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International Journal of Surgical Oncology publishes original research articles and review articles in all areas of surgical oncology.
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Assessment of Quality of Life (QoL) of Colorectal Cancer Patients using QLQ-30 and QLQ-CR 29 at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Objective. We aimed to assess the quality of life (QoL) and its predictors in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah. Methods. A total of 118 CRC patients at King Abdulaziz Medical City, a tertiary hospital in Jeddah, participated in this study. The participants were provided with the online questionnaire via WhatsApp by trained researchers and data collectors in February 2021. All participants were required to answer the three-section questionnaire comprising of (a) demographic data and a validated Arabic version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality of life questionnaires, (b) a general version (QLQ-30), and (c) a CRC-specific version (QLQ-CR29). Results. Statistical analysis revealed that the most common comorbidity among the participants was diabetes mellitus (42.4%). In addition, the mean global health status was 63.91 ± 24.75. For the global health tool QLQ-C30, results exhibited that physical functioning [62.94 (30.04)] and social functioning [63.56 (31.95)] scored below the threshold, while the cognitive functioning scale scored the highest [74.86 (25.11)]. In addition, on the QLQ-C30 scales, fatigue and insomnia were distressing, with fatigue scoring the highest. For the disease-specific tool QLQ-CR29, it was found that for the symptom scale, urinary frequency and embarrassment scored the highest. Conclusion. The participants reported high global quality of life on both the EORTC QLQ-30 and QLQ-CR29 scales. This study identifies the factors and predictors that affect the quality of life of CRC patients in Saudi Arabia. Recognizing these factors and predictors may empower those patients to maintain positive perception towards the impact of colorectal cancer and improve their survival.
High CD44 Immunoexpression Correlates with Poor Overall Survival: Assessing the Role of Cancer Stem Cell Markers in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients from the High-Risk Population of Pakistan
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a top-ranked cancer in the Pakistani population, and patient survival has remained unchanged at ∼50% for several decades. Recent advances have claimed that a subset of tumour cells, called cancer stem cells (CSCs), are responsible for tumour progression, treatment resistance, and metastasis, which leads to a poor prognosis. This study investigated the impact of CSC markers expression on overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of OSCC patients. Materials and Methods. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate CD44, CD133, L1CAM, and SOX2 expression in a well-characterized cohort of 100 Pakistani patients with primary treatment naïve OSCC. The immunoreactivity for each marker was correlated with patient clinicopathologic characteristics, oral cancer risk chewing habits, and survival. The minimum follow-up time for all patients was five years, and survival estimates were calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method and Cox proportional hazards model. Results. In this cohort of 100 patients, there were 57 males and 43 females. The median OS and DFS time durations observed were 64 and 52.5 months, respectively. Positive expression for CD44, CD133, L1CAM, and SOX2 was observed in 33%, 23%, 41%, and 63% of patients. High CD44 expression correlated with decreased OS () but did not influence DFS. However, CD133, L1CAM, and SOX2 had no effect on either OS or DFS. Tonsils, nodal involvement, and AJCC stage were independent predictors of worse OS and DFS both. Conclusion. Of the CSC markers investigated here, only CD44 was a predictor for poor OS. CD44 was also associated with advanced AJCC and T stages. Interestingly, CD133 was significantly lower in patients who habitually consumed oral cancer risk factors.
Prognostic Impact of Tumor Budding on Moroccan Colon Cancer Patients
Background. Tumor budding is now emerging as one of the robust and promising histological factors that play an important role in colon cancer. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between tumor budding and tumor clinicopathological factors, tumor molecular signature, and patient survival for the first time in a Moroccan population. Methods. We collected data of 100 patients operated from colon adenocarcinoma. Tumor budding was assessed on HES slides, according to the International Tumor Budding Consensus Conference 2016 recommendations. The expression of MMR proteins was performed by immunohistochemistry. KRAS and NRAS mutations testing was performed by Sanger sequencing and pyrosequencing. Results. High tumor budding grade (BUD 3) was found to be significantly associated with adverse clinicopathological features including older age (), presence of perineural invasion (), presence of vascular invasion (), distant metastases (), advanced TNM stage (), the occurrence of relapse (), and the high number of deceased cases (). Interestingly, we found that tumors with high-grade tumor budding were more likely to be microsatellite stable (MSS) () and harbor more KRAS mutations (). Tumors with high-grade tumor budding were strongly associated with KRAS G12D mutation (). In all stages, high tumor budding was correlated with poorer overall survival () and decreased relapse-free survival with a difference close to significance ((). We concluded that high tumor budding was strongly associated with unfavorable clinicopathological features and special molecular biomarkers and effectively affects the overall survival of CC patients. Conclusions. Based on these findings and the ITBCC group recommendations, tumor budding should be taken into account along with other clinicopathologic factors in the risk assessment of colorectal cancer.
Comparing Emergent and Elective Colectomy Outcomes in Elderly Patients: A NSQIP Study
Introduction. With the increasing prevalence of colorectal cancer (CRC) worldwide, especially in the elderly, and the variability between physiological and chronological age and its impact on functional status, acute symptoms leading to emergent surgery due to colorectal malignancy may lead to increased morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study is to identify the outcome differences of elective vs. emergent open colectomy in patients above 80 years. Methods. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database was reviewed from 2010 to 2014 for open colectomy based on CPT codes. Comparison between groups was done based on the clinical context at presentation as elective or emergent surgery. Data were analyzed using SAS. Results. Elective colectomies were performed in 8289 (70.8%) vs. emergent colectomies in 3409 (29.1%). Emergent colectomy patients had higher American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) preoperative classification III-IV, 1429 (42.0%) and 224 (6.6%), vs. 1238 (14.9%) and 21 (0.2%) in elective colectomy patients . Emergent colectomy patients had more comorbidities such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (493 (14.5%) vs. 796 (9.6%)), congestive heart failure (206 (6.0%) vs. 310 (3.8%)), dialysis (106 (3.1%) vs. 56 (0.7%)), and acute renal failure (166 (4.9%) vs. 46 (0.6%)) , respectively. Postoperative morbidity and mortality were significantly higher in emergent colectomy (1651 (48.4%) and 872 (25.6%)) vs. elective colectomy (1859 (22.4%) and 567 (6.8%)) , respectively. Conclusion. Emergent open colectomy in elderly patients carries a higher risk of morbidity and mortality when compared to elective open colectomy with risk factors being higher ASA classification and more comorbidities.
Clinicopathological Analysis of Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix: A Single-Institution Retrospective Review of 9 Cases
Aim. To evaluate the clinicopathological features affecting the recurrence and survival of 9 cases of neuroendocrine cancer of the cervix. Method. We retrospectively analyzed 9 cervical neuroendocrine cancer cases identified among 453 cervical cancer patients between 2004 and 2021 at Akdeniz University Gynecological Oncology Outpatient Clinic. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was used for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Mathematical functions of mean, standard deviation, median, Min–Max values, and frequencies were used for descriptive statistics. The categorical data were expressed in numbers and percentages (%). Results. Nine patients with neuroendocrine histological subtype were selected out of 453 patients diagnosed with cervical cancer (1.98%). The average overall survival time of the patients was 26 months. The 5-year survival rate was 53.3%, while the PFS was 62.5%. The most common subtype was small cell neuroendocrine cancer. Tumours were mostly locally advanced at the time of diagnosis. 3 patients’ stage was 1b2, while 4 patients were 2b, 1 patient was 3c2r, and 1 patient was 4b. All tumours showed the immunohistochemical staining properties of neuroendocrine cancer. The main treatment modality applied to our patients was surgery + adjuvant CRT. The most used chemotherapeutic agents were cisplatin/carboplatin and etoposide. Recurrence was found in 3 cases, including 5 deaths. Conclusion. Neuroendocrine tumour of the cervix is a rare subtype with a poor prognosis. Unfortunately, there is not yet a standard treatment protocol due to the limited number of comparative studies of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy based treatment schemes.
The Utility of SOX2 and AGR2 Biomarkers as Early Predictors of Tamoxifen Resistance in ER-Positive Breast Cancer Patients
Background. Despite the undeniable benefit of tamoxifen therapy for ER-positive breast cancer patients, approximately one-third of those patients either do not respond to tamoxifen or develop resistance. Thus, it is a crucial step to identify novel, reliable, and easily detectable biomarkers indicating resistance to this drug. Objective. The aim of this work is to explore SOX2 and AGR2 biomarker expression in the tumor tissue of ER-positive breast cancer patients in combination with the evaluation of serum AGR2 level of these patients in order to validate these biomarkers as early predictors of tamoxifen resistance. Methods. This study was conducted on 224 ER-positive breast cancer patients. All patients were primarily subjected to serum AGR2 levelling by ELISA and their breast cancer tissue immunostained for SOX2 and AGR2. After 5 years of follow-up, the patients were divided into 3 groups: group 1 was tamoxifen sensitive and groups 2 and 3 were tamoxifen resistant. Time to failure of tamoxifen treatment was considered the time from the beginning of tamoxifen therapy to the time of discovery of breast cancer recurrence or metastases (in months). Results. SOX2 and AGR2 biomarkers expression and serum AGR2 level were significantly higher in groups 2 and 3 in comparison to group 1, while the relationship between Her2 neu expression and Ki67 index in the 3 different groups was statistically nonsignificant. Lower SOX2 and AGR2 expression and low AGR2 serum levels in the studied patients of groups 2 and 3 were significantly associated with longer time-to-failure of tamoxifen treatment. According to the ROC curve, the combined use of studied markers validity was with a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 96%, PPV 96%, and NPV 100% (; AUC: 0.984). Conclusions. Integrated use of SOX2 and AGR2 biomarkers with serum AGR2 assay holds a promising hope for their future use as predictive markers for early detection of tamoxifen resistance in ER-positive breast cancer patients.