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  • Author: Chrysalyne D. Schmults x
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Sarah T. Le, Pritesh S. Karia, Beverley J. Vollenhoven, Robert J. Besaw, Colleen M. Feltmate, and Chrysalyne D. Schmults

Background: Currently, no studies have attempted to validate the AJCC tumor (T) class for vulvar cancer or examine its performance via clinical data. The goal of this study was to identify risk factors associated with poor outcomes in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (vSCC) and compare prognostic discrimination of these outcomes between the AJCC T-classification system and the newly developed Brigham and Women's Vulvar Tumor Classification system (BWVTC). Methods: A 15-year, 2-center retrospective cohort study of primary vSCCs (N=226) was undertaken. Risk factors for poor outcomes, including local recurrence (LR), nodal and distant metastasis (NM and DM, respectively), disease-specific death (DSD), and overall death (OD) were determined using competing risks models. Poor outcomes were analyzed by T stage with regard to each classification system's distinctiveness, homogeneity, and monotonicity. Results: AJCC T stages were indistinct, with overlapping 95% confidence intervals for 10-year cumulative incidences of poor outcomes. Most poor outcomes occurred in low AJCC T stages: T1a/T1b contained 77% of LR, 79% of NM, 66% of DM/DSD, and 78% of OD, indicating poor homogeneity and monotonicity. Five risk factors were independent predictors of poor outcomes: history of lichen sclerosus, tumor diameter ≥2.0 cm, tumor depth ≥3.0 mm, poor differentiation, and mucosal involvement, and these were used to develop the BWVTC (BWVTC BWT1 = 0 risk factors; BWT2 = 1 risk factor; BWT3 = 2 risk factors; and BWT4 = ≥3 risk factors). The BWVTC displayed superior homogeneity and monotonicity, with most poor outcomes occurring in high T stages: T3/T4 contained 87% of LR, 92% of NM, 91% of DM/DSD, and 78% of OD (P<.001), although not all T stages were statistically distinct in this small cohort. Conclusions: The BWVTC offers improved prognostic discrimination over the AJCC T-classification system. Validation in population-based cohorts and in vulvar cancers other than SCC is needed.

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Christopher K. Bichakjian, Thomas Olencki, Sumaira Z. Aasi, Murad Alam, James S. Andersen, Daniel Berg, Glen M. Bowen, Richard T. Cheney, Gregory A. Daniels, L. Frank Glass, Roy C. Grekin, Kenneth Grossman, Susan A. Higgins, Alan L. Ho, Karl D. Lewis, Daniel D. Lydiatt, Kishwer S. Nehal, Paul Nghiem, Elise A. Olsen, Chrysalyne D. Schmults, Aleksandar Sekulic, Ashok R. Shaha, Wade L. Thorstad, Malika Tuli, Marshall M. Urist, Timothy S. Wang, Sandra L. Wong, John A. Zic, Karin G. Hoffmann, and Anita Engh

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin is the most common cancer, with a higher incidence than all other malignancies combined. Although it is rare to metastasize, patients with multiple or frequently recurring BCC can suffer substantial comorbidity and be difficult to manage. Assessment of risk is a key element of management needed to inform treatment selection. The overall management of BCC primarily consists of surgical approaches, with radiation therapy as an alternate or adjuvant option. Many superficial therapies for BCC have been explored and continue to be developed, including topicals, cryosurgery, and photodynamic therapy. Two hedgehog pathway inhibitors were recently approved by the FDA for systemic treatment of advanced and metastatic BCC, and others are in development. The NCCN Guidelines for Basal Cell Skin Cancer, published in full herein, include recommendations for selecting among the various surgical approaches based on patient-, lesion-, and disease-specific factors, as well as guidance on when to use radiation therapy, superficial therapies, and hedgehog pathway inhibitors.

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Christopher K. Bichakjian, Thomas Olencki, Sumaira Z. Aasi, Murad Alam, James S. Andersen, Rachel Blitzblau, Glen M. Bowen, Carlo M. Contreras, Gregory A. Daniels, Roy Decker, Jeffrey M. Farma, Kris Fisher, Brian Gastman, Karthik Ghosh, Roy C. Grekin, Kenneth Grossman, Alan L. Ho, Karl D. Lewis, Manisha Loss, Daniel D. Lydiatt, Jane Messina, Kishwer S. Nehal, Paul Nghiem, Igor Puzanov, Chrysalyne D. Schmults, Ashok R. Shaha, Valencia Thomas, Yaohui G. Xu, John A. Zic, Karin G. Hoffmann, and Anita M. Engh

This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) focuses on areas impacted by recently emerging data, including sections describing MCC risk factors, diagnosis, workup, follow-up, and management of advanced disease with radiation and systemic therapy. Included in these sections are discussion of the new recommendations for use of Merkel cell polyomavirus as a biomarker and new recommendations for use of checkpoint immunotherapies to treat metastatic or unresectable disease. The next update of the complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for MCC will include more detailed information about elements of pathology and addresses additional aspects of management of MCC, including surgical management of the primary tumor and draining nodal basin, radiation therapy as primary treatment, and management of recurrence.