Clinical Focus

  • Cytopathology
  • Gynecologic Pathology
  • Head & Neck Pathology
  • Anatomic and Clinical Pathology

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Medical Director, Pathology & Clinical Laboratory for SHC (2016 - Present)
  • Director, Cytopathology Service (2006 - Present)
  • Acting Director, Cytopathology Service (2004 - 2005)
  • Director, Cytopathology Fellowship (2003 - Present)
  • Associate Director, Cytopathology Service (2002 - 2003)

Honors & Awards

  • Anatomic Pathology Senior Faculty Teaching Award, Stanford University Department of Pathology (2015)
  • Annual Best Paper Award, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology (2013)
  • Anatomic Pathology Junior Faculty Teaching Award, Stanford University Department of Pathology (2010)
  • Faculty Teaching Award, UCSF Department of Pathology Residency Program (2000)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Curriculum Committee Member, College of American Pathologists (2017 - Present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology (2017 - Present)
  • Scientific Program Committee Co-chair, American Society of Cytopathology (2017 - Present)
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, American Society of Cytopathology (2015 - 2017)
  • Cytopathology Program Directors Committee Member, American Society of Cytopathology (2013 - Present)
  • Member, Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology (2013 - Present)
  • Council of Faculty and Academic Societies, junior representative, Association of American Medical Colleges (2013 - 2016)
  • Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Gynecological Pathology (2012 - Present)
  • Editorial Board Member, American Journal of Surgical Pathology (2011 - Present)
  • Molecular Markers for HIstopathology Working Group Member, ASCCP-CAP LAST (Lower Anogenital Squamous Terminology) Project (2011 - 2012)
  • Member, International Society of Gynecologic Pathologists (2008 - Present)
  • Member, California Society of Pathologists (2004 - Present)
  • Member, American Society of Cytopathology (1999 - Present)
  • Member, South Bay Pathology Society (1998 - Present)
  • Member, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (1996 - Present)
  • Member, College of American Pathologists (1995 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship:Stanford University School of Medicine Registrar (1997) CA
  • Board Certification: Pathology, American Board of Pathology (2014)
  • Board Certification: Cytopathology, American Board of Pathology (2000)
  • Board Certification: Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, American Board of Pathology (1999)
  • Residency:UCSF Medical Center (1999) CA
  • Fellowship:UCSF Medical Center (1998) CA
  • Residency:UCSF Medical Center (1996) CA
  • Internship:Univ of California San Francisco (1993) CA
  • Medical Education:University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine (1992) CA
  • AB/BS, Stanford University, Psychology & Biological Sciences (1988)

Community and International Work

  • ABUTH/Stanford Twining Program, Nigeria


    Improve cancer care capacity in Nigeria

    Partnering Organization(s)


    Populations Served




    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Project Mercy - Yetebon, Yetebon, Ethiopia


    Health care delivery

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Project Mercy, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Saratoga Federated Church

    Populations Served




    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Improving the accuracy of cytologic diagnosis through refining diagnostic criteria and the use of ancillary techniques (e.g. immunoperoxidase stains, flow cytometry, in situ hybridization, PCR) on specimens obtained by the minimally invasive technique of fine needle aspiration biopsy.

Identifying potential indicators of prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.

Evaluating the utility of immunohistochemical stains in refining the diagnosis of squamous dysplasia of the cervix, vulva, and head and neck.

Clinical Trials

  • Brentuximab Vedotin (SGN-35) in Patients With Mycosis Fungoides With Variable CD30 Expression Level Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to learn the effects of brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35), an investigational medication, on patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL), specifically mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sezary syndrome (SS). Despite a wide range of therapeutic options, the treatments are associated with short response duration, thus this condition is largely incurable. This investigational drug may offer less toxicity than standard treatments and have better tumor specific targeting.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Kokil Bakshi, 650-421-6370.

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  • Cervical Nodal Mets in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of H&N - MRI, FDG-PET, & Histopathologic Correlation Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to determine the value of novel non-invasive medical imaging methods for detecting the spread of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma to the lymph nodes in the neck by comparing their results to findings at the time of surgery.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Quynh-Thu Le, (650) 498 - 6184.

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  • Cisplatin and ZD1839 + Re-Irradiation in Recurrent Squamous Cell Cancer of the Head and Neck Not Recruiting

    To determine safety profile of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antagonist, ZD1839 in combination with cisplatin and radiation therapy in patients with local-regional recurrent squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. To study the effects of ZD1839 combined with either cisplatin or radiotherapy on signal transduction pathway gene expression in tumor cells in patients with local-regional recurrent squamous cell cancer of the head and neck using micro array analysis from tumor samples taken at the time of relapse and during treatment.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Priscilla Wong, (650) 725 - 4777.

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  • FNA Tumor Sampling for CD137 Modulation: A Pilot Study Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to better understand the biology of the body's immune response to monoclonal antibody therapy for cancer. Your health information will be used to identify your tissues. The tissue we obtain may be useful for research or education, resulting in new drugs, therapies or diagnostic procedures.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Risa Jiron, 650-736-1598.

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  • Phase 2 Study of Atorvastatin Safety and Antitumor Effects in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Not Recruiting

    This is an approach which can inflict significant toxicity. An alternative is to block expression of oncogenes which are over-expressed only in cancer cells, a therapeutic approach which could reduce toxicity to the host while maximizing destruction of the oncogene-dependent malignant cells.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Alice Fan, 650-736-1285.

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2018-19 Courses

Graduate and Fellowship Programs

  • Cytopathology (Fellowship Program)


All Publications

  • Entrustable Professional Activities for Pathology: Recommendations From the College of American Pathologists Graduate Medical Education Committee. Academic pathology McCloskey, C. B., Domen, R. E., Conran, R. M., Hoffman, R. D., Post, M. D., Brissette, M. D., Gratzinger, D. A., Raciti, P. M., Cohen, D. A., Roberts, C. A., Rojiani, A. M., Kong, C. S., Peterson, J. E., Johnson, K., Plath, S., Powell, S. Z. ; 4: 2374289517714283


    Competency-based medical education has evolved over the past decades to include the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Accreditation System of resident evaluation based on the Milestones project. Entrustable professional activities represent another means to determine learner proficiency and evaluate educational outcomes in the workplace and training environment. The objective of this project was to develop entrustable professional activities for pathology graduate medical education encompassing primary anatomic and clinical pathology residency training. The Graduate Medical Education Committee of the College of American Pathologists met over the course of 2 years to identify and define entrustable professional activities for pathology graduate medical education. Nineteen entrustable professional activities were developed, including 7 for anatomic pathology, 4 for clinical pathology, and 8 that apply to both disciplines with 5 of these concerning laboratory management. The content defined for each entrustable professional activity includes the entrustable professional activity title, a description of the knowledge and skills required for competent performance, mapping to relevant Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Milestone subcompetencies, and general assessment methods. Many critical activities that define the practice of pathology fit well within the entrustable professional activity model. The entrustable professional activities outlined by the Graduate Medical Education Committee are meant to provide an initial framework for the development of entrustable professional activity-related assessment and curricular tools for pathology residency training.

    View details for PubMedID 28725792

  • Depth of invasion alone as a prognostic factor in low-risk early-stage oral cavity carcinoma. The Laryngoscope Kozak, M. M., Shah, J., Chen, M., Schaberg, K., von Eyben, R., Chen, J. J., Bui, T., Kong, C., Kaplan, M., Divi, V., Hara, W. 2019


    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the significance of increasing depth of invasion (DOI) as the sole risk factor for recurrence in patients with low-risk early-stage oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC).METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 560 patients with OCSCC treated at our institution between 2003 and 2013. Patients were included if they had low-risk early-stage OCSCC treated with surgical resection ± neck dissection and no adjuvant therapy. Low risk was defined as absence of positive or close margins, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, and positive lymph nodes. Patients with tumor (T)3-T4 disease were excluded. Pathology specimens were independently re-reviewed by two board-certified pathologists to confirm proper measurement of DOI. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were performed to identify factors predictive for recurrence as well as progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).RESULTS: A total of 126 patients with low-risk early-stage T1-2N0 OCSCC were included. Median follow-up time was 42.5 months and median DOI was 4 mm. There was no significant difference in incidence of local (P = 0.95), regional (P = 0.81), or distant recurrence (P = 0.96) among patients with DOI < 4 mm versus ≥4 mm. On multivariable analysis, DOI was significant for both PFS (P = 0.03) and OS (P = 0.002).CONCLUSION: In this study, we show that in the absence of other high-risk pathologic features, DOI ≥ 4 mm does not portend for increased incidence of local, regional, or distant relapse in patients treated with surgery alone; however, increasing DOI is a marker for worse PFS and OS in patients with low-risk, early-stage OCSCC.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4. Laryngoscope, 2019.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/lary.27753

    View details for PubMedID 30604435

  • Increased Galectin-1 Expression in Thymic Epithelial Tumors. Clinical lung cancer Riess, J. W., Kong, C. S., West, R. B., Padda, S. K., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Le, Q. 2018


    INTRODUCTION: Thymic epithelial tumors (TET) are rare malignancies with a paucity of data on biology and therapeutics. Galectin-1 is a member of the beta-galactoside binding protein family and has been shown to mediate tumor growth via modulation of immune cell function. This study examined galectin-1 expression in TET.PATIENTS AND METHODS: A tissue microarray of 68 patients with TET and 8 benign thymus controls were stained for galectin-1 expression and scored by a pathologist blinded to patient clinical and pathologic data. Galectin-1 expression+1 or greater staining intensity was considered positive. Clinical and pathologic data were abstracted from institutional databases. Expression of galectin-1 in thymic tumor was compared to benign thymus controls and correlated with pertinent clinical and pathologic data.RESULTS: Galectin-1 expression was higher in TET compared to benign thymus controls (65% vs. 0%). No significant association between galectin-1 expression and the development of recurrent disease, paraneoplastic syndromes, or overall survival was noted.CONCLUSION: Galectin-1 is overexpressed in the majority of TET. Detection of galectin-1 may differentiate benign from neoplastic thymic processes. Additional studies are needed to assess the role of galectin-1 in the development of TET.

    View details for PubMedID 30773448

  • Clinical perineural invasion of cutaneous head and neck cancer: Impact of radiotherapy, imaging, and nerve growth factor receptors on symptom control and prognosis. Oral oncology Chen, J. J., Harris, J. P., Kong, C. S., Sunwoo, J. B., Divi, V., Horst, K. C., Aasi, S. Z., Hollmig, S. T., Hara, W. Y. 2018; 85: 60–67


    OBJECTIVES: Clinical perineural invasion (CPNI) of cutaneous head and neck cancer is associated with poor prognosis and presents a therapeutic dilemma. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between CPNI and nerve growth factor receptors (NGFR), and the impact of radiotherapy (RT), imaging, and NGFR on symptom control and disease-related outcomes.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients with CPNI of cutaneous head and neck cancer who were treated with RT between 2010 and 2015 at our institution. Exact chi-square and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests compared patients with positive versus negative staining for TrkA and/or CD271. Gray's test determined differences in cumulative incidences of 1- and 2-year locoregional recurrence (LRR) and cancer-specific mortality (CSM).RESULTS: Twenty-three patients had a median overall follow-up of 31.4 months from initial clinical symptoms and 19.7 months from pathological confirmation of PNI. The most prevalent symptoms were numbness (70%) and pain (57%). Sixteen patients (70%) experienced symptom improvement or control, especially decreased pain (85%), within a median of 2.6 months from starting RT. The 1- and 2-year rates of overall LRR were 37% and 71%, while those of overall CSM were 11% and 25%, respectively. Patients who stained positively for TrkA and/or CD271 had significantly worse LRR compared to patients who stained negatively for both markers (p = 0.046).CONCLUSION: Positive TrkA and/or CD271 staining predicts worse outcomes. Patients may benefit from aggressive RT for local control and symptom improvement. Future research is needed to identify the potential for anti-nerve growth factor therapies in CPNI.

    View details for PubMedID 30220321

  • Intertumoral Heterogeneity in SCLC Is Influenced by the Cell Type of Origin. Cancer discovery Yang, D., Denny, S. K., Greenside, P. G., Chaikovsky, A. C., Brady, J. J., Ouadah, Y., Granja, J. M., Jahchan, N. S., Lim, J. S., Kwok, S., Kong, C. S., Berghoff, A. S., Schmitt, A., Reinhardt, H. C., Park, K., Preusser, M., Kundaje, A., Greenleaf, W. J., Sage, J., Winslow, M. M. 2018


    The extent to which early events shape tumor evolution is largely uncharacterized, even though a better understanding of these early events may help identify key vulnerabilities in advanced tumors. Here, using genetically defined mouse models of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), we uncovered distinct metastatic programs attributable to the cell type of origin. In one model, tumors gain metastatic ability through amplification of the transcription factor NFIB and a widespread increase in chromatin accessibility, whereas in the other model, tumors become metastatic in the absence of NFIB-driven chromatin alterations. Gene-expression and chromatin accessibility analyses identify distinct mechanisms as well as markers predictive of metastatic progression in both groups. Underlying the difference between the two programs was the cell type of origin of the tumors, with NFIB-independent metastases arising from mature neuroendocrine cells. Our findings underscore the importance of the identity of cell type of origin in influencing tumor evolution and metastatic mechanisms.SIGNIFICANCE: We show that SCLC can arise from different cell types of origin, which profoundly influences the eventual genetic and epigenetic changes that enable metastatic progression. Understanding intertumoral heterogeneity in SCLC, and across cancer types, may illuminate mechanisms of tumor progression and uncover how the cell type of origin affects tumor evolution. Cancer Discov; 8(10); 1-16. ©2018 AACR.See related commentary by Pozo et al., p. 1216.

    View details for PubMedID 30228179

  • Evaluation of Diagnostic Accuracy and a Practical Algorithmic Approach for the Diagnosis of Renal Masses by FNA. Cancer cytopathology Lau, H. D., Kong, C. S., Kao, C. 2018


    BACKGROUND: The classification of renal neoplasms is essential for oncologic risk stratification and clinical management, and an accurate pretreatment pathologic diagnosis can provide useful guidance for active surveillance, minimally invasive ablative therapy, or surgical resection and can reduce the incidence of overtreatment. Previous studies evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and core-needle biopsy (CNB) for renal masses are limited and show variable results.METHODS: Two hundred forty-seven renal FNA cases with or without concurrent CNB performed and/or reviewed at the Stanford University School of Medicine over the course of 20 years were identified. Cytohistopathologic correlation was performed for 77 cases with subsequent resection specimens. All available case materials were reviewed, and select cases were worked up further and reclassified as necessary.RESULTS: Cytohistopathologic correlation showed 96% diagnostic specificity and 83% sensitivity for renal FNA with or without concurrent CNB. Discordant cases were mostly attributed to sampling errors or suboptimal specimens (79%) and also included 2 non-renal cell carcinoma entities (1 case of angiomyolipoma and 1 case of a benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor) and 1 case involving misclassification of the renal cell carcinoma subtype.CONCLUSIONS: There is considerable value in FNA/CNB for the initial diagnosis of renal masses because of the high diagnostic specificity and sensitivity. Sensitivity is predominantly dependent on sufficient sampling, and additional potential diagnostic pitfalls include nonepithelial and rare entities. Judicious use of ancillary techniques is encouraged, especially when one is presented with a limited specimen, and this article presents a practical algorithmic approach to the diagnosis of renal masses using salient morphologic features and results from ancillary studies. Fine-needle aspiration is an accurate method for the diagnosis of renal masses. A practical diagnostic algorithm, based on salient morphologic and ancillary findings, is presented.

    View details for PubMedID 30193011

  • Flow Immunophenotyping of Benign Lymph Nodes Sampled by FNA: Representative With Diagnostic Pitfalls. Cancer cytopathology Scott, G. D., Lau, H. D., Kurzer, J. H., Kong, C. S., Gratzinger, D. A. 2018


    BACKGROUND: Fine-needle aspiration with flow cytometry (FNA-FC) is routinely used in the evaluation of lymph nodes suspicious for lymphoma, yet data comparing immunophenotype distributions and outliers in benign lymph nodes sampled by fine-needle aspiration (FNA) versus excision are lacking.METHODS: Flow cytometry data from 289 benign lymph node FNA cases were assessed for the overall antigen distribution, with a focus on outliers relevant to the diagnosis of lymphoma. Distributions and outlier proportions were compared with those of a separate cohort of 298 excisional biopsies.RESULTS: Compared with excisional biopsies, FNA specimens overrepresented CD3+ events (72% vs 63%), underrepresented CD19+ events (22% vs 29%), and had 25% fewer large cell-gated events. Normalized antigen distributions in FNA were equivalent to those in excisional biopsy. Twenty-three percent of FNA-FC cases exhibited an outlier, including a skewed kappa:lambda light-chain ratio, increased CD5+ or CD10+ B-cell events, a skewed CD4:CD8 ratio, and increased CD7 loss on T cells, with no significant differences in frequency or type in comparison with excisional specimens. Outliers for the light-chain ratio and T-cell antigens were enriched among older patients and included patients with a variety of autoimmune/rheumatologic conditions.CONCLUSIONS: Benign lymph node FNA yields flow immunophenotypes remarkably similar to those from excisional biopsies. Outlier flow immunophenotypes are identified in benign lymph nodes sampled by FNA at a frequency similar to that with excisional biopsies. Older patients, who have a higher baseline risk of lymphoma, are more likely to exhibit lymphoma-mimicking outliers such as a light-chain predominance on B cells and skewed CD4:CD8 ratios or increased CD7 loss on T cells, and they warrant additional diagnostic caution.

    View details for PubMedID 30194715

  • Determination of Tumor Margins with Surgical Specimen Mapping Using Near-Infrared Fluorescence. Cancer research Gao, R. W., Teraphongphom, N. T., van den Berg, N. S., Martin, B. A., Oberhelman, N. J., Divi, V., Kaplan, M. J., Hong, S. S., Lu, G., Ertsey, R., Tummers, W. S., Gomez, A. J., Holsinger, F. C., Kong, C. S., Colevas, A. D., Warram, J. M., Rosenthal, E. L. 2018


    For many solid tumors, surgical resection remains the gold standard and tumor-involved margins are associated with poor clinical outcomes. Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging using molecular agents has shown promise for in situ imaging during resection. However, for cancers with difficult imaging conditions, surgical value may lie in tumor-mapping of surgical specimens. We thus evaluated a novel approach for real-time, intraoperative tumor margin assessment. 21 adult patients with biopsy-confirmed squamous cell carcinoma arising from the head and neck (HNSCC) scheduled for standard-of-care surgery were enrolled. Cohort 1 (n=3) received panitumumab-IRDye800CW at an intravenous microdose of 0.06 mg/kg, cohort 2A (n=5) received 0.5mg/kg, cohort 2B (n=7) received 1mg/kg, and cohort 3 (n=6) received 50 mg. Patients were followed 30 days post-infusion and adverse events were recorded. Imaging was performed using several closed- and wide-field devices. Fluorescence was histologically correlated to determine sensitivity and specificity. In situ imaging demonstrated tumor-to-background ratio (TBR) of 2-3, compared to ex vivo specimen imaging TBR of 5-6. We obtained clear differentiation between tumor and normal tissue, with a three-fold signal difference between positive and negative specimens (p<0.05). We achieved high correlation of fluorescence intensity with tumor location with sensitivities and specificities >89%; fluorescence predicted distance of tumor tissue to the cut surface of the specimen. This novel method of detecting tumor-involved margins in surgical specimens using a cancer-specific agent provides highly sensitive and specific, real-time, intraoperative surgical navigation in resections with complex anatomy which are otherwise less amenable to image guidance.

    View details for PubMedID 29967260

  • Loss of PERP as a Diagnostic Biomarker for Differentiated Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia (dVIN) Devereaux, K., Brown, R., Barry-Holson, K., Yang, E., Kong, C. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 416–17
  • Evaluation of Diagnostic Accuracy and a Practical Algorithmic Approach for the Diagnosis of Renal Masses by Fine Needle Aspiration Lau, H., Kong, C., Kao, C. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 155
  • Comparison of MYC Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization Testing of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas in Fine Needle Aspiration and Surgical Specimens Menke, J., Gupta, S., Bangs, C. D., Kong, C., Natkunam, Y., Long, S., Gratzinger, D. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 162
  • Determining the Optimal Number of Core Needle Biopsy Passes for Molecular Diagnostics CARDIOVASCULAR AND INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY Hoang, N. S., Ge, B. H., Pan, L. Y., Ozawa, M. G., Kong, C. S., Louie, J. D., Shah, R. P. 2018; 41 (3): 489–95


    The number of core biopsy passes required for adequate next-generation sequencing is impacted by needle cut, needle gauge, and the type of tissue involved. This study evaluates diagnostic adequacy of core needle lung biopsies based on number of passes and provides guidelines for other tissues based on simulated biopsies in ex vivo porcine organ tissues.The rate of diagnostic adequacy for pathology and molecular testing from lung biopsy procedures was measured for eight operators pre-implementation (September 2012-October 2013) and post-implementation (December 2013-April 2014) of a standard protocol using 20-gauge side-cut needles for ten core biopsy passes at a single academic hospital. Biopsy pass volume was then estimated in ex vivo porcine muscle, liver, and kidney using side-cut devices at 16, 18, and 20 gauge and end-cut devices at 16 and 18 gauge to estimate minimum number of passes required for adequate molecular testing.Molecular diagnostic adequacy increased from 69% (pre-implementation period) to 92% (post-implementation period) (p < 0.001) for lung biopsies. In porcine models, both 16-gauge end-cut and side-cut devices require one pass to reach the validated volume threshold to ensure 99% adequacy for molecular characterization, while 18- and 20-gauge devices require 2-5 passes depending on needle cut and tissue type.Use of 20-gauge side-cut core biopsy needles requires a significant number of passes to ensure diagnostic adequacy for molecular testing across all tissue types. To ensure diagnostic adequacy for molecular testing, 16- and 18-gauge needles require markedly fewer passes.

    View details for PubMedID 29279975

  • Comparison of MYC Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization Testing of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphomas in Fine Needle Aspiration and Surgical Specimens Menke, J., Gupta, S., Bangs, C. D., Kong, C., Natkunam, Y., Long, S., Gratzinger, D. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 162
  • Evaluation of Diagnostic Accuracy and a Practical Algorithmic Approach for the Diagnosis of Renal Masses by Fine Needle Aspiration Lau, H., Kong, C., Kao, C. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2018: 155
  • Utility of p16 Immunohistochemistry in Evaluating Negative Cervical Biopsies Following High-risk Pap Test Results AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Shain, A. F., Kwok, S., Folkins, A. K., Kong, C. S. 2018; 42 (1): 69–75


    The Lower Anogenital Squamous Terminology (LAST) Standardization Project for human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated lesions specifically recommends the use of p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC) as an adjunct to morphologic assessment of cervical biopsies interpreted as negative or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) from patients with prior high-risk Pap test results (high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion [HSIL], atypical squamous cells cannot exclude HSIL, atypical glandular cells [AGC], or HPV16 atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance [ASC-US]). The impetus for this recommendation is to increase detection of missed high-grade disease. However, the quality of evidence supporting this recommendation was lower than that for the other LAST recommendations addressing improved consistency in the diagnosis of HSIL with the use of p16. A database search spanning 10 years identified 341 cases (encompassing 736 discrete biopsy specimens) interpreted as negative for dysplasia from 330 patients with a prior high-risk Pap result (atypical squamous cells cannot exclude HSIL, HSIL, atypical glandular cells, not otherwise specified [AGC-NOS], atypical endocervical cells--NOS [AEC-NOS], and AEC-favor neoplastic). p16 IHC was performed and detected missed abnormalities in 11/341 (3.2%) cases. The abnormalities corresponded to missed foci of HSIL (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia [CIN] 2) (n=1), SIL-indeterminate grade (n=7), atypical squamous metaplasia (n=2), and LSIL [CIN1]) (n=1). Subsequent histologic follow-up identified HSIL or greater in 6/8 (75%) p16 cases versus 20/79 (25.3%) p16 cases (P=0.0079). p16 IHC performed on biopsies interpreted as negative from patients with prior high-risk Pap test results increased the detection rate of missed SIL. A p16 result also significantly increased the likelihood of HSIL on subsequent biopsy. Although further studies are required to determine what percentage of missed HSIL justifies the additional cost, improved detection of HSIL in high-risk patients may lead to fewer diagnostic procedures and fewer patients lost to follow-up.

    View details for PubMedID 29112019

  • Head and Neck Cancer in Haiti: A Case Series from Hopital de L'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti. International journal of otolaryngology Kligerman, M. P., Alexandre, A., Jean-Gilles, P., Walmer, D. K., Gomez, A. J., Kong, C. S., Cheney, M. L., Mittleman, M. A., Messner, A. H. 2018; 2018: 9429287


    This manuscript characterizes the demographics, presenting symptoms and risk factors of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer at Hopital de L'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti (HUEH), Haiti's single largest healthcare facility. We conducted a prospective study of patients who presented to HUEH between January and March of 2016 with a lesion of the head or neck suspicious for cancer. All patients who met eligibility criteria received a biopsy, which was interpreted by a Haitian pathologist and when the specimen was available was confirmed by a team of pathologists from Stanford University. A total of 34 participants were identified. The biopsy-confirmed diagnoses were squamous cell carcinoma (n=7), benign (n=7), large cell lymphoma (n=2), ameloblastoma (n=2), pleomorphic adenoma (n=1), and adenocarcinoma (n=1). Fourteen patients were unavailable for biopsy. Patients with head and neck cancer had a mean age of 63.4 years, were majority male (62.5%), waited on average 10.9 months to seek medical attention, and most commonly presented with T-stage 3 or higher disease (87.5%). By characterizing patterns of head and neck cancer at HUEH we hope to facilitate efforts to improve early detection, diagnosis, and management of this important public health condition.

    View details for PubMedID 30364200

  • Specimen Mapping in Head and Neck Cancer Using Fluorescence Imaging LARYNGOSCOPE INVESTIGATIVE OTOLARYNGOLOGY Teraphongphom, N., Kong, C. S., Warram, J. M., Rosenthal, E. L. 2017; 2 (6): 447–52


    Although the agreed-upon standard is circumferential pathology analysis of the interface between the resected specimen and the patient, there is currently no consensus on the optimal methodology to achieve this in head and neck cancer specimens. This is most commonly conducted by either sampling the wound bed after resection or obtaining samples from the specimen. Regardless of the technique, only a fraction of the area of interest can be sampled due to the labor-intensive nature of frozen sections.This review will cover and define the possible role for optical mapping of the surgical specimen using fluorescence imaging in head and neck cancer.NA.

    View details for PubMedID 29299522

  • Loss of PERP p53/p63 target gene may indicate tumorigenesis at the margin and local recurrence Simmons, A., Kong, C., von Eyben, R., Attardi, L., Ma, X., Quynh-Thu Le, Nathan, C. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2017
  • Test Characteristics of Specific p16 Clones in the Detection of High-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions (HSIL). International journal of gynecological pathology : official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists Shain, A. F., Wilbur, D. C., Stoler, M. H., Quade, B. J., Kong, C. S. 2017


    p16 immunohistochemistry is recommended by the CAP-ASCCP Lower Anogenital Squamous Terminology (LAST) Standardization Project for human papillomavirus associated Lesions as an adjunct to morphologic assessment in the diagnosis of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. This study evaluates the performance of different p16 clones as compared with E6H4 (CINtec) in detecting high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. The 54 high-quality articles addressing the performance of p16 identified by work group 4 of the LAST Project were evaluated for: specific p16 clone, scoring method, number of cases, anatomic site, and histologic diagnoses. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were calculated for each clone. Two-proportion z tests (pooled) were used to evaluate significance. In total, 32 of the 54 studies met the inclusion criteria. The most commonly used clone was E6H4 (17 studies, 3507 cases) with smaller numbers (1-4) of studies evaluating the following: 16P04, JC8, 16P07, G175-405, K5334, K5336, and 7962. p16 clones 16P04 and JC8 performed better than E6H4 with 16P04 exhibiting statistically significant higher sensitivity (94% vs. 87% for E6H4), specificity (94% vs. 81%), and positive predictive value (96% vs. 69%) while JC8 exhibited higher specificity (91% vs. 81%) and positive predictive value (88% vs. 69%). 16P07 performed similarly to E6H4 and the other 4 clones did not perform as well as E6H4. p16 clones 16P04, JC8, and 16P07 clones perform as well or better than the widely used p16 clone E6H4 (CINtec). However, further studies are indicated to determine the reproducibility of these findings and the impact of interlaboratory variation on test performance.

    View details for PubMedID 28863068

  • Clinical Outcomes in Elderly Patients Treated for Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS Chen, J., Shah, J. L., Harris, J. P., Bui, T. T., Schaberg, K., Kong, C. S., Kaplan, M. J., Divi, V., Schoppy, D., Quynh-Thu Le, Hara, W. Y. 2017; 98 (4): 775–83


    Oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) commonly occurs in elderly patients. This study explores the clinical outcomes in elderly patients with OCSCC based on their functional status and clinical comorbidities.We retrospectively reviewed 180 patients aged ≥70 who were treated with definitive intent with surgery followed by adjuvant therapy if indicated for newly diagnosed OCSCC from 1998 to 2013. Pathology review was conducted, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status and the Head and Neck Charlson Comorbidity Index (HN-CCI) were assessed. We performed Kaplan-Meier analyses and cumulative incidence estimates to assess overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and locoregional recurrence (LRR). Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to test age, adjuvant therapy, adverse pathologic features, ECOG status, and HN-CCI status as predictors.The median age was 80 years (range, 70-95 years), with a median follow-up time of 23 months. The median OS was 18 months and 46 months for patients aged 70 to 84 and ≥85, respectively (P=.0017). The LRR was 24% at 1 year and 30% at 2 years for all patients. On univariate analysis, ECOG score ≥2 (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.96; confidence interval [CI] 1.19-3.21; P=.008) and HN-CCI score ≥2 (HR=1.97; CI 1.17-3.34; P=.011) were predictors of worse OS. On multivariate analysis, HN-CCI score was a better predictor of OS, PFS, and LRR than was ECOG score. Predictors of worse OS were age ≥85 (HR=1.78; CI 1.07-2.96; P=.026), HN-CCI score of ≥2 (HR=2.21; CI 1.20-4.08; P=.011), and adverse features (HR=2.35; CI 1.34-4.13; P=.003). Adjuvant therapy did not have a significant impact on OS or LRR for patients with adverse features even though 48% of them did not receive it.Elderly patients with good health and performance status may live long enough to experience disease progression from OCSCC. ECOG and HN-CCI scores may be useful to evaluate the candidacy of elderly patients for adjuvant therapy. However, the benefit of adjuvant therapy in this population remains elusive and should be investigated prospectively.

    View details for PubMedID 28602409

  • Comparison of Three Methods for Measuring Workload in Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology. American journal of clinical pathology Cloetingh, D., Schmidt, R. A., Kong, C. S. 2017


    Pathologist workload in the United States has traditionally been measured by relative value units (RVUs), which is often criticized for providing an inaccurate estimate of actual work. This study compares three methods for measuring workload.Surgical pathology and cytopathology workload for 1 representative month at Stanford Health Care was assessed using three different methods: RVUs, Royal College of Pathologists (RCP) point system, and University of Washington-Seattle (UW) slide count method.Pearson linear regression analysis showed a strong positive correlation of RVUs with the RCP (0.93, P  < .01) and UW (0.86, P  < .01) systems. The correlation between the RCP and UW systems was weaker (0.70, P  = .05). The RCP system rated gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and breast workload lower than the RVU system while medical liver/renal and cytology were valued higher. The UW system overvalued breast workload.RCP is the most advanced and well-developed system for evaluating workload. It provides more weight for higher complexity specimens, while RVUs favor specialties with higher volume of small specimens, and slide counts favor specialties with extensively sampled large specimens.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ajcp/aqx022

    View details for PubMedID 28582484

  • Intratumoural heterogeneity generated by Notch signalling promotes small-cell lung cancer NATURE Lim, J. S., Ibaseta, A., Fischer, M. M., Cancilla, B., O'Young, G., Cristea, S., Luca, V. C., Yang, D., Jahchan, N. S., Hamard, C., Antoine, M., Wislez, M., Kong, C., Cain, J., Liu, Y., Kapoun, A. M., Garcia, K. C., Hoey, T., Murriel, C. L., Sage, J. 2017; 545 (7654): 360-?


    The Notch signalling pathway mediates cell fate decisions and is tumour suppressive or oncogenic depending on the context. During lung development, Notch pathway activation inhibits the differentiation of precursor cells to a neuroendocrine fate. In small-cell lung cancer, an aggressive neuroendocrine lung cancer, loss-of-function mutations in NOTCH genes and the inhibitory effects of ectopic Notch activation indicate that Notch signalling is tumour suppressive. Here we show that Notch signalling can be both tumour suppressive and pro-tumorigenic in small-cell lung cancer. Endogenous activation of the Notch pathway results in a neuroendocrine to non-neuroendocrine fate switch in 10-50% of tumour cells in a mouse model of small-cell lung cancer and in human tumours. This switch is mediated in part by Rest (also known as Nrsf), a transcriptional repressor that inhibits neuroendocrine gene expression. Non-neuroendocrine Notch-active small-cell lung cancer cells are slow growing, consistent with a tumour-suppressive role for Notch, but these cells are also relatively chemoresistant and provide trophic support to neuroendocrine tumour cells, consistent with a pro-tumorigenic role. Importantly, Notch blockade in combination with chemotherapy suppresses tumour growth and delays relapse in pre-clinical models. Thus, small-cell lung cancer tumours generate their own microenvironment via activation of Notch signalling in a subset of tumour cells, and the presence of these cells may serve as a biomarker for the use of Notch pathway inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy in select patients with small-cell lung cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature22323

    View details for PubMedID 28489825

  • Vulvar and Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia: Terminology, Diagnosis, and Ancillary Studies. Advances in anatomic pathology Yang, E. J., Kong, C. S., Longacre, T. A. 2017; 24 (3): 136-150


    Currently, it is recognized that there is an HPV-related and an HPV-independent pathway to developing squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) in the anus and vulva. The majority of precursor lesions and SCC in the anus and vulva are high-risk HPV-associated, with HPV16 the most common type. Given the morphologic overlap and biological equivalence of HPV-related preinvasive squamous lesions of the lower anogenital tract, a unified, 2-tiered histopathologic nomenclature is now recommended. In contrast, mutations in the TP53 gene have been associated with HPV-independent vulvar and anal SCC. A precursor lesion-differentiated or simplex vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (dVIN)-has been identified for HPV-independent vulvar SCC but a similar lesion in the anus has not been described. Extramammary Paget disease is a nonsquamous intraepithelial lesion of the vulva and anus that may be a primary epidermotropic apocrine neoplasm or may represent secondary involvement by a synchronous/metachronous adenocarcinoma. This entity may be mimicked by squamous lesions and melanocytic lesions. Herein, we discuss the morphologic and immunohistochemical features of anal and vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia in the context of updated terminology and current understanding of disease biology.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000149

    View details for PubMedID 28398952

  • Comprehensive Genomic Profiling of Malignant Effusions in Patients with Metastatic Lung Adenocarcinoma. The Journal of molecular diagnostics : JMD Yang, S. R., Lin, C. Y., Stehr, H., Long, S. R., Kong, C. S., Berry, G. J., Zehnder, J. L., Kunder, C. A. 2017


    Cytology samples are being increasingly utilized for comprehensive molecular testing. Although fine-needle aspirates are adequate substrates for high-throughput sequencing, the suitability of malignant body fluids remains largely unexplored. Herein, we investigated the adequacy and utility of performing targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) on malignant effusions from patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma. Thirty-two effusion samples that were submitted for hybrid capture-based NGS using a clinically validated solid tumor genotyping panel were examined. All cases showed ≥5% tumor cellularity; however, 28 (88%) provided sufficient DNA for NGS (≥1 ng/μL). The sequencing reads showed satisfactory quality control statistics, and the variant allele frequencies were correlated with tumor cellularity. Furthermore, pathogenic or likely pathogenic genomic alterations were identified in 26/28 samples (93%), whereas clinically actionable alterations were present in 18 (64%). Notably, nine patients had additional molecular testing performed on preceding/subsequent biopsies, and the results across multiple samples were compared. In two patients, the NGS-based fluid analysis identified clinically actionable alterations that were not detected by other hotspot testing. In four patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, malignant fluid sequencing confirmed driver alterations from prior testing and revealed new resistance mechanisms. Hence, given adequate DNA input and tumor cellularity, comprehensive genomic profiling of malignant effusions may be used to establish mutational status at diagnosis and inform treatment resistance during targeted therapy.

    View details for PubMedID 29269277

  • Sonographic-Pathologic Correlation for Punctate Echogenic Reflectors in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma: What Are They? Journal of ultrasound in medicine Tahvildari, A. M., Pan, L., Kong, C. S., Desser, T. 2016; 35 (8): 1645-1652


    It is commonly held that punctate nonshadowing echogenic foci on sonography, often termed microcalcifications, represent psammoma bodies. We aimed to determine the validity of this supposition by correlating the presence of punctate echogenic foci on sonography with their presence at histopathologic examination.We examined 51 nodules (surgically proven papillary thyroid carcinoma) by sonography and histopathologic examination. On the latter, nodules were examined for evidence of psammomatous calcifications, dystrophic calcifications, and colloid. Two subspecialty-trained radiologists with 2 and 25 years of experience in sonography, respectively, reviewed the sonograms for the presence and distribution of punctate echogenic foci.All nodules contained colloid at histologic examination. Twenty of the papillary carcinomas lacked any calcification at pathologic examination. In the remaining 31 nodules with calcifications, 13 had psammomatous calcifications only; 6 had both coarse and psammomatous calcifications; and 12 had only coarse calcifications. The presence of punctate echogenic foci on sonography was 74% sensitive, was 46% to 53% specific, and had a positive predictive value of only 45% to 48% for the presence of psammomatous calcifications. The computed 2-tailed P value indicated that the punctate echogenic foci-to-psammoma body correlation was not statistically significant.The sonographic signature commonly referred to as "microcalcifications" may represent a variety of entities, including psammomatous calcifications, dystrophic calcifications, and eosinophilic colloid; for this reason, "punctate echogenic foci" would be a more accurate term.

    View details for DOI 10.7863/ultra.15.09048

    View details for PubMedID 27302897

  • Cytotechnologist Assisted Adequacy Assessment of Image Guided Fine Needle Aspiration Specimens Segal, J., Anderson, C., Kong, C. S. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2016: 115A
  • Accuracy of Grading Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors on Fine Needle Aspiration Samples Schaberg, K., Lau, H. D., Zemek, A. J., Longacre, T. A., Kong, C. S. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2016: 115A
  • Diagnostic Accuracy of Pancreatic Fine Needle Aspiration and Evaluation of Discordant Cases Lau, H. D., DiMaio, M. A., Longacre, T. A., Kong, C. S. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2016: 106A
  • Adenocarcinoma With Breast/Adnexal and Upper Gastrointestinal Differentiation Arising in an Ovarian Mature Cystic Teratoma: A Case Report and Review of the Literature INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGICAL PATHOLOGY Wheeler, L., Westhoff, G. L., O'Keefe, M. C., Kong, C. S., Karam, A. 2016; 35 (1): 72-77


    Mature cystic teratomas are the most common type of ovarian germ cell tumors. In about 1% of cases, usually among postmenopausal women, a mature cystic teratoma can undergo malignant transformation. Among malignant transformations, squamous cell carcinoma is the most common histology, comprising approximately 80% of cases. In this report, we present the unique case of a 55-yr-old woman with a pelvic mass found to be a mature cystic teratoma with malignant transformation to adenocarcinoma with breast/adnexal, upper gastrointestinal, and neuroendocrine differentiation. The predominant malignant component was the adenocarcinoma exhibiting breast/skin adnexal differentiation, which was found to involve the omentum and a right para-aortic node. We provide an in-depth review of the pathologic findings, as well as a review of the current literature on malignant transformation to adenocarcinoma. This report aims to open a conversation regarding the management of these patients, with a specific focus on the role of molecular analysis and targeted therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PGP.0000000000000218

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366942300012

    View details for PubMedID 26352552

  • Prevalence of Anal Dysplasia in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology Shah, S. B., Pickham, D., Araya, H., Kamal, A., Pineda, C. E., Ghole, S., Shih, L., Kong, C., Pai, R., Welton, M. 2015; 13 (11): 1955-61 e1


    Although the prevalence of anal dysplasia is higher in some immunosuppressed populations, the prevalence in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is unknown. We examined the prevalence of abnormal anal cytology among IBD patients, and its relation to the human papilloma virus (HPV).Adults with IBD and age-matched healthy controls (HC) were recruited. IBD patients were categorized as nonimmunosuppressed (IBD-N) or immunosuppressed (IBD-I). Anal Papanicolaou tests were performed for HPV testing and classification by a cytopathologist as follows: negative, atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, cancer, or unsatisfactory.A total of 270 subjects (100 IBD-I, 94 IBD-N, and 76 HC) were recruited. ASC-US were detected in 19 subjects, with a trend toward a higher prevalence among IBD subjects compared with HC (8.8% vs 2.6%; P = .10). The prevalence did not differ with respect to immunosuppression. Crohn's disease (CD) subjects had a higher prevalence of ASC-US compared with others with IBD (P = .02). Among those with CD, female sex and disease duration longer than 10 years were risk factors. There were no cases of low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, or anal cancer in the cohort. HPV was present in 5.3% and 1.5% of subjects with and without ASC-US, respectively (P = .26).Although there was a trend toward abnormal anal Papanicolaou tests in IBD subjects compared with HC, there was no difference based on immunosuppression. The presence of HPV did not correlate with abnormal anal cytology. Risk factors associated with this increased trend include female CD subjects and those with a longer duration of CD. number: NCT01860963;

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cgh.2015.05.031

    View details for PubMedID 26044314

  • Survival benefit for adjuvant radiation therapy in minor salivary gland cancers. Oral oncology Zeidan, Y. H., Pekelis, L., An, Y., Holsinger, F. C., Kong, C. S., Chang, D. T., Le, Q. 2015; 51 (5): 438-445


    The goal of the current study is to investigate the role of adjuvant radiation therapy (adjuvant RT) in minor salivary gland tumors (mSGT) using an established national database.The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database was used to identify patients treated with or without adjuvant RT for mSGT from 1988 to 2008. Regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with improved overall survival (OS).Most tumors were located within the oral cavity (75%) followed by nasal cavity/paranasal sinuses (15%). Multivariate Cox analysis showed that adjuvant RT was associated with better OS compared to surgery alone. Using logistic regression analysis, we provide a novel web based tool for predicting survival impact of adjuvant RT in patients with mSGT.Adjuvant RT is associated with improved survival in patients with mSGT and adverse clinicopathologic factors such as advanced T/N category, adenoid cystic histology, high grade, and nasopharynx location.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.02.096

    View details for PubMedID 25771077

  • Utility of Afirma Testing on Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Specimens: "Suspicious" Results With Clinicopathologic Follow-Up Gomez, A., Kong, C. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2015: 90A–91A
  • p16 protein expression and human papillomavirus status as prognostic biomarkers of nonoropharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Journal of clinical oncology Chung, C. H., Zhang, Q., Kong, C. S., Harris, J., Fertig, E. J., Harari, P. M., Wang, D., Redmond, K. P., Shenouda, G., Trotti, A., Raben, D., Gillison, M. L., Jordan, R. C., Le, Q. 2014; 32 (35): 3930-3938


    Although p16 protein expression, a surrogate marker of oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, is recognized as a prognostic marker in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), its prevalence and significance have not been well established in cancer of the oral cavity, hypopharynx, or larynx, collectively referred as non-OPSCC, where HPV infection is less common than in the oropharynx.p16 expression and high-risk HPV status in non-OPSCCs from RTOG 0129, 0234, and 0522 studies were determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH). Hazard ratios from Cox models were expressed as positive or negative, stratified by trial, and adjusted for clinical characteristics.p16 expression was positive in 14.1% (12 of 85), 24.2% (23 of 95), and 19.0% (27 of 142) and HPV ISH was positive in 6.5% (six of 93), 14.6% (15 of 103), and 6.9% (seven of 101) of non-OPSCCs from RTOG 0129, 0234, and 0522 studies, respectively. Hazard ratios for p16 expression were 0.63 (95% CI, 0.42 to 0.95; P = .03) and 0.56 (95% CI, 0.35 to 0.89; P = .01) for progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS), respectively. Comparing OPSCC and non-OPSCC, patients with p16-positive OPSCC have better PFS and OS than patients with p16-positive non-OPSCC, but patients with p16-negative OPSCC and non-OPSCC have similar outcomes.Similar to results in patients with OPSCC, patients with p16-negative non-OPSCC have worse outcomes than patients with p16-positive non-OPSCC, and HPV may also have a role in outcome in a subset of non-OPSCC. However, further development of a p16 IHC scoring system in non-OPSCC and improvement of HPV detection methods are warranted before broad application in the clinical setting.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2013.54.5228

    View details for PubMedID 25267748

  • Long-Term Outcomes of Surgery Followed by Radiation Therapy for Minor Salivary Gland Carcinomas LARYNGOSCOPE Zeidan, Y. H., Shultz, D. B., Murphy, J. D., Chan, C., Kaplan, M. J., Colevas, A. D., Kong, C., Chang, D. T., Le, Q. 2013; 123 (11): 2675-2680


    Postoperative radiation therapy is often used in patients with high-risk salivary gland carcinomas. In this study we evaluated the outcomes and prognostic factors in patients with minor salivary gland cancers treated with adjuvant radiation therapy.Retrospective cohort study.We performed a retrospective analysis of 90 patients treated with curative intent. Median follow-up was 71 months. Fifty-eight patients (64%) had adenoid cystic carcinomas, 22 (24%) had adenocarcinomas, and 10 (11%) had mucoepidermoid cancers. Primary disease site included 39 (43%) sinonasal, 35 (39%) oral cavity, 10 (11%) oropharynx, and six (7%) others. Twenty-seven patients (30%) were treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy.Eight local, four neck, and 24 distant relapses were detected. Local control rates at 5 and 10 years were 90% and 88%, respectively. Advanced T stage was associated with worse local control. Distant metastasis rates were 24% and 28% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Tumor stage, histology, perineural invasion, and lymphovascular space invasion were significant predictors of distant metastasis on univariate analysis. However, on multivariate analysis only the American Joint Committee on Cancer stage was significant. Overall survival rates were 76% and 63% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. More advanced T stage and N stage correlated with worse overall survival.Tumor stage remains the best predictor for locoregional and distant disease control of minor salivary gland cancers. Postoperative radiation therapy for high-risk patients results in excellent long-term locoregional disease control. Further work is needed to improve systemic control.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/lary.24081

    View details for PubMedID 23553253

  • A Novel Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-3 Activator (Alda-89) Protects Submandibular Gland Function from Irradiation without Accelerating Tumor Growth. Clinical cancer research Xiao, N., Cao, H., Chen, C., Kong, C. S., Ali, R., Chan, C., Sirjani, D., Graves, E., Koong, A., Giaccia, A., Mochly-Rosen, D., Le, Q. 2013; 19 (16): 4455-4464


    To determine the effect of Alda-89 (an ALDH3 activitor) on (i) the function of irradiated (radiotherapy) submandibular gland (SMG) in mice, (ii) its toxicity profile, and (iii) its effect on the growth of head and neck cancer (HNC) in vitro and in vivo.Adult mice were infused with Alda-89 or vehicle before, during, and after radiotherapy. Saliva secretion was monitored weekly. Hematology, metabolic profile, and postmortem evaluation for toxicity were examined at the time of sacrifice. Alda-89 or vehicle was applied to HNC cell lines in vitro, and severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice transplanted with HNC in vivo with or without radiation; HNC growth was monitored. The ALDH3A1 and ALDH3A2 protein expression was evaluated in 89 patients with HNC and correlated to freedom from relapse (FFR) and overall survival (OS).Alda-89 infusion significantly resulted in more whole saliva production and a higher percentage of preserved acini after radiotherapy compared with vehicle control. There was no difference in the complete blood count, metabolic profile, and major organ morphology between the Alda-89 and vehicle groups. Compared with vehicle control, Alda-89 treatment neither accelerated HNC cell proliferation in vitro, nor did it affect tumor growth in vivo with or without radiotherapy. Higher expression of ALDH3A1 or ALDH3A2 was not significantly associated with worse FFR or OS in either human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive or HPV-negative group.Alda-89 preserves salivary function after radiotherapy without affecting HNC growth or causing measurable toxicity in mice. It is a promising candidate to mitigate radiotherapy-related xerostomia.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0127

    View details for PubMedID 23812668

  • p16 expression as a human papillomavirus (HPV)-independent prognostic biomarker in non-oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (non-OPSCC) Chung, C. H., Zhang, Q., Kong, C., Harris, J., Ang, K., Harari, P. M., Wang, D., Redmond, K. P., Shenouda, G., Trotti, A., Raben, D., Gillison, M. L., Jordan, R., Quynh-Thu Le AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2013
  • p16 Is Superior to ProEx C in Identifying High-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions (HSIL) of the Anal Canal AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Bala, R., Pinsky, B. A., Beck, A. H., Kong, C. S., Welton, M. L., Longacre, T. A. 2013; 37 (5): 659-668


    Although the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated anal neoplasia is increasing, interobserver and intraobserver reproducibility in the grading of biopsy specimens from this area remains unacceptably low. Attempts to produce a more reproducible grading scheme have led to the use of biomarkers for the detection of high-risk HPV (HR-HPV). We evaluated the performance of standard morphology and biomarkers p16, ProEx C, and Ki-67 in a set of 75 lesions [17 nondysplastic lesions, 23 low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL)/condyloma, 20 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), 15 invasive squamous cell carcinomas] from the anal and perianal region in 65 patients and correlated these findings with HPV subtype on the basis of a type-specific multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction assay designed to detect HR-HPV. A subset of cases with amplifiable HPV DNA was also sequenced. HSIL was typically flat (15/20), and only a minority (4/20) had koilocytes. In contrast, only 1 LSIL was flat (1/23), and the remainder were exophytic. The majority of LSIL had areas of koilocytic change (20/23). HR-HPV DNA was detected in the majority (89%) of invasive carcinomas and HSIL biopsies, 86% and 97% of which were accurately labeled by strong and diffuse block-positive p16 and ProEx C, respectively. LSIL cases, however, only infrequently harbored HR-HPV (13%); most harbored low-risk HPV (LR-HPV) types 6 and 11. Within the LSIL group, p16 outperformed ProEx C, resulting in fewer false-positive cases (5% vs. 75%). Ki-67 was also increased in HR-HPV-positive lesions, although biopsies with increased inflammation and reactive changes also showed higher Ki-67 indices. These data suggest that strong and diffuse block-positive nuclear and cytoplasmic labeling with p16 is a highly specific biomarker for the presence of HR-HPV in anal biopsies and that this finding correlates with high-grade lesions.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e31828706c0

    View details for PubMedID 23552383

  • Laboratory-Developed L1 Sequencing and Type-Specific, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction for the Detection and Typing of Human Papillomaviruses in Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded Tissues ARCHIVES OF PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE Mills, A., Balasubramaniam, R., Longacre, T. A., Kong, C. S., Pinsky, B. A. 2013; 137 (1): 50-54


    The detection and typing of high-risk and low-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) in archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues by nucleic acid amplification testing is an important adjunct to immunohistochemical staining in evaluation of squamous cell proliferations of the oropharynx, larynx, and anal canal.To evaluate semiautomated, xylene-free extraction from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues combined with laboratory-developed HPV L1 sequencing and type-specific HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 real-time polymerase chain reaction for identification and typing of HPV in the clinical laboratory.We evaluated the adequacy of extraction using β-globin amplification and compared L1 sequencing and real-time polymerase chain reaction methods for typing accuracy using 68 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, including 56 anorectal biopsy or surgical resection specimens and 12 laryngeal papilloma specimens from patients with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.Adequate DNA was obtained from 68 of 68 specimens analyzed and all were HPV positive. In 47 cases where L1 sequencing demonstrated that the predominant HPV type was 6, 11, 16, or 18, type-specific, real-time polymerase chain reaction provided concordant results. Sequencing revealed additional low-risk (HPV 40) and high-risk HPV types (HPV 31, 33, 56, and 58) in anorectal specimens, whereas HPV 6 or 11 were the types found in laryngeal papillomas.Both L1 sequencing and type-specific, real-time polymerase chain reaction are suitable methods for routine HPV testing of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues in a clinical laboratory setting.

    View details for DOI 10.5858/arpa.2011-0392-OA

    View details for PubMedID 23276174

  • Loss of the p53/p63 target PERP is an early event in oral carcinogenesis and correlates with higher rate of local relapse ORAL SURGERY ORAL MEDICINE ORAL PATHOLOGY ORAL RADIOLOGY Kong, C. S., Cao, H., Kwok, S., Nguyen, C. M., Jordan, R. C., Beaudry, V. G., Attardi, L. D., Quynh-Thu Le, Q. T. 2013; 115 (1): 95-103


    PERP is a p53/p63-regulated gene encoding a desmosomal protein that plays a critical role in cell-cell adhesion and tumor suppression.We evaluated PERP expression in different grades of oral dysplasia (34 cases) and at different stages of invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and correlated the latter with clinical outcome. A tissue microarray consisting of nondysplastic mucosa, carcinoma in situ, SCC, and nodal metastases from 33 patients with human papilloma virus-negative SCC was stained for PERP and E-cadherin.Complete loss of PERP expression was associated with worse local control in patients with SCC. The 5-year local control rate was 91% for patients with partial PERP loss versus 31% for those with complete loss (P = .01).This is the first study to show that loss of PERP expression correlates with the transition to SCC and with increased local relapse in patients with oral cavity SCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oooo.2012.10.017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312804800024

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3523282

  • Loss of the p53/p63 target PERP is an early event in oral carcinogenesis and correlates with higher rate of local relapse. Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral radiology Kong, C. S., Cao, H., Kwok, S., Nguyen, C. M., Jordan, R. C., Beaudry, V. G., Attardi, L. D., Le, Q. 2013; 115 (1): 95-103


    PERP is a p53/p63-regulated gene encoding a desmosomal protein that plays a critical role in cell-cell adhesion and tumor suppression.We evaluated PERP expression in different grades of oral dysplasia (34 cases) and at different stages of invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and correlated the latter with clinical outcome. A tissue microarray consisting of nondysplastic mucosa, carcinoma in situ, SCC, and nodal metastases from 33 patients with human papilloma virus-negative SCC was stained for PERP and E-cadherin.Complete loss of PERP expression was associated with worse local control in patients with SCC. The 5-year local control rate was 91% for patients with partial PERP loss versus 31% for those with complete loss (P = .01).This is the first study to show that loss of PERP expression correlates with the transition to SCC and with increased local relapse in patients with oral cavity SCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oooo.2012.10.017

    View details for PubMedID 23217540

  • CD44+cells have cancer stem cell-like properties in nasopharyngeal carcinoma INTERNATIONAL FORUM OF ALLERGY & RHINOLOGY Janisiewicz, A. M., Shin, J. H., Murillo-Sauca, O., Kwok, S., Quynh-Thu Le, Q. T., Kong, C., Kaplan, M. J., Sunwoo, J. B. 2012; 2 (6): 465-470


    A subpopulation of cells within a tumor appears to have the exclusive ability to initiate tumors, self-renew, and differentiate. These "cancer stem cells" (CSCs) are CD44(+) in several epithelial malignancies. We examined the potential of CD44 to identify the CSC population in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).C666, an Epstein-Barr virus-positive (EBV(+) ) human NPC cell line, was stained for CD44 and sorted by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). CD44(+) and CD44(-) subpopulations were evaluated for (1) proliferative potential, (2) ability to differentiate, (3) expression of markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and EBV genes, and (4) the ability to initiate tumors in vivo. Immunocompromised mice were injected with CD44(+) and CD44(-) populations to assess the tumor-initiating capacity. Immunohistochemistry for CD44 was performed on an 87-patient tissue microarray (TMA), and clinical correlations were examined.Heterogeneous expression of CD44 was seen among C666 cells. CD44(+) cells differentiated into CD44(-) cells, indicating a hierarchical relationship. Further, CD44(+) cells exhibited a more robust tumor-initiating capacity in the xenograft model. However, no differences were seen in proliferation rates in vitro, EBV gene expression, or expression of EMT markers between CD44(+) and CD44(-) subsets. Patient tumors were heterogeneous for CD44 staining, and a trend toward an association between CD44 expression and clinical outcome was observed.NPC contains a CD44(+) subpopulation with features consistent with CSCs. There was a trend toward an association between CD44 expression within NPC tumors and decreased time to local failure/relapse in patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/alr.21068

    View details for PubMedID 22887934

  • The diagnostic value of nipple discharge cytology: Breast imaging complements predictive value of nipple discharge cytology JOURNAL OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY Kalu, O. N., Chow, C., Wheeler, A., Kong, C., Wapnir, I. 2012; 106 (4): 381-385


    Papilloma is the most common finding associated with pathologic nipple discharge. In the absence of breast imaging abnormalities, the incidence of occult malignancy is <3%.To determine the predictive value of nipple discharge cytology in conjunction with breast imaging.Retrospective review of 160 charts; inclusion criteria of clinically pathologic nipple discharge, subsequent excisional biopsy, and absence of palpable abnormalities. Nipple discharge cytology categorized as negative, atypical, suspicious, and papillary. Breast imaging was analyzed. Preoperative tests were correlated to final surgical pathology.89 patients identified. Sixty-five had positive cytology, with a false positive rate of 32.3%. They were associated with papillomas in 52%, benign non-papillary in 33% and malignant lesions in 9% of cases. Nipple discharge cytology was positive in 69.6% of papillomas and 92% of atypical/malignant lesions; 30% had abnormal breast imaging and positive cytology. Nipple discharge cytology had a sensitivity of 74.5%, specificity of 30%, and positive predictive value of 68%. The positive predictive value increased to 85% with associated abnormal breast imaging.Nipple discharge cytology is useful in evaluating pathologic discharge. However, negative cytology with negative imaging is not enough to avoid surgery in cases of suspicious clinical presentation.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jso.23091

    View details for PubMedID 22396104

  • Are Women With Endocervical Adenocarcinoma at Risk for Lynch Syndrome? Evaluation of 101 Cases Including Unusual Subtypes and Lower Uterine Segment Tumors INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGICAL PATHOLOGY Mills, A. M., Liou, S., Kong, C. S., Longacre, T. A. 2012; 31 (5): 463-469


    It is well documented that endometrial and ovarian carcinoma are associated with Lynch syndrome (LS), but the association, if any, between endocervical carcinoma and LS has not been fully evaluated. The relationship between endocervical carcinoma and LS is particularly relevant, given the apparent affinity of LS-associated endometrial carcinomas for the lower uterine segment and the attendant difficulties in determining tumor origin at this site. In this study, we examined mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2) in 60 endocervical adenocarcinomas, including variants (minimal deviation adenocarcinoma, mesonephric adenocarcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, clear cell carcinoma) and a series of well-characterized lower-uterine segment carcinomas of known endocervical or endometrial origin (n=41). Two of the lower uterine segment tumors occurred in risk-reducing hysterectomy specimens from known LS patients. All endocervical adenocarcinomas including variants and lower uterine segment endocervical tumors (1 from a known LS patient) were proficient in all 4 MMR proteins. In contrast, 2/20 (10%) lower uterine segment endometrial cancers were deficient in at least 1 MMR (1 from a known LS patient). These data provide evidence that, unlike endometrial and ovarian adenocarcinoma, there is no association between LS and endocervical carcinoma. MMR testing is prudent in lower uterine segment tumors in women with possible LS, especially those for which definitive site of origin cannot be determined.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PGP.0b013e31824a1dad

    View details for PubMedID 22833088

  • Evaluation of ProExC as a Prognostic Marker in Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinomas AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Mills, A. M., Beck, A. H., Pourmand, N., Quynh Thu Le, Q. T., Kong, C. S. 2012; 36 (8): 1158-1164


    ProExC expression has been shown to perform similarly to p16 as an aid in the diagnosis of cervical dysplasia but has not been well characterized in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). The purpose of this study is to determine whether ProExC performs similarly to p16 as a prognostic marker in oropharyngeal SCC and to evaluate the threshold of ProExC and p16 staining that correlates with survival. ProExC, p16, and human papillomavirus DNA in situ hybridization were performed on tissue microarray (TMA) cores and whole sections from 62 patients with oropharyngeal SCC. Sensitivity and specificity for high-risk HPV and correlation with overall survival (OS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and time to distant metastasis (TDM) were calculated for ProExC and p16 at different thresholds. ProExC did not prove to be a robust marker. It showed strong correlation with OS at a 66% threshold on TMA cores, but correlation with OS was lost on whole sections. It also exhibited low sensitivity (53.7%) on TMA cores and low specificity on whole sections (65%). ProExC at a 33% threshold exhibited unacceptably low specificity and did not correlate with OS, CSS, or TDM. Sensitivity and specificity of p16 varied predictably with threshold: higher sensitivity and lower specificity with lower thresholds and vice versa for higher thresholds. p16 at a 50% threshold offers a balance between sensitivity and specificity, and correlates with OS, CSS, and TDM on whole sections; correlation with TDM is lost on TMA cores. These findings indicate that ProExC does not perform well enough to be used as a prognostic marker in oropharyngeal SCC. p16 should be used and scored as positive when at least half the tumor is strongly stained.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3182600eaa

    View details for PubMedID 22790856

  • Validation that metabolic tumor volume predicts outcome in head-and-neck cancer. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Tang, C., Murphy, J. D., Khong, B., La, T. H., Kong, C., Fischbein, N. J., Colevas, A. D., Iagaru, A. H., Graves, E. E., Loo, B. W., Le, Q. 2012; 83 (5): 1514-1520


    We have previously reported that metabolic tumor volume (MTV) obtained from pretreatment (18)F-fluorodeoxydeglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET)/ computed tomography (CT) predicted outcome in patients with head-and-neck cancer (HNC). The purpose of this study was to validate these results on an independent dataset, determine whether the primary tumor or nodal MTV drives this correlation, and explore the interaction with p16(INK4a) status as a surrogate marker for human papillomavirus (HPV).The validation dataset in this study included 83 patients with squamous cell HNC who had a FDG PET/CT scan before receiving definitive radiotherapy. MTV and maximum standardized uptake value (SUV(max)) were calculated for the primary tumor, the involved nodes, and the combination of both. The primary endpoint was to validate that MTV predicted progression-free survival and overall survival. Secondary analyses included determining the prognostic utility of primary tumor vs. nodal MTV.Similarly to our prior findings, an increase in total MTV of 17 cm(3) (difference between the 75th and 25th percentiles) was associated with a 2.1-fold increase in the risk of disease progression (p = 0.0002) and a 2.0-fold increase in the risk of death (p = 0.0048). SUV(max) was not associated with either outcome. Primary tumor MTV predicted progression-free (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.94; p < 0.0001) and overall (HR = 1.57; p < 0.0001) survival, whereas nodal MTV did not. In addition, MTV predicted progression-free (HR = 4.23; p < 0.0001) and overall (HR = 3.21; p = 0.0029) survival in patients with p16(INK4a)-positive oropharyngeal cancer.This study validates our previous findings that MTV independently predicts outcomes in HNC. MTV should be considered as a potential risk-stratifying biomarker in future studies of HNC.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.10.023

    View details for PubMedID 22270174

  • Nano-scale phospho-proteomic analysis to define diagnostic signatures and biomarkers of therapeutic activity in cancer Fan, A. C., Banerjee, P., Xu, L., Kong, C., Sabatti, C., Wilheim, F., Greenberg, P., Felsher, D. W. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2012
  • Prognostic and Predictive Significance of Plasma HGF and IL-8 in a Phase III Trial of Chemoradiation with or without Tirapazamine in Locoregionally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Quynh-Thu Le, Q. T., Fisher, R., Oliner, K. S., Young, R. J., Cao, H., Kong, C., Graves, E., Hicks, R. J., McArthur, G. A., Peters, L., O'Sullivan, B., Giaccia, A., Rischin, D. 2012; 18 (6): 1798-1807


    Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a hypoxia-induced secreted protein that binds to cMet and regulates interleukin (IL)-8 expression. We evaluated the role of circulating HGF and IL-8 as prognostic and predictive factors for efficacy of tirapazamine (TPZ), a hypoxic cell cytotoxin.Patients with stages III to IV head and neck cancer were randomized to receive radiotherapy with cisplatin (CIS) or CIS plus TPZ (TPZ/CIS). Eligibility for the substudy included plasma sample availability for HGF and IL-8 assay by ELISA and no major radiation deviations (N = 498). Analyses included adjustment for major prognostic factors. p16(INK4A) staining (human papillomavirus surrogate) was carried out on available tumors. Thirty-nine patients had hypoxia imaging with (18)F-fluoroazomycin arabinoside ((18)FAZA)-positron emission tomography.Elevated IL-8 level was associated with worse overall survival (OS) irrespective of treatment. There was an interaction between HGF and treatment arm (P = 0.053); elevated HGF was associated with worse OS in the control but not in the TPZ/CIS arm. Similar trends were observed in analyses restricted to p16(INK4A)-negative patients. Four subgroups defined by high and low HGF/IL-8 levels were examined for TPZ effect; the test for interaction with arm was P = 0.099. TPZ/CIS seemed to be beneficial for patients with high HGF and IL-8 but adverse for low HGF and high IL-8. Only HGF correlated with (18)FAZA tumor standard uptake value.IL-8 is an independent prognostic factor irrespective of treatment. There is an interaction between HGF and treatment arm. Certain subgroups based on IL-8/HGF levels seemed to do better with TPZ/CIS while others did worse, highlighting the complexity of hypoxia targeting in unselected patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2094

    View details for PubMedID 22383739

  • Quantitation of Human Papillomavirus DNA in Plasma of Oropharyngeal Carcinoma Patients INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS Cao, H., Banh, A., Kwok, S., Shi, X., Wu, S., Krakow, T., Khong, B., Bavan, B., Bala, R., Pinsky, B. A., Colevas, D., Pourmand, N., Koong, A. C., Kong, C. S., Quynh-Thu Le, Q. T. 2012; 82 (3): E351-E358


    To determine whether human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA can be detected in the plasma of patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) and to monitor its temporal change during radiotherapy.We used polymerase chain reaction to detect HPV DNA in the culture media of HPV-positive SCC90 and VU147T cells and the plasma of SCC90 and HeLa tumor-bearing mice, non-tumor-bearing controls, and those with HPV-negative tumors. We used real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction to quantify the plasma HPV DNA in 40 HPV-positive OPC, 24 HPV-negative head-and-neck cancer patients and 10 non-cancer volunteers. The tumor HPV status was confirmed by p16(INK4a) staining and HPV16/18 polymerase chain reaction or HPV in situ hybridization. A total of 14 patients had serial plasma samples for HPV DNA quantification during radiotherapy.HPV DNA was detectable in the plasma samples of SCC90- and HeLa-bearing mice but not in the controls. It was detected in 65% of the pretreatment plasma samples from HPV-positive OPC patients using E6/7 quantitative polymerase chain reaction. None of the HPV-negative head-and-neck cancer patients or non-cancer controls had detectable HPV DNA. The pretreatment plasma HPV DNA copy number correlated significantly with the nodal metabolic tumor volume (assessed using (18)F-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography). The serial measurements in 14 patients showed a rapid decline in HPV DNA that had become undetectable at radiotherapy completion. In 3 patients, the HPV DNA level had increased to a discernable level at metastasis.Xenograft studies indicated that plasma HPV DNA is released from HPV-positive tumors. Circulating HPV DNA was detectable in most HPV-positive OPC patients. Thus, plasma HPV DNA might be a valuable tool for identifying relapse.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.05.061

    View details for PubMedID 21985946

  • Correlation between metabolic tumor volume and pathologic tumor volume in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity RADIOTHERAPY AND ONCOLOGY Murphy, J. D., Chisholm, K. M., Daly, M. E., Wiegner, E. A., Truong, D., Iagaru, A., Maxim, P. G., Loo, B. W., Graves, E. E., Kaplan, M. J., Kong, C., Le, Q. 2011; 101 (3): 356-361


    To explore the relationship between pathologic tumor volume and volume estimated from different tumor segmentation techniques on (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in oral cavity cancer.Twenty-three patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue had PET-CT scans before definitive surgery. Pathologic tumor volume was estimated from surgical specimens. Metabolic tumor volume (MTV) was defined from PET-CT scans as the volume of tumor above a given SUV threshold. Multiple SUV thresholds were explored including absolute SUV thresholds, relative SUV thresholds, and gradient-based techniques.Multiple MTV's were associated with pathologic tumor volume; however the correlation was poor (R(2) range 0.29-0.58). The ideal SUV threshold, defined as the SUV that generates an MTV equal to pathologic tumor volume, was independently associated with maximum SUV (p=0.0005) and tumor grade (p=0.024). MTV defined as a function of maximum SUV and tumor grade improved the prediction of pathologic tumor volume (R(2)=0.63).Common SUV thresholds fail to predict pathologic tumor volume in head and neck cancer. The optimal technique that allows for integration of PET-CT with radiation treatment planning remains to be defined. Future investigation should incorporate biomarkers such as tumor grade into definitions of MTV.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.radonc.2011.05.040

    View details for PubMedID 21665308

  • A Novel Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-3 Activator Leads to Adult Salivary Stem Cell Enrichment In Vivo CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Banh, A., Xiao, N., Cao, H., Chen, C., Kuo, P., Krakow, T., Bavan, B., Khong, B., Yao, M., Ha, C., Kaplan, M. J., Sirjani, D., Jensen, K., Kong, C. S., Mochly-Rosen, D., Koong, A. C., Quynh-Thu Le, Q. T. 2011; 17 (23): 7265-7272


    To assess aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) expression in adult human and murine submandibular gland (SMG) stem cells and to determine the effect of ALDH3 activation in SMG stem cell enrichment.Adult human and murine SMG stem cells were selected by cell surface markers (CD34 for human and c-Kit for mouse) and characterized for various other stem cell surface markers by flow cytometry and ALDH isozymes expression by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Sphere formation and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd) incorporation assays were used on selected cells to confirm their renewal capacity and three-dimensional (3D) collagen matrix culture was applied to observe differentiation. To determine whether ALDH3 activation would increase stem cell yield, adult mice were infused with a novel ALDH3 activator (Alda-89) or with vehicle followed by quantification of c-Kit(+)/CD90(+) SMG stem cells and BrdUrd(+) salispheres.More than 99% of CD34(+) huSMG stem cells stained positive for c-Kit, CD90 and 70% colocalized with CD44, Nestin. Similarly, 73.8% c-Kit(+) mSMG stem cells colocalized with Sca-1, whereas 80.7% with CD90. Functionally, these cells formed BrdUrd(+) salispheres, which differentiated into acinar- and ductal-like structures when cultured in 3D collagen. Both adult human and murine SMG stem cells showed higher expression of ALDH3 than in their non-stem cells and 84% of these cells have measurable ALDH1 activity. Alda-89 infusion in adult mice significantly increased c-Kit(+)/CD90(+) SMG population and BrdUrd(+) sphere formation compared with control.This is the first study to characterize expression of different ALDH isozymes in SMG stem cells. In vivo activation of ALDH3 can increase SMG stem cell yield, thus providing a novel means for SMG stem cell enrichment for future stem cell therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-0179

    View details for PubMedID 21998334

  • Tumor Galectin-1 Mediates Tumor Growth and Metastasis through Regulation of T-Cell Apoptosis CANCER RESEARCH Banh, A., Zhang, J., Cao, H., Bouley, D. M., Kwok, S., Kong, C., Giaccia, A. J., Koong, A. C., Le, Q. 2011; 71 (13): 4423-4431


    Galectin-1 (Gal-1), a carbohydrate-binding protein whose secretion is enhanced by hypoxia, promotes tumor aggressiveness by promoting angiogenesis and T-cell apoptosis. However, the importance of tumor versus host Gal-1 in tumor progression is undefined. Here we offer evidence that implicates tumor Gal-1 and its modulation of T-cell immunity in progression. Comparing Gal-1-deficient mice as hosts for Lewis lung carcinoma cells where Gal-1 levels were preserved or knocked down, we found that tumor Gal-1 was more critical than host Gal-1 in promoting tumor growth and spontaneous metastasis. Enhanced growth and metastasis associated with Gal-1 related to its immunomodulatory function, insofar as the benefits of Gal-1 expression to Lewis lung carcinoma growth were abolished in immunodeficient mice. In contrast, angiogenesis, as assessed by microvessel density count, was similar between tumors with divergent Gal-1 levels when examined at a comparable size. Our findings establish that tumor rather than host Gal-1 is responsible for mediating tumor progression through intratumoral immunomodulation, with broad implications in developing novel targeting strategies for Gal-1 in cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4157

    View details for PubMedID 21546572

  • Differentiated (Simplex) Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Case Report and Review of the Literature AMERICAN JOURNAL OF DERMATOPATHOLOGY Taube, J. M., Badger, J., Kong, C. S., Dadras, S. S. 2011; 33 (3): E27-E30


    Differentiated (simplex) vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) is an uncommon variant of VIN characterized by highly differentiated morphology, making it a potential diagnostic pitfall. It may arise in the background of lichen sclerosus, and unlike most VIN, is not causally associated with human papilloma virus infection. It occurs in an older demographic and is thought to be the precursor of aggressive, invasive vulvar squamous cell carcinoma. For this reason, the timely and accurate diagnosis of this unusual lesion is crucial. The clinical and histologic features of a case of a 70-year-old woman with newly diagnosed differentiated (simplex) VIN arising in a background of long-standing lichen sclerosus is reported, and the historic aspects, current terminology, and diagnostic criteria of differentiated (simplex) VIN are reviewed.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/DAD.0b013e3181d9d626

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289770200001

    View details for PubMedID 21522046

  • Tumor Galectin-1 mediates lung cancer growth and metastasis through immunoregulation of T-cell apoptosis Banh, A., Zhang, J., Cao, H., Bouley, D., Kwok, S., Kong, C., Giaccia, A., Koong, A., Le, Q. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2011


    Human papillomavirus (HPV)-related squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (SCCHN) has emerged as a distinct clinical entity. The expression of p16 protein can be used as a surrogate for HPV status.p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC) was assessed in archival paraffin-embedded material for 55 patients with locally advanced SCCHN treated with a uniform regimen of cisplatin and radiation. HPV status was assessed by colorimetric in situ hybridization (CISH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).Compared with p16- and HPV-negative patients, the p16- and HPV-positive patients had improved overall survival, disease-free survival, and locoregional recurrence rates.p16 IHC may serve as a useful surrogate and prognostic marker for patients with HPV-related SCCHN treated with cisplatin and radiation.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/hed.21439

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286855300015

    View details for PubMedID 20848448

  • Immunohistochemistry for the Detection of Renal Cell Carcinoma in Effusion Cytology DIAGNOSTIC CYTOPATHOLOGY Chute, D. J., Kong, C. S., Stelow, E. B. 2011; 39 (2): 118–23


    Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is known for its unpredictable behavior. RCC rarely involves serosal surfaces and, when present, can be difficult to distinguish from mesothelial cells in cytologic preparations. Immunohistochemical stains are frequently used with effusion cytology; however, RCCs express traditional glandular antigens less frequently than other adenocarcinomas. We investigated the utility of typical immunohistochemical stains for identifying effusion involvement by RCC, along with more specific RCC markers. The cytology databases from two academic institutions were searched for all effusions involved by RCC with retrievable cell-block material. A four-marker immunohistochemical panel we generally use for distinguishing adenocarcinoma from mesothelial proliferations was then applied (calretinin, WT1, MOC31, and B72.3). In addition, each case was stained for RCC antigen, CD10, and PAX2. Eleven cases of RCC involving serous effusions were identified: six conventional clear-cell RCCs, three papillary RCCs, and two RCCs, not otherwise specified. Neoplastic cells were positive for MOC-31 in 3 of 11 cases, RCC antigen in 5 of 11 cases, and CD10 in 10 of 11 cases. RCC cells were negative for B-72.3, WT1, and calretinin in all cases. Background mesothelial cells showed high-background cytoplasmic staining for PAX-2; all RCC tumor cells were negative or equivocal. A conventional panel used for the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma in fluids will fail to detect most cases of metastatic RCC, particularly clear-cell RCC. Additional antibodies, such as those to CD10 and RCC, may be helpful to identify these tumors. PAX2 shows high background in mesothelial cells, which makes interpretation of nuclear staining difficult.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/dc.21375

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286963500009

    View details for PubMedID 21254459

  • MYB Expression and Translocation in Adenoid Cystic Carcinomas and Other Salivary Gland Tumors With Clinicopathologic Correlation AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY West, R. B., Kong, C., Clarke, N., Gilks, T., Lipsick, J. S., Cao, H., Kwok, S., Montgomery, K. D., Varma, S., Le, Q. 2011; 35 (1): 92-99


    Adenoid cystic carcinoma is a locally aggressive salivary gland neoplasm, which has a poor long-term prognosis. A chromosomal translocation involving the genes encoding the transcription factors, MYB and NFIB, has been recently discovered in these tumors.MYB translocation and protein expression were studied in 37 adenoid cystic carcinomas, 112 other salivary gland neoplasms, and 409 nonsalivary gland neoplasms by fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. MYB translocation and expression status in adenoid cystic carcinoma was correlated with clinicopathologic features including outcome, with a median follow-up of 77.1 months (range, 23.2 to 217.5 mo) for living patients.A balanced translocation between MYB and NFIB is present in 49% of adenoid cystic carcinomas but is not identified in other salivary gland tumors or nonsalivary gland neoplasms. There is no apparent translocation of MYB in 35% of the cases. Strong Myb immunostaining is very specific for adenoid cystic carcinomas but is only present in 65% of all cases. It is interesting to note that Myb immunostaining is confined to the basal cell component although the translocation is present in all the cells. Neoplasms with MYB translocation show a trend toward higher local relapse rates, but the results are not statistically significant with the current number of cases.MYB translocation and expression are useful diagnostic markers for a subset of adenoid cystic carcinomas. The presence of the translocation may be indicative of local aggressive behavior, but a larger cohort may be required to show statistical significance.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3182002777

    View details for PubMedID 21164292

  • Breast Cytology BREAST SURGICAL TECHNIQUES AND INTERDISCIPLINARY MANAGEMENT Jensen, K. C., Kong, C. S., Dirbas, F. M., ScottConner, C. E. 2011: 589–99
  • A Panel of 3 Markers Including p16, ProExC, or HPV ISH is Optimal for Distinguishing Between Primary Endometrial and Endocervical Adenocarcinomas AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Kong, C. S., Beck, A. H., Longacre, T. A. 2010; 34 (7): 915-926


    Endometrial and endocervical adenocarcinomas may seem histologically identical and it can be difficult to determine primary site of origin based on morphology alone. As the distinction is significant and cannot always be made on the basis of clinical findings, various immunohistochemical panels have been proposed to aid in determining site of origin. Stains for vimentin, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), monoclonal carcinoembryonic antigen, p16 and ProExC, and HPV in situ hybridization (ISH), were performed on 283 tissue microarray (TMA) cores and 38 whole sections. The TMA consisted of 214 endometrial carcinomas, 33 endocervical adenocarcinomas, and 36 problematic cases. The endometrial and endocervical carcinomas represented usual endometrioid and mucinous types, and special variants (uterine serous carcinoma, uterine clear cell carcinoma, minimal deviation endocervical adenocarcinoma, cervical small cell carcinoma, adenoid basal cell carcinoma, mesonephric carcinoma). Univariate analysis showed that 6 markers (vimentin, ER, PR, p16, ProExC, and HPV ISH) performed well in distinguishing between endocervical and endometrial origin for the usual endometrioid and mucinous types. Multivariate analysis showed that vimentin, p16, and HPV ISH are the strongest predictors of site. Using a script written in R, the diagnostic accuracy of all possible combinations of markers was evaluated and it was shown that a 3 marker panel including vimentin, ER, or PR, and an HPV marker (p16, ProExC, or HPV ISH) is optimal for determining site of origin for usual endometrial and endocervical adenocarcinomas. However, these panels do not perform well with special variant carcinomas.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181e3291e

    View details for PubMedID 20534993

  • BD FocalPoint Slide Profiler Performance With Atypical Glandular Cells on SurePath Papanicolaou Smears CANCER CYTOPATHOLOGY Chute, D. J., Lim, H., Kong, C. S. 2010; 118 (2): 68–74


    The FocalPoint Slide Profiler is an automated cervical cytology screening system that is approved for primary screening. It identifies up to 25% of slides as requiring No Further Review. However, few studies have evaluated FocalPoint performance with glandular abnormalities.Sixty-six SurePath Papanicolaou (Pap) tests with a diagnosis of atypical glandular cells were identified. A total of 172 Pap tests with a diagnosis of "endometrial cells present" were included as controls. Follow-up histology was abnormal if diagnosed as high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, adenocarcinoma in situ, carcinoma, or complex endometrial hyperplasia. The FocalPoint software ranked each case into 1 of 7 categories: quintiles 1 (high risk) through 5 (low risk), No Further Review, and Process Review.A total of 215 slides were qualified for review; 38 (57.6%) atypical glandular cells cases were abnormal on follow-up biopsy, and 27 (71.1%) atypical glandular cells with abnormal follow-up qualified for review; no cases were classified No Further Review, and 9 (33%) were ranked in quintile 1. Twenty-three (82.1%) atypical glandular cells with benign follow-up were qualified for review; 3 (11%) cases were classified No Further Review, and 4 (17%) were ranked in quintile 1. There was a statistically significant difference between the ranking of benign atypical glandular cells cases, abnormal atypical glandular cells cases, and control cases (P = .03). However, when collapsed into No Further Review versus all other quintiles, the differences were not significant (P = .20).The FocalPoint Slide Profiler did not classify glandular lesions with abnormal follow-up in the No Further Review category. However, these cases were not preferentially ranked in quintile 1. FocalPoint-screened slides need to be carefully reviewed for glandular abnormalities, regardless of the quintile ranking.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncy.20067

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277070600002

    View details for PubMedID 20209621

  • The Diagnostic Reliability of Nipple Discharge Cytology Kalu, O., Chow, C., Wheeler, A., Kong, C., Wapnir, I. SPRINGER. 2010: S176
  • The RGD Domain of Human Osteopontin Promotes Tumor Growth and Metastasis through Activation of Survival Pathways PLOS ONE Courter, D., Cao, H., Kwok, S., Kong, C., Banh, A., Kuo, P., Bouley, D. M., Vice, C., Brustugun, O. T., Denko, N. C., Koong, A. C., Giaccia, A., Le, Q. 2010; 5 (3)


    Human osteopontin (OPN), a known tumor associated protein, exists in different isoforms, whose function is unclear. It also possesses a RGD domain, which has been implicated in diverse function. Here, we use genetic approaches to systematically investigate the function of the RGD domain in different OPN isoforms on tumor progression and metastasis for 2 different solid tumor models.Using isoform-specific qRT-PCR, we found that OPN-A and B were the main isoforms overexpressed in evaluated human tumors, which included 4 soft tissue sarcomas, 24 lung and 30 head and neck carcinomas. Overexpression of either OPN-A or B in two different cell types promoted local tumor growth and lung metastasis in SCID mouse xenografts. However, expression of either isoform with the RGD domain either mutated or deleted decreased tumor growth and metastasis, and resulted in increased apoptosis by TUNEL staining. In vitro, whereas mutation of the RGD domain did not affect cell-cell adhesion, soft agar growth or cell migration, it increased apoptosis under hypoxia and serum starvation. This effect could be mitigated when the RGD mutant cells were treated with condition media containing WT OPN. Mechanistically, the RGD region of OPN inhibited apoptosis by inducing NF-kappaB activation and FAK phosphorylation. Inhibition of NF-kappaB (by siRNA to the p65 subunit) or FAK activation (by a inhibitor) significantly increased apoptosis under hypoxia in WT OPN cells, but not in RGD mutant cells.Unlike prior reports, our data suggest that the RGD domain of both OPN-A and B promote tumor growth and metastasis mainly by protecting cells against apoptosis under stressed conditions and not via migration or invasion. Future inhibitors directed against OPN should target multiple isoforms and should inhibit cell survival mechanisms that involve the RGD domain, FAK phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activation.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0009633

    View details for PubMedID 20224789

  • Immunohistochemistry for the Detection of Renal Cell Carcinoma in Fluids Chute, D., Kong, C., Stelow, E. JOHN WILEY & SONS INC. 2009: 363–64
  • Validation of Lysyl Oxidase As a Prognostic Marker for Metastasis and Survival in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Trial 90-03 JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Le, Q., Harris, J., Magliocco, A. M., Kong, C. S., Diaz, R., Shin, B., Cao, H., Trotti, A., Erler, J. T., Chung, C. H., Dicker, A., Pajak, T. F., Giaccia, A. J., Ang, K. K. 2009; 27 (26): 4281-4286


    To validate lysyl oxidase (LOX), a hypoxia-related protein, as a marker for metastasis in an independent head and neck cancer (HNC) patient group enrolled onto a prospective trial.We performed traditional immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and automated quantitative analysis (AQUA) for LOX expression in 66 HNC patients from one institution. We also performed AQUA staining for LOX in 306 of 1,113 patients treated on a phase III trial comparing four radiation fractionation schedules in locally advanced HNC (RTOG 90-03). Pretreatment characteristics and outcome were similar between patients with and without LOX assessment. We correlated AQUA LOX expression with time to metastasis (TTM), time to progression (TTP), and overall survival (OS).LOX expression from both staining methods predicted for TTM in the first 66 patients. Multivariate analysis, controlling for significant parameters including nodal stage and performance status, revealed tumor LOX expression, as a continuous variable, was an independent predictor for TTM (hazard ratio [HR], 1.21; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.33; P = .0001), TTP (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.10; P = .0069), and OS (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.07; P = .0311) in RTOG 90-03 patients. This translates into a 259% increase in metastatic risk for a patient at the 75th percentile of LOX compared with one at the 25th percentile.AQUA LOX expression was strongly associated with increased metastasis, progression, and death in RTOG 90-03 patients. This study validates that LOX is a marker for metastasis and survival in HNC.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2008.20.6003

    View details for PubMedID 19667273



    To evaluate the relationship between human papillomavirus (HPV) status and known prognostic makers for head and neck cancers including tumor hypoxia, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and intratumoral T-cell levels and to determine the prognostic impact of these markers by HPV status.HPV status in 82 evaluable head and neck squamous cell carcinomas patients was determined by pyrosequencing and related to p16(INK4a) staining and treatment outcomes. It was correlated with tumor hypoxia (tumor pO(2) and carbonic anhydrase [CAIX] staining), EGFR status, and intratumoral lymphocyte expression (CD3 staining).Forty-four percent of evaluable tumors had strong HPV signal by pyrosequencing. There was a significant relationship between strong HPV signal and p16(INK4a) staining as well as oropharynx location. The strong HPV signal group fared significantly better than others, both in time to progression (TTP, p = 0.008) and overall survival (OS, p = 0.004) for all patients and for the oropharyngeal subset. Positive p16(INK4a) staining was associated with better TTP (p = 0.014) and OS (p = 0.00002). There was no relationship between HPV status and tumor pO(2) or CAIX staining. However, HPV status correlated inversely with EGFR reactivity (p = 0.0006) and directly with CD3(+) T-lymphocyte level (p = 0.03). Whereas CAIX and EGFR overexpression were negative prognostic factors regardless of HPV status, CD3(+) T-cell levels was prognostic only in HPV(-) tumors.HPV status was a prognostic factor for progression and survival. It correlated inversely with EGFR expression and directly with T-cell infiltration. The prognostic effect of CAIX and EGFR expression was not influenced by HPV status, whereas intratumoral T-cell levels was significant only for HPV(-) tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.02.015

    View details for PubMedID 19427557

  • p16(INK4A) Immunohistochemical Staining May Be Helpful in Distinguishing Branchial Cleft Cysts From Cystic Squamous Cell Carcinomas Originating in the Oropharynx CANCER CYTOPATHOLOGY Pai, R. K., Erickson, J., Pourmand, N., Kong, C. S. 2009; 117 (2): 108-119


    We investigated p16(INK4A) expression in branchial cleft cysts and its utility in distinguishing branchial cleft cysts from metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) in fine-needle aspiration biopsies (FNABs).A study set comprising 41 resections (15 SCC and 26 branchial cleft cysts) and a test set of 15 FNABs (11 SCC and 4 branchial cleft cysts) were analyzed with p16(INK4A) immunohistochemistry and human papillomavirus (HPV) polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/pyrosequencing. Cases with discrepant p16(INK4A) and PCR/pyrosequencing results were further evaluated with HPV in situ hybridization (ISH). SCCs were divided into keratinizing SCC and nonkeratinizing SCC groups and site of origin.Metastatic oropharyngeal nonkeratinizing SCC in the study set exhibited diffuse, strong p16(INK4A) (7 of 7) and HPV16 DNA positivity (6 of 6), while keratinizing SCC from the larynx and oral cavity was negative for p16(INK4A). p16(INK4A) reactivity in the branchial cleft cyst study set was characterized by focal, strong staining (6 of 21) involving the superficial squamous epithelium. HPV DNA was identified in 7 of 19 branchial cleft cyst study set cases by PCR/pyrosequencing, but these cases were negative by HPV ISH. In the test set, oropharyngeal nonkeratinizing SCC exhibited diffuse, strong p16(INK4A) (3 of 3) and HPV16 DNA (2 of 2), while metastatic keratinizing SCC was negative for p16(INK4A) and HPV DNA. All 4 FNABs of branchial cleft cysts were negative for p16(INK4A). Diffuse, strong p16(INK4A) correlated with oropharyngeal origin (P=.001) and nonkeratinizing morphology (P=.0001).Branchial cleft cysts can exhibit focal strong reactivity limited to the superficial squamous epithelium and glandular epithelium. Although p16(INK4A) immunohistochemistry may be helpful in distinguishing oropharyngeal nonkeratinizing SCC from branchial cleft cysts in FNAB specimens, it is not helpful in cases of keratinizing SCC because these cases are typically negative for p16(INK4A).

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncy.20001

    View details for PubMedID 19365840

  • Pathology Quiz Case Cholesterol granuloma (CG) of the left maxillary sinus ARCHIVES OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY Parikh, S., Mattoch, I. W., Kong, C., Hwang, P. H. 2008; 134 (11): 1233-1234

    View details for PubMedID 19015458

  • Cytologic Evaluation of Lymphadenopathy Associated With Mycosis Fungoides and Sezary Syndrome Role of Immunophenotypic and Molecular Ancillary Studies CANCER CYTOPATHOLOGY Pai, R. K., Mullins, F. M., Kim, Y. H., Kong, C. S. 2008; 114 (5): 323-332


    The most common presenting site of extracutaneous disease in mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome is the peripheral lymph node. Although fine-needle aspiration biopsy has been shown to be a valuable diagnostic technique in evaluating lymphadenopathy, its utility in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma has not been extensively studied. With fine-needle aspiration biopsy, material can be collected for ancillary diagnostic studies and for morphologic evaluation.The authors report a series of 11 fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens from 10 mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome patients. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping and T-cell receptor gamma chain polymerase chain reaction were performed on fine-needle aspiration biopsy material and correlated with cytologic findings.Seven of 10 patients had lymph node involvement by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, with 3 cases exhibiting large-cell transformation and 4 cases exhibiting a small-cell pattern. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping identified an abnormal T-cell population in 6 cases. A clonal T-cell rearrangement by T-cell receptor gamma chain polymerase chain reaction (TCR-gamma PCR) was identified in 1 case in which insufficient events were present for evaluation by flow cytometry and in 1 case in which flow cytometry was not diagnostic of T-cell lymphoma. Two cases showed involvement by classic Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed by immunohistochemistry on cell block material.Fine-needle aspiration biopsy in conjunction with immunophenotyping and T-cell receptor gamma chain polymerase chain reaction is significantly useful in evaluation of lymphadenopathy in patients with mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome, especially for triaging lymph nodes that would otherwise not be sampled or for evaluating multiple lymph nodes.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.23793

    View details for PubMedID 18798522

  • BD FocalPoint Slide Profiler Performance with Atypical Glandular Cells on SurePath Pap Smears Chute, D., Kong, C. JOHN WILEY & SONS INC. 2008: 377–78
  • Diagnostic problems in anal pathology ADVANCES IN ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY Longacre, T. A., Kong, C. S., Welton, M. L. 2008; 15 (5): 263-278


    Anal squamous cell carcinoma and its precursor lesions are increasing in incidence in the United States and Europe. This trend predates human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome and has been associated with persistent high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) genotype infection, previous lower genital tract dysplasia/carcinoma, high frequency anoreceptive intercourse, heavy cigarette smoking, immunosuppression in solid organ transplant and immune disorders, and human immunodeficiency virus seropositivity. Screening protocols for at-risk patients are under active investigation and pathologists are often asked to assess anal canal and perianal biopsies for the presence of dysplasia and/or invasive carcinoma. Because underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis of anal cancer and precancer may lead to inappropriate treatment, it is important for the pathologist to be aware of current screening strategies, specific risk lesions, and the role of pathology in initial diagnosis and evaluation of anal biopsy and/or resection specimens. Standardized histologic criteria and uniform terminology should be used for reporting all anal canal and perianal squamous intraepithelial lesions. HPV subtyping, anal cytology, and recently identified biomarkers, such as p16 and Becton Dickinson ProEx C may provide additional information in problematic cases, but it is important to be aware of the limitations of these assays. HPV has been linked to all the major histologic subtypes of anal carcinoma (eg, basaloid, cloacogenic, transitional, etc.) and this association is strongest for anal canal lesions. With the possible exception of the microcystic pattern, histologic subtype does not seem to predict prognosis; and anal squamous cell carcinomas should be classified as either keratinizing or nonkeratinizing. Poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinomas have a worse prognosis and should be distinguished from poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, melanoma, and neuroendocrine tumors. Very well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma with pushing margins (so-called giant condyloma of Buschke and Lowenstein) should be classified as verrucous carcinoma; this tumor shows aggressive local infiltration but does not metastasize. As all anal condylomata may harbor foci of high-grade dysplasia or invasive carcinoma, careful sectioning and complete histologic examination is required.

    View details for PubMedID 18724100

  • Expression and prognostic significance of a panel of tissue hypoxia markers in head-and-neck squamous cell carcinomas 48th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-for-Therapeutic-Radiology-and-Oncology (ASTRO) Le, Q., Kong, C., Lavori, P. W., O'Byrne, K., Erler, J. T., Huang, X., Chen, Y., Cao, H., Tibshiran, R., Denko, N., Giaccia, A. J., Koong, A. C. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2007: 167–75


    To investigate the expression pattern of hypoxia-induced proteins identified as being involved in malignant progression of head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and to determine their relationship to tumor pO(2) and prognosis.We performed immunohistochemical staining of hypoxia-induced proteins (carbonic anhydrase IX [CA IX], BNIP3L, connective tissue growth factor, osteopontin, ephrin A1, hypoxia inducible gene-2, dihydrofolate reductase, galectin-1, IkappaB kinase beta, and lysyl oxidase) on tumor tissue arrays of 101 HNSCC patients with pretreatment pO(2) measurements. Analysis of variance and Fisher's exact tests were used to evaluate the relationship between marker expression, tumor pO(2), and CA IX staining. Cox proportional hazard model and log-rank tests were used to determine the relationship between markers and prognosis.Osteopontin expression correlated with tumor pO(2) (Eppendorf measurements) (p = 0.04). However, there was a strong correlation between lysyl oxidase, ephrin A1, and galectin-1 and CA IX staining. These markers also predicted for cancer-specific survival and overall survival on univariate analysis. A hypoxia score of 0-5 was assigned to each patient, on the basis of the presence of strong staining for these markers, whereby a higher score signifies increased marker expression. On multivariate analysis, increasing hypoxia score was an independent prognostic factor for cancer-specific survival (p = 0.015) and was borderline significant for overall survival (p = 0.057) when adjusted for other independent predictors of outcomes (hemoglobin and age).We identified a panel of hypoxia-related tissue markers that correlates with treatment outcomes in HNSCC. Validation of these markers will be needed to determine their utility in identifying patients for hypoxia-targeted therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.01.071

    View details for PubMedID 17707270

  • Role of human papillomavirus in squamous cell metaplasia-dysplasia-carcinoma of the rectum AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Kong, C. S., Welton, M. L., Longacre, T. A. 2007; 31 (6): 919-925


    Primary colorectal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and squamous dysplasia are uncommon and little is known about their pathogenesis. Most have been reported in association with ulcerative colitis and other chronic disease states. Although cervical and anal SCC have been strongly linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the role of HPV in rectal squamous carcinoma has not been well-examined. We evaluated 3 cases of primary rectal SCC for the presence of high-risk HPV by immunohistochemistry for p16(INK4A), in situ hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction. HPV type 16 was detected by polymerase chain reaction in all cases. In addition, all cases exhibited diffuse strong reactivity for p16(INK4A) and punctate nuclear staining by Ventana HPVIII in situ hybridization. The presence of HPV 16 in all three cases suggests that high-risk HPV infection is a risk factor for rectal SCC, particularly in patients with underlying chronic inflammatory disease processes or altered immune status. Further studies are warranted to determine if SCC occurring more proximal in the colon are also HPV-dependent or occur via another, HPV-independent pathway.

    View details for PubMedID 17527081

  • Cytology of desmoplastic small round-cell tumor - Comparison of pre- and post-chemotherapy fine-needle aspiration biopsies CANCER CYTOPATHOLOGY Presley, A. E., Kong, C. S., Rowe, D. M., Atkins, K. A. 2007; 111 (1): 41–46


    Desmoplastic small round-cell tumor (DSRCT) is an aggressive malignancy of young adults, which is amenable to fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). As this entity is increasingly recognized and biopsied, cytopathologists are compelled to become familiar with the range of cytologic features of DSRCT. In addition, postchemotherapy tumors may be sampled to confirm disease recurrence before planning additional therapy. This study was designed to compare prechemotherapy and postchemotherapy cytomorphology of DSRCT and to evaluate for distinct chemotherapy-induced changes.The authors searched their respective institutional databases for all DSRCT cases with an associated FNAB. FNAB slides, immunocytochemistry, and cytogenetic results were reviewed.Six aspirates from 5 patients were identified, 3 of which were postchemotherapy. The postchemotherapy cases demonstrated cytologic findings not typically described in DSRCTs, including prominent and conspicuous nucleoli, discohesive single-cell architecture, and slightly larger cell size.Cytomorphologic variability was prominent in prechemotherapy cases, and no case could be classified as DSRCT on cytology alone; immunohistochemistry was necessary for definitive diagnosis. Chemotherapy increased the spectrum of cytologic features. The most notable difference between the 2 groups was a predominantly discohesive single-cell pattern with conspicuous nucleoli in the postchemotherapy group, instead of the clustering pattern of medium-sized cells with inconspicuous nucleoli typically attributed to de novo cases reported in the literature.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.22421

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244338700005

    View details for PubMedID 17173322

  • Cytologic diagnosis of columnar-cell lesions of the breast 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American-Society-of-Cytopathology Jensen, K. C., Kong, C. S. WILEY-LISS. 2007: 73–79


    This study describes the cytologic features of breast columnar-cell lesions (CCLs) and determines whether these lesions can be diagnosed by fine-needle aspiration. We present ten cases of biopsy-proven CCL with prior fine-needle aspiration material and discuss the spectrum of changes, as well as features important in the cytologic distinction of CCL from diagnostic mimics. CCLs were characterized by flat sheets of cells with enlarged nuclei, distinct cell borders, and finely granular cytoplasm. Cytologic atypia ranged from minimal to severe, and many cases (8/10) exhibited a paucity of myoepithelial cells. CCL showed significant cytologic overlap with papillary neoplasms and well-differentiated adenocarcinomas. The prospective diagnosis of CCL cannot reliably be made by fine-needle aspiration. However, it is important to recognize the range of cytologic atypia that can be seen with CCL to avoid an overdiagnosis of malignancy.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/dc.20601

    View details for PubMedID 17230565

  • p16(INK4A) immunohistochemistry is superior to HPV in situ hybridization for the detection of high-risk HPV in atypical squamous metaplasia 93rd Annual Meeting of the United-States-and-Canadian-Academy-of-Pathology Kong, C. S., Balzer, B. L., Troxell, M. L., Patterson, B. K., Longacre, T. A. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2007: 33–43


    In situ hybridization (ISH) assays for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) and immunohistochemical (IHC) assays for surrogate markers such as p16 can be useful in detecting HR-HPV in cervical dysplasia, but the use of these markers in problematic cervical biopsies has not been well-established. We evaluated 3 chromogenic ISH assays (Ventana INFORM HPVII and HPVIII and DakoCytomation GenPoint) in conjunction with p16 IHC and HPV polymerase chain reaction in a study set consisting of 12 low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, 16 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, and 30 benign cervix samples. A test set of 28 cases of atypical squamous metaplasia were also evaluated withVentana HPVIII ISH and p16 IHC. In the study set, the sensitivity of the DakoCytomation ISH assay (which detects HPV subtypes 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 52, 56, 58, 59, and 68) was similar to the Ventana HPVII assay but less than that of the Ventana HPVIII ISH assay (both of which detect HPV subtypes 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, and 66) and less than p16 IHC (55.6% vs. 53.6 vs. 69.2% vs. 82.1%). All HPV ISH assays exhibited 100% specificity. p16 reactivity consisted of 2 patterns: focal strong and diffuse strong. Because focal strong p16 reactivity was identified in benign squamous epithelium (6.7% cases) and dysplastic epithelium, it was considered an equivocal result and only diffuse strong reactivity was considered to be specific for the presence of HR-HPV. In the squamous intraepithelial lesions study set, the difference in sensitivity between Ventana HPVIII ISH and p16 was not statistically significant. However, in the atypical squamous metaplasia test set cases, p16 reactivity (focal strong and diffuse strong) was significantly more sensitive than Ventana HPVIII ISH in correlating with the presence of human papillomavirus as detected by polymerase chain reaction (83.3% vs. 33.3% P=0.004). Because focal strong p16 reactivity is less specific, cases with this staining pattern are considered atypical and require further evaluation by other means. Overall, p16 IHC is considered the best candidate for the initial assessment of cervical biopsies that are histologically indeterminate for dysplasia given its wide availability, comparative ease of interpretation, and high sensitivity and specificity.

    View details for PubMedID 17197917

  • Burkitt's lymphoma presenting as a rapidly growing thyroid mass THYROID Kalinyak, J. E., Kong, C. S., McDougall, I. R. 2006; 16 (10): 1053-1057


    A 53-year-old man was admitted to the hospital because of tracheal compressive symptoms from a rapidly expanding thyroid mass. The patient first noticed the nodule less than a week prior to admission. Thyroid tests were normal. A fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy showed a monotonous population of intermediate-sized lymphoid cells with scant cytoplasm suspicious for lymphoma. Twelve hours later an emergent computed tomography (CT) scan confirmed left tracheal deviation with compression, however, there were no signs of tumor invasion. The patient received emergent CHOP (clophosphamide, adriamycin, vincristine, prednisone) and rituxan therapy. His mass completely resolved within 36 hours. Bone marrow biopsy provided the final diagnosis of stage IV Burkitt's lymphoma and his therapy was changed to hyper CVAD-R chemotherapy (cytoxan, vincristine, adriamycin, dexamethasone, rituxan). The patient's hospital course was complicated by tumor lysis syndrome that was managed by hydration and allopurinol. To our knowledge, this is only the second reported case of Burkitt's lymphoma presenting as a thyroid mass. His presentation highlights the urgency in diagnosis and provides an opportunity to review a rare type of primary thyroid lymphoma.

    View details for PubMedID 17042693

  • Lysyl oxidase is essential for hypoxia-induced metastasis NATURE Erler, J. T., Bennewith, K. L., Nicolau, M., Dornhofer, N., Kong, C., Le, Q. T., Chi, J. T., Jeffrey, S. S., Giaccia, A. J. 2006; 440 (7088): 1222-1226


    Metastasis is a multistep process responsible for most cancer deaths, and it can be influenced by both the immediate microenvironment (cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions) and the extended tumour microenvironment (for example vascularization). Hypoxia (low oxygen) is clinically associated with metastasis and poor patient outcome, although the underlying processes remain unclear. Microarray studies have shown the expression of lysyl oxidase (LOX) to be elevated in hypoxic human tumour cells. Paradoxically, LOX expression is associated with both tumour suppression and tumour progression, and its role in tumorigenesis seems dependent on cellular location, cell type and transformation status. Here we show that LOX expression is regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and is associated with hypoxia in human breast and head and neck tumours. Patients with high LOX-expressing tumours have poor distant metastasis-free and overall survivals. Inhibition of LOX eliminates metastasis in mice with orthotopically grown breast cancer tumours. Mechanistically, secreted LOX is responsible for the invasive properties of hypoxic human cancer cells through focal adhesion kinase activity and cell to matrix adhesion. Furthermore, LOX may be required to create a niche permissive for metastatic growth. Our findings indicate that LOX is essential for hypoxia-induced metastasis and is a good therapeutic target for preventing and treating metastases.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature04695

    View details for PubMedID 16642001

  • An evaluation of tumor oxygenation and gene expression in patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancers CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Le, Q. T., Chen, E., Salim, A., Cao, H. B., Kong, C. S., Whyte, R., Donington, J., Cannon, W., Wakelee, H., Tibshirani, R., Mitchell, J. D., Richardson, D., O'Byrne, K. J., Koong, A. C., Giaccia, A. J. 2006; 12 (5): 1507-1514


    To directly assess tumor oxygenation in resectable non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) and to correlate tumor pO2 and the selected gene and protein expression to treatment outcomes.Twenty patients with resectable NSCLC were enrolled. Intraoperative measurements of normal lung and tumor pO2 were done with the Eppendorf polarographic electrode. All patients had plasma osteopontin measurements by ELISA. Carbonic anhydrase-IX (CA IX) staining of tumor sections was done in the majority of patients (n = 16), as was gene expression profiling (n = 12) using cDNA microarrays. Tumor pO2 was correlated with CA IX staining, osteopontin levels, and treatment outcomes.The median tumor pO2 ranged from 0.7 to 46 mm Hg (median, 16.6) and was lower than normal lung pO2 in all but one patient. Because both variables were affected by the completeness of lung deflation during measurement, we used the ratio of tumor/normal lung (T/L) pO2 as a reflection of tumor oxygenation. The median T/L pO2 was 0.13. T/L pO2 correlated significantly with plasma osteopontin levels (r = 0.53, P = 0.02) and CA IX expression (P = 0.006). Gene expression profiling showed that high CD44 expression was a predictor for relapse, which was confirmed by tissue staining of CD44 variant 6 protein. Other variables associated with the risk of relapse were T stage (P = 0.02), T/L pO2 (P = 0.04), and osteopontin levels (P = 0.001).Tumor hypoxia exists in resectable NSCLC and is associated with elevated expression of osteopontin and CA IX. Tumor hypoxia and elevated osteopontin levels and CD44 expression correlated with poor prognosis. A larger study is needed to confirm the prognostic significance of these factors.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-2049

    View details for PubMedID 16533775

  • Galectin-1: A link between tumor hypoxia and tumor immune privilege 46th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-for-Therapeutic-Radiology-and-Oncology Le, Q. T., Shi, G. Y., Cao, H. B., Nelson, D. W., Wang, Y. Y., CHEN, E. Y., Zhao, S. C., Kong, C., Richardson, D., O'Byrne, K. J., Giaccia, A. J., Koong, A. C. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2005: 8932–41


    To identify a 15-KDa novel hypoxia-induced secreted protein in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and to determine its role in malignant progression.We used surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) and tandem MS to identify a novel hypoxia-induced secreted protein in FaDu cells. We used immunoblots, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay to confirm the hypoxic induction of this secreted protein as galectin-1 in cell lines and xenografts. We stained tumor tissues from 101 HNSCC patients for galectin-1, CA IX (carbonic anhydrase IX, a hypoxia marker) and CD3 (a T-cell marker). Expression of these markers was correlated to each other and to treatment outcomes.SELDI-TOF studies yielded a hypoxia-induced peak at 15 kDa that proved to be galectin-1 by MS analysis. Immunoblots and PCR studies confirmed increased galectin-1 expression by hypoxia in several cancer cell lines. Plasma levels of galectin-1 were higher in tumor-bearing severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice breathing 10% O2 compared with mice breathing room air. In HNSCC patients, there was a significant correlation between galectin-1 and CA IX staining (P = .01) and a strong inverse correlation between galectin-1 and CD3 staining (P = .01). Expression of galectin-1 and CD3 were significant predictors for overall survival on multivariate analysis.Galectin-1 is a novel hypoxia-regulated protein and a prognostic marker in HNSCC. This study presents a new mechanism on how hypoxia can affect the malignant progression and therapeutic response of solid tumors by regulating the secretion of proteins that modulate immune privilege.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2005.02.0206

    View details for PubMedID 16219933

  • Utility of syndecan-1 (CD138) expression in the diagnosis of undifferentiated malignant neoplasms - A tissue microarray study of 1,754 cases APPLIED IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR MORPHOLOGY Kambham, N., Kong, C., Longacre, T. A., Natkunam, Y. 2005; 13 (4): 304-310


    Syndecan-1, a heparan sulfate-rich membrane glycoprotein, is expressed in plasma cells and is considered a reliable marker of plasmacytic differentiation. However, it has not been widely tested in non-hematolymphoid tissues, and thus its utility in the setting of an undifferentiated malignant neoplasm has not been evaluated. The authors conducted an extensive study of CD138 staining in over 1,700 normal, benign, and malignant non-hematolymphoid tissues, using five tissue microarrays. Immunohistochemical staining was performed with two commercially available CD138 monoclonal antibodies directed against syndecan-1 (Serotec, Oxford, UK, and DAKO, Carpenteria, CA). In addition to the specific membrane staining, many normal tissues and epithelial tumors showed strong cytoplasmic immunoreactivity. A small subset of mesenchymal neoplasms also showed membrane and cytoplasmic immunoreactivity. In squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, renal cell carcinoma, and prostate adenocarcinoma, the intensity of CD138 staining inversely correlated with the histologic grade of the carcinoma. However, statistically significant staining differences and their correlation with histologic grades differed depending on whether the Serotec or the DAKO antibody was used. These results indicate that CD138 immunoreactivity is widespread in normal and neoplastic epithelial tissues, as well as a variety of undifferentiated epithelial and mesenchymal processes. The authors conclude that the expression of syndecan-1, although relatively specific to plasma cells within the hematolymphoid system, should be interpreted with extreme caution in the setting of an undifferentiated neoplasm. Furthermore, the two commercially available monoclonal CD138 antibodies tested in this study showed significant differences in their immunoreactivity in different tumor types.

    View details for PubMedID 16280658

  • Cytologic diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma. Cancer Troxell, M. L., Bangs, C. D., Cherry, A. M., Natkunam, Y., Kong, C. S. 2005; 105 (5): 310-318


    The diagnosis and classification of lymphoma require correlation of morphologic, immunophenotypic, and molecular-cytogenetic studies. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is a valuable diagnostic technique that allows material to be collected for these ancillary studies, and for morphologic evaluation.The authors report a series of seven cases clinically or morphologically suspicious for Burkitt lymphoma. Fluorescence in situ hybridization studies (FISH) for c-myc were performed on FNAB material and correlated with cytologic and immunophenotypic data.Six of seven specimens were positive for c-myc rearrangement by FISH. However, only three of these cases represented Burkitt lymphoma, with one additional case of atypical Burkitt lymphoma. The other cases included diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, monomorphic posttransplant B-cell lymphoma, and an aggressive B-cell lymphoma, with the latter case negative for c-myc rearrangement by FISH. Of 2 non-Burkitt lymphoma specimens tested, 1 was positive for the immunoglobulin H/bcl-2 rearrangement, in addition to the c-myc rearrangement, suggesting transformation from a lower grade lymphoma.These cases illustrated the value of FNAB in the diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma, as well as the importance of obtaining material for, and integrating results of, ancillary studies for the final diagnosis.

    View details for PubMedID 15986398

  • Pathologic correlates of false positive breast magnetic resonance imaging findings: which lesions warrant biopsy? 6th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Breast-Surgeons Langer, S. A., Horst, K. C., Ikeda, D. M., Daniel, B. L., Kong, C. S., Dirbas, F. M. EXCERPTA MEDICA INC-ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2005: 633–40


    Contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is highly sensitive for breast cancer. However, adoption of breast MRI is hampered by frequent false positive (FP) findings. Though ultimately proven benign, these suspicious findings require biopsy due to abnormal morphology and/or kinetic enhancement curves that simulate malignancy on MRI. We hypothesized that analysis of a series of FP MRI findings could reveal a pattern of association between certain "suspicious" lesions and benign disease that might help avoid unnecessary biopsy of such lesions in the future.A retrospective chart review identified women undergoing breast MRI between June 1995 and March 2002 with FP findings identified by MRI alone. Lesions were retrospectively characterized according to an MRI Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System lexicon and matched to pathology.Twenty-two women were identified with 29 FP lesions. Morphology revealed 1 focus (3.5%), 5 masses less than 5 mm (17%), 11 masses greater than 5 mm (38%), 1 (3.5%) linear enhancement, and 11 (38%) non-mass-like enhancement. Kinetic curves were suspicious in 15 (52%). Histology demonstrated 20 (69%) variants of normal tissue and 9 (31%) benign masses. MRI lesions less than 5 mm (n = 6, 20.5%) were small, well-delineated nodules of benign breast tissue.Suspicious MRI lesions less than 5 mm often represent benign breast tissue and could potentially undergo surveillance instead of biopsy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.06.030

    View details for PubMedID 16164938

  • Endometrial adenocarcinoma associated with subtle lymph-vascular space invasion and lymph node metastasis: A histologic pattern mimicking intravascular and sinusoidal histiocytes INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGICAL PATHOLOGY McKenney, J. K., Kong, C. S., Longacre, T. A. 2005; 24 (1): 73-78


    Lymph-vascular space invasion has been established as an independent prognostic factor in endometrial adenocarcinoma. Despite the importance of its recognition, the histologic patterns of lymph-vascular space involvement have not been well addressed in the surgical pathology literature. We report three cases of endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the uterine corpus associated with a subtle pattern of lymph-vascular space invasion closely mimicking intravascular histiocytes. Two cases had regional lymph node metastases composed of morphologically similar cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.pgp.0000148340.62017.e3

    View details for PubMedID 15626920

  • Identification of hypoxia-regulated proteins in head and neck cancer by proteomic and tissue array profiling CANCER RESEARCH Chen, Y. J., Shi, G. Y., Wei, X., Kong, C., Zhao, S. C., Gaw, A. F., CHEN, E. Y., Yang, G. P., Giaccia, A. J., Le, Q. T., Koong, A. C. 2004; 64 (20): 7302-7310


    Hypoxia within solid tumors decreases therapeutic efficacy, and identification of hypoxia markers may influence the choice of therapeutic modality. Here, we used a proteomic approach to identify hypoxia-regulated proteins and validated their use as endogenous indicators of tumor hypoxia. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and PowerBlot (antibody-based array), we identified a group of 20 proteins that are increased >/=1.5-fold during hypoxia. The majority of these proteins such as IkappaB kinase beta (IKKbeta), MKK3b, highly expressed in cancer (HEC), density-regulated protein 1, P150(glued), nuclear transport factor 2, binder of ARL 2, Paxillin, and transcription termination factor I have not been previously reported to be hypoxia inducible. The increase in these proteins under hypoxia was mediated through posttranscriptional mechanisms. We additionally characterized the role of IKKbeta, a regulator of the nuclear factor-kappaB transcription factor, during hypoxia. We demonstrated that IKKbeta mediates cell survival during hypoxia and is induced in a variety of squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. Furthermore, we showed that IKKbeta expression from tumor specimens correlated with tumor oxygenation in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. These data suggest that IKKbeta is a novel endogenous marker of tumor hypoxia and may represent a new target for anticancer therapy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000224522200021

    View details for PubMedID 15492250

  • Laryngeal embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma - A case of cervical metastases 13 years after treatment and a 25-year review of existing literature ARCHIVES OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY Sivanandan, R., Kong, C. S., Kaplan, M. J., Fee, W. E., Thu-Le, Q., Goffnet, D. R. 2004; 130 (10): 1217-1222


    Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in childhood, the majority of which are of the embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ER) variety. Present day treatment protocols involve a combination of aggressive surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma of the larynx is rare and unlike ER of other regions exhibits excellent response to multimodality treatment without the need for extensive surgery. We report a case of cervical metastases in a 29-year-old man 13 years after treatment of his laryngeal ER. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of late neck metastases in ER of the larynx and the second reported case of delayed presentation of recurrent disease. A 25-year review of all published reports of ER of the larynx was conducted that highlights the move toward organ preservation with the multimodality treatment protocols. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma of the larynx is highly responsive to combination chemoradiotherapy, allowing for excellent cure rates without the need for extensive surgery. Late relapses warrant long-term follow-up.

    View details for PubMedID 15492173

  • Nodular fasciitis - Diagnosis by fine needle aspiration biopsy ACTA CYTOLOGICA Kong, C. S., Cha, I. 2004; 48 (4): 473-477


    To describe the cytomorphologic features of nodular fasciitis that differentiate it from schwannoma.The cytomorphologic features of 10 cases of nodular fasciitis were compared to those of 4 cases of biopsy-proven schwannoma. Aspirate smears were evaluated for cellular cohesion, cell type and stroma. Immunoperoxidase stains were utilized in select cases.The cases of nodular fasciitis exhibited cohesive clusters of epithelioid to spindle-shaped cells in a background of single, intact mesenchymal cells; inflammatory cells; and myxoid stroma. In contrast, schwannomas lacked single, intact cells and inflammation. Schwannoma stroma was also myxoid but appeared more finely fibrillar, and cell clusters were notable for alternating areas of hypercellularity and hypocellularity. Immunoperoxidase stains demonstrated smooth muscle actin reactivity in 5 cases of nodular fasciitis and S-100 in 2 cases of schwannoma.Nodular fasciitis can be distinguished from schwannomas on the basis of cytomorphologic features and immunocytochemical profile. Cytologic diagnosis of nodular fasciitis is important since it obviates the need for surgical excision.

    View details for PubMedID 15296335

  • Ectopic intrathyroidal thymoma: A case report and review THYROID Cohen, J. B., Troxell, M., Kong, C. S., McDougall, I. R. 2003; 13 (3): 305-308


    Ectopic intrathyroidal thymomas are an exceedingly rare clinical entity that can be challenging to diagnose. This report describes a 39-year-old Japanese woman who presented with prominent left-sided thyroid enlargement that was thought to be a dominant thyroid nodule by ultrasound. Two fine-needle aspiration biopsies showed an atypical lymphoid proliferation that was suspicious for although not diagnostic of a low-grade lymphoma. A diagnosis of ectopic intrathyroidal thymoma was made only after appropriate histopathologic assessment of the surgical specimen.

    View details for PubMedID 12729482

  • Epithelioid trophoblastic tumor of the uterus in a postmenopausal woman - A case report and review of the literature AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY Coulson, L. E., Kong, C. S., Zaloudek, C. 2000; 24 (11): 1558-1562


    We report an epithelioid trophoblastic tumor (ETT), a recently delineated type of gestational trophoblastic tumor (GTT), discovered in the uterus of a 66-year-old woman. She had been treated for a hydatidiform mole 17 years previously without chemotherapy. The resected uterus contained a solid/cystic tumor located entirely within the myometrium. Microscopically, there was an epithelial-like growth pattern. The tumor was circumscribed, with a pushing border, and the tumor cells grew in cords, nests, and sheets within which were aggregates of hyaline material and necrotic debris. Most tumor cells were mononuclear and had an epithelioid appearance with distinct cell borders, eosinophilic cytoplasm, and nuclei with occasional indistinct nucleoli. Scattered multinucleated cells consistent with syncytiotrophoblastic cells were also present. Immunohistochemical staining revealed strong diffuse reactivity for cytokeratins (CK7, AE1/AE3, CAM 5.2, CK18) and epidermal growth factor receptor, and focal reactivity, mainly in syncytiotrophoblastic cells, for beta-human chorionic gonadotropin, human placental lactogen, and inhibin-alpha. The histologic and immunohistochemical features were characteristic of ETT, and helped to distinguish the tumor from other trophoblastic tumors and squamous cell carcinoma. An unusual observation was a high mitotic count, reflected in a Ki-67 proliferative index of 68.6%. Our findings indicate that ETT, like other types of GTT, can occur in postmenopausal women, even years after a gestational event.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000165136500014

    View details for PubMedID 11075860

  • Utility of CD34 reactivity in evaluating focal nodular hepatocellular lesions sampled by fine needle aspiration biopsy ACTA CYTOLOGICA Kong, C. S., Appenzeller, M., Ferrell, L. D. 2000; 44 (2): 218-222


    To determine the patterns of CD34 reactivity in hepatocellular adenoma and focal nodular hyperplasia and to evaluate the utility of CD34 reactivity in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma.Seventeen cases of well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma, 14 cases of cirrhosis, 9 cases of focal nodular hyperplasia and 7 cases of hepatocellular adenoma were stained with immunoperoxidase antibodies to CD34. The slides were scored according to the degree of lesional reactivity.Fourteen of 17 cell blocks with hepatocellular carcinoma showed unequivocal sinusoidal or peripheral reactivity for CD34. Five of seven cases of hepatocellular adenoma and four of nine cases of focal nodular hyperplasia showed > 50% sinusoidal reactivity for CD34. All 14 cases of cirrhosis showed peripheral to no sinusoidal reactivity.CD34 reactivity in a diffuse sinusoidal pattern can be helpful in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. However, consideration should be given to the possibility of hepatocellular adenoma and focal nodular hyperplasia, which can also exhibit significant diffuse CD34 reactivity. In these cases, a reticulin stain may be helpful with the differential diagnosis.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000085909500018

    View details for PubMedID 10740609

  • INDUCTION OF DONOR-SPECIFIC UNRESPONSIVENESS TO CARDIAC ALLOGRAFTS IN RATS BY PRETRANSPLANT ANTI-CD4 MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODY THERAPY TRANSPLANTATION Shizuru, J. A., Seydel, K. B., Flavin, T. F., Wu, A. P., Kong, C. C., Hoyt, E. G., Fujimoto, N., Billingham, M. E., Starnes, V. A., Fathman, C. G. 1990; 50 (3): 366-373


    In the present report a monoclonal antibody designated OX-38 directed against the rat CD4 molecule was tested for its ability to prolong the survival of heterotopic vascularized rat heart allografts transplanted across major histocompatibility barriers. Fluorescence-activated cell-sorter analysis showed that administration of OX-38 selectively depleted 80-95% of CD4+ cells from peripheral blood of treated rats. The immunosuppressive effects of OX-38 in vivo were verified by suppression of an antibody response against OX-38 itself as a heterologous protein immunogen. Recipient rats received OX-38 antibody as a single agent given in pretransplant regimens. Nine of 12 treated rats have maintained heterotopic abdominal heart allografts for greater than 175 days. Control rats that did not receive antibody therapy rejected their grafts within 14 days. Rats that maintained heart allografts for greater than 100 days accepted second donor strain hearts but rejected third-party heart grafts transplanted into the femoral space. Anti-CD4-induced allograft unresponsiveness persisted for at least 90 days following surgical removal of donor tissue and retransplantation of a second donor-matched heart. These results indicated that transient, pretransplant therapy with monoclonal antibodies directed against the CD4+ lymphocyte induced specific, long-lasting unresponsiveness to fully MHC-mismatched cardiac allografts in rats without additional immunosuppression.

    View details for PubMedID 1976282

  • USE OF ANTI-L3T4 AND ANTI-IA TREATMENTS FOR PROLONGATION OF XENOGENEIC ISLET TRANSPLANTS TRANSPLANTATION Kaufman, D. S., Kong, C. S., Shizuru, J. A., Gregory, A. K., Fathman, C. G. 1988; 46 (2): 210-215


    The effects of T helper lymphocyte and Ia+ cell depletion were examined for their ability to independently and synergistically achieve prolongation of xenogeneic (rat-to-mouse) islet transplants. Recipient mice were depleted of T helper lymphocytes by short-term treatment with the anti-L3T4 monoclonal antibody GK1.5. Donor rat islets were treated prior to transplantation with a concentration of anti-Ia immunotoxin (13.4 x RT) that selectively depleted Ia+ cells within the islets while leaving functional insulin-secreting beta-cells unaffected. Anti-L3T4 treatment alone allowed transplants to be prolonged compared with untreated controls; however, all such treated mice rejected their xenogeneic transplant within 22 days. Although 13.4 x RT treatment of donor islets alone did not prolong engraftment, when donor rat islets were pretreated with the anti-Ia immunotoxin and grafted into L3T4-depleted mice, normoglycemia was maintained for greater than 50 days in 56% of transplants. These results suggest that neither L3T4 depletion nor anti-Ia immunotoxin treatment alone is enough to achieve indefinite survival of xenogeneic islets. However, decreasing the immunogenicity of the transplanted islets by anti-Ia immunotoxin treatment prior to transplantation into anti-L3T4 treated mice can allow greatly prolonged xenogeneic graft survival.

    View details for PubMedID 2970132