolic FDG-PET response (according to EORTC guidelines). Other endpoints included response assessment based on the Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) v1.1, dynamic enhanced contrast (DCE)-MRI, diffusion weighted (DW)-MRI, safety and translational research (TR).

Development of a Trio of Potential Biomarkers for Cancer Prognosis.

Analytical performance of the ThyroSeq v3 genomic classifier for cancer diagnosis in thyroid nodules.

Molecular tests have clinical utility for thyroid nodules with indeterminate fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology, although their performance requires further improvement. This study evaluated the analytical performance of the newly created ThyroSeq v3 test.

Genistein as a potential anticancer agent against head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

The use of nutraceuticals as protection drugs against chronic diseases gained a vast success. Many studies found that nutraceuticals may reduce the tumorigenic actions of carcinogens, inhibiting the adhesion and proliferation of tumor cells. Genistein is a natural isoflavone preventing osteoporosis, menopause problems and heart diseases. It is also known in China and Japan for its anticancer properties. The available treatment protocols for Head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) have led to poor results and new therapies are necessary. In this paper, we will review anticancer therapeutic potential of genistein and in vitro and in vivo studies that suggest its potential role in treatments of HNSCC.

Searching For New Targets And Treatments In The Battle Against Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck, With Specific Focus On Tumours Of The Tongue.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, SCCHN, is a heterogeneous group of tumours not only concerning site of origin but also regarding aetiology. The 5-year survival for the whole group of SCCHN tumours has not significantly improved over the last 20-25 years. Apart from tumour spread to lymph nodes, N status, gains and losses of specific chromosomes are the only factors shown to be independent prognostic markers for these tumours. Worldwide an increasing number of people ? 40 years are seen being affected by tongue SCC, the most common tumour within the SCCHN group. Even without any clinical signs of metastasis up to 30% of all tongue SCC have histologically detectable spread to lymph nodes. In this mini review field cancerization, tumour microenvironment, the so called EMT (epithelial mesenchymal transition) process and the role of viruses in development of SCCHN are discussed as well as potential new therapeutic targets. For the group of tongue SCC, with the increasing incidence seen in young patients and particularly women, new data with impact on prognosis and treatment are urgently needed. But as long as data from analyses of several sub sites are presented as valid for the whole group of tumours, this vital point is missed.

Regulation of programmed-death ligand in the human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma microenvironment is mediated through matrix metalloproteinase-mediated proteolytic cleavage.

Recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M HNSCC) is a devastating malignancy with a poor prognosis. According to recent clinical studies, tumour growth can be effectively reduced and survival can be improved by blocking the programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD‑L1) pathway. PD-L1 expression has been proposed as a potential causative mechanism, as HNSCC is highly immunosuppressive. However, anti-PD-1 treatment is beneficial only for certain patients. Therefore, the mechanisms controlling PD-L1 expression warrant further investigation in order to provide a better understanding of the predicting efficacy of and optimising anti-PD-1 therapy, alone or in combination. In this study, PD-L1 protein extracted from the cell membrane was found to be downregulated in OSC-20 cells compared with OSC-19 cells, despite a higher PD-L1 expression in the total cell lysate of the OSC-20 compared with the OSC-19 cells. Several matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were found to be upregulated in HNSCC; in particular, MMP-7 and -13 were upregulated in the OSC-20 compared with the OSC-19 cells. Purified PD-L1 was degraded by recombinant MMP-13 and -7. The expression of PD-L1 was significantly restored by a specific inhibitor of MMP-13 (CL82198), which suggested the involvement of MMP-13 in the shedding/cleavage of PD-L1 in the OSC-20 cells. Among the anticancer drugs conventionally used in the treatment of patients with HNSCC, paclitaxel increased MMP-13 expression in R/M HNSCC cells (HOC313 cells) co-cultured without/with dendritic cells (DCs). These results suggest that the shedding/cleavage of PD-L1 by MMP-13 is one of the mechanisms behind the protective effect against invasion and metastasis. Thus, MMP-13 has potential value as a marker predictive of the decreased efficacy of anti-PD-1 therapy. In addition, paclitaxel is a particularly promising candidate for combination therapy in R/M HNSCC with anti-PD-1 therapy.

High neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio predicts poor prognosis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy.

To evaluate the role of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio as a prognostic marker in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy.

TPF induction chemotherapy increases PD-L1 expression in tumour cells and immune cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Antiprogrammed cell death-1/programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) therapies have demonstrated promising activity in advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), with overall response rates of approximately 20% in unselected populations and survival benefit. Whether induction docetaxel, platinum and fluorouracil (TPF) modifies PD-L1 expression or tumour immune infiltrates is unknown.

An oncogenic function of retinoic acid receptor-α in the development of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

The aberrant expression of retinoic acid receptor-α (RARα) has been reported in various types of cancer. However, its association with the prognosis and development of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) has not yet been determined. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the expression and function of RARα in patients with LSCC. The expression of RARα in LSCC tissues was investigated using immunostaining. An MTT assay and flow cytometry analysis were also performed to investigate the function of RARα in the proliferation and cell cycle of LSCC cells. The expression of RARα was significantly elevated in LSCC tissues compared with adjacent noncancerous tissues (78.1 vs. 6.3%, P<0.05). The overexpression of RARα was associated with poorly differentiated features of LSCC (P<0.05). Furthermore, the downregulation of RARα inhibited the proliferation of LSCC cells, and arrested the cell cycle at the G1 phase via upregulation of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 1A, which may be associated with inhibition of the protein kinase B signaling pathway. Therefore, the overexpression of RARα may contribute to the development of LSCC through the regulation of the cell cycle. The results of the present study provide evidence that RARα serves an important function in LSCC development and may be a potential therapeutic target or prognostic predictor for LSCC.

Coexistence of sarcoidosis and metastatic lesions: A diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma.

Sarcoidosis, a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects various different organs, is characterized by noncaseating epitheloid granulomas. This systemic inflammatory process is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Several cases of sarcoidosis that mimic metastatic tumor progression in radiological findings have been reported so far. However, there are also cases that have presented a coexistence of sarcoidosis and metastasis, which have caused a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma. Due to inadequate current therapies, a reliable differentiation between benign and malignant lesions is crucial. This review focuses on the residual risk of the coexistence of metastases within radiological suspicious lesions in patients with a history of solid tumors and sarcoidosis, as well as immunological findings, in order to explain the potential associations. Sarcoidosis has the potential to promote metastasis as it includes tumor-promoting and immune-regulating cell subsets. Notably, myeloid derived suppressor cells may serve a pivotal role in metastatic progression in patients with sarcoidosis. In addition, the present review also evaluates the potential novel diagnostic approaches, which may be able to differentiate between metastatic lesions and sarcoidosis. The risk of coexistent metastasis in sarcoidosis lesions must be considered by clinical practitioners, and a multidisciplinary approach may be required to avoid misdiagnosis and the subsequent unnecessary surgery or insufficient treatments.

Downregulated expression of TSHR is associated with distant metastasis in thyroid cancer.

In differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), the association between thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) and metastasis, and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The role of TSHR in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has not yet been reported, to the best of our knowledge. In the present study, the role of TSHR in the distant metastasis of DTC was investigated. TSHR was significantly downregulated in well-differentiated thyroid cancer cells and tissues, and a lack of TSHR promoted thyroid cancer cell invasion and metastasis by inhibiting the EMT of thyroid cancer cells. In addition, the prognostic value of TSHR in thyroid cancer was analyzed. Immunohistochemical analysis of 172 DTC tissues revealed that a lack of expression of TSHR was associated with distant metastasis and a poor survival rate. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that TSHR expression was a significant prognostic factor for distant metastasis and survival time. The results from the present study demonstrated that TSHR inhibits metastasis through regulating EMT in vitro, and that a lack of expression of TSHR is a significant independent factor affecting distant metastasis and poor prognosis in DTC.

A novel classification system for the evaluation and reconstruction of oral defects following oncological surgery.

Accurate evaluation of oral tissue defects following oncological surgery is necessary for the subsequent reconstruction. However, there is currently no effective classification system for oral defects in the clinical setting. The present study therefore developed a clinical classification system for the evaluation and reconstruction of oral defects. A retrospective cohort study was performed. A two-dimensional classification system based on coronal computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging was developed and validated by 145 cases with oral defects. Oral defects could be classified into 6 types (I-VI) horizontally and 2 classes (a and b) vertically. The proportion of the various types was as follows: Type I, 35.9%; type II, 21.4%; type III, 23.4%; type IV, 4.8%; type V, 2.1%; and type VI, 12.4%. Among them, 91 cases (62.8%) were class a and 54 cases (37.2%) were class b. Type Ia-Va represented the unilateral 1-5 subsites involving superficial oral defects without mandibular continuity destruction (88 cases, 60.7%). Type Ib-Vb (+M) represented the unilateral 1-5 subsites involving deep oral defects with segmental mandibular continuity destruction (38 cases, 26.2%). Type I-V (+S) represented the unilateral through and through oral defects with cheek skin involvement (10 cases, 6.9%). Type VI represented bilateral oral defects (18 cases, 12.4%). The present classification system for the evaluation of the oral defects was simple and practical, and could identify the common types of oral defects and guide the reconstruction.

HPV infection and P16 expression in oral and oropharyngeal cancer in Kazakhstan.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an important etiologic factor in different cancers of anogenital region and also in a fraction of head and neck cancers (HNC) particularly oropharyngeal tumors. The HPV16 genotype associated with the majority of HPV-related head and neck carcinomas. Th incidence of oropharyngeal cancer is increasing in many countries, and the rate of HPV positive tumors is about 70% in Europe and North America. Little known about the prevalence of HPV in HNC in Central Asia.

Codelivery of doxorubicin and MDR1-siRNA by mesoporous silica nanoparticles-polymerpolyethylenimine to improve oral squamous carcinoma treatment.

Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that is the seventh most frequent cancer and the ninth most frequent cause of death globally. About 90% of oral cancer is of squamous cell carcinoma type. Surgery and radiation with and without chemotherapy are the major treatments for oral cancer. Better advanced treatment is still needed. Multidrug resistance plays an important role in failure of oral cancer chemotherapy. In this study, we tried to fabricate a novel nanoparticle that could carry both MDR1-siRNA to block MDR1 expression and doxorubicin (DOX), a chemotherapy drug, into cancer cells in order to directly kill the cells with little or no effect of multidrug resistance. Results showed that mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNP) can be modified by cationic polymerpolyethylenimine (PEI) to obtain positive charges on the surface, which could enable the MSNP to carry MDR1-siRNA and DOX. The transfection efficiency assays demonstrated that the MSNP-PEI-DOX/ MDR1-siRNA was efficiently transfected into KBV cells in vitro. KBV cells transfected with MSNP-PEI-DOX/MDR1-siRNA could effectively decrease gene expression of MDR1 (~70% increase after 72 hours posttreatment) and induce the apoptosis of KBV cells (24.27% after 48 hours posttreatment) in vitro. Importantly, MSNP-PEI-DOX/MDR1-siRNA dramatically reduced the tumor size (81.64% decrease after 28 days posttreatment) and slowed down tumor growth rate compared to the control group in vivo (P<0.05). In the aggregate, newly synthesized MSNP-PEI-DOX/MDR1-siRNA improves cancer chemotherapy effect in terms of treating multidrug-resistant cancer compared to DOX only, clearly demonstrating that MSNP-PEI-DOX/MDR1-siRNA has potential therapeutic application for multidrug-resistant cancer in the future.

Evidence for the ISG15-Specific Deubiquitinase USP18 as an Antineoplastic Target.

Ubiquitination and ubiquitin-like posttranslational modifications (PTM) regulate activity and stability of oncoproteins and tumor suppressors. This implicates PTMs as antineoplastic targets. One way to alter PTMs is to inhibit activity of deubiquitinases (DUB) that remove ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like proteins from substrate proteins. Roles of DUBs in carcinogenesis have been intensively studied, yet few inhibitors exist. Prior work provides a basis for the ubiquitin-specific protease 18 (USP18) as an antineoplastic target. USP18 is the major DUB that removes IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) from conjugated proteins. Prior work discovered that engineered loss of USP18 increases ISGylation and in contrast to its gain decreases cancer growth by destabilizing growth-regulatory proteins. Loss of USP18 reduced cancer cell growth by triggering apoptosis. Genetic loss of USP18 repressed cancer formation in engineered murine lung cancer models. The translational relevance of USP18 was confirmed by finding its expression was deregulated in malignant versus normal tissues. Notably, the recent elucidation of the USP18 crystal structure offers a framework for developing an inhibitor to this DUB. This review summarizes strong evidence for USP18 as a previously unrecognized pharmacologic target in oncology. Cancer Res; 78(3); 1-6. ©2018 AACR.

Relationship between Eustachian tube dysfunction and otitis media with effusion in radiotherapy patients.

This study evaluated the relationship between radiation and Eustachian tube dysfunction, and examined the radiation dose required to induce otitis media with effusion.

Splice Expression Variation Analysis (SEVA) for Inter-tumor Heterogeneity of Gene Isoform Usage in Cancer.

Current bioinformatics methods to detect changes in gene isoform usage in distinct phenotypes compare the relative expected isoform usage in phenotypes. These statistics model differences in isoform usage in normal tissues, which have stable regulation of gene splicing. Pathological conditions, such as cancer, can have broken regulation of splicing that increases the heterogeneity of the expression of splice variants. Inferring events with such differential heterogeneity in gene isoform usage requires new statistical approaches.

Telomeric Repeat-Containing RNAs (TERRA) Decrease in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck Is Associated with Worsened Clinical Outcome.

Telomeres are transcribed into noncoding telomeric repeat-containing RNAs (TERRA), which are essential for telomere maintenance. Deregulation of TERRA transcription impairs telomere metabolism and a role in tumorigenesis has been proposed. Head and neck cancer (HNC) is one of the most frequent cancers worldwide, with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) being the predominant type. Since HNSCC patients are characterized by altered telomere maintenance, a dysfunction in telomere transcription can be hypothesized. In this prospective study, we compared TERRA levels in the tumor and matched normal tissue from 23 HNSCC patients. We then classified patients in two categories according to the level of TERRA expression in the tumor compared to the normal tissue: (1) lower expression in the tumor, (2) higher or similar expression in tumor. A significant proportion of patients in the first group died of the disease within less than 34 months postsurgery, while the majority of patients in the second group were alive and disease-free. Our results highlight a striking correlation between TERRA expression and tumor aggressiveness in HNSCC suggesting that TERRA levels may be proposed as a novel molecular prognostic marker for HNSCC.