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.
Sarah T. Le, Pritesh S. Karia, Beverley J. Vollenhoven, Robert J. Besaw, Colleen M. Feltmate, and Chrysalyne D. Schmults
Robert J. Besaw, Adrienne R. Terra, Grace L. Malvar, Tobias R. Chapman, Lauren M. Hertan, and Benjamin L. Schlechter
Undifferentiated carcinoma with osteoclast-like giant cells (UCOGC) of the pancreas is a rare and potentially aggressive variant of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Data on this disease are sparse, and despite genetic similarities to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, UCOGC clinical outcomes can be markedly different. We report on a female patient aged 62 years who presented with UCOGC with pulmonary metastases initially treated with 2 lines of cytotoxic chemotherapy. After rapid disease progression with both cytotoxic treatments, the patient’s tissue was sent for next-generation sequencing, which revealed a high tumor mutation burden (32 mutations per megabase), as well as somatic mutations in BRAF, NF1, PIK3CA, CDKN2A, TERT, and TP53. Pancreatic cancers have previously demonstrated suboptimal responses to immunotherapeutic approaches. However, given the high tumor mutation burden and distinctiveness of the tumor class, the patient began third-line pembrolizumab monotherapy after palliative radiation to the rapidly progressing and painful abdominal mass from her primary tumor. She had a marked response in her primary UCOGC tumor and metastatic sites, and she remains on pembrolizumab monotherapy with ongoing response after 32 months of therapy. Recent evidence showing significant PD-L1 enrichment on neoplastic cells of undifferentiated carcinomas (including UCOGC) may indicate a role for immunotherapeutic approaches in these patients. Rare cancers such as UCOGC and other undifferentiated carcinomas may benefit from next-generation sequencing to inform treatment decisions when standards of care are absent, as in this report.