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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center provides comprehensive services to patients residing in the Northern California region extending from southern Oregon south to Fresno, east to Nevada and west to the San Francisco Bay Area.

We are a teaching institution that provides care in the following areas: general otolaryngology, head and neck cancer, skull base surgery, otology/neurotology, facial plastics and reconstructive surgery, rhinology, pediatric otolaryngology, craniofacial and cleft palate/lip surgery, and laryngology.

Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

There are 189 publications in this collection, published between 2009 and 2024.
Open Access Policy Deposits (189)

Intraoperative Molecular Imaging for ex vivo Assessment of Peripheral Margins in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Objective: Complete surgical resection is the standard of care for treatment of oral cancer although the positive margin rate remains 15-30%. Tissue sampling from the resected specimen and from the wound bed for frozen section analysis (FSA) remains the mainstay for intraoperative margin assessment but is subject to sampling error and can require the processing of multiple samples. We sought to understand if an ex vivo imaging strategy using a tumor-targeted fluorescently labeled antibody could accurately identify the closest peripheral margin on the mucosal surface of resected tumor specimen, so that this "sentinel margin" could be used to guide pathological sampling. Materials and Methods: Twenty-nine patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma scheduled for surgical resection were consented for the study and received systemic administration of a tumor-targeted fluorescently labeled antibody (Panitumumab IRDye800CW). After surgical resection, the tumor specimen was imaged using a closed-field fluorescent imaging device. Relevant pathological data was available for five patients on retrospective review. For each of these five patients, two regions of highest fluorescence intensity at the peripheral margin and one region of lowest fluorescence intensity were identified, and results were correlated with histology to determine if the region of highest fluorescence intensity along the mucosal margin (i.e., the sentinel margin) was truly the closest margin. Results: Imaging acquisition of the mucosal surface of the specimen immediately after surgery took 30 s. In all of the specimens, the region of highest fluorescence at the specimen edge had a significantly smaller margin distance than other sampled regions. The average margin distance at the closest, "sentinel," margin was 3.2 mm compared to a margin distance of 8.0 mm at other regions (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study suggests that, when combined with routine FSA, ex vivo fluorescent specimen imaging can be used to identify the closest surgical margin on the specimen. This approach may reduce sampling error of intraoperative evaluation, which should ultimately improve the ability of the surgeon to identify the sentinel margin. This rapid sentinel margin identification improves the surgeon's orientation to areas most likely to be positive in the surgical wound bed and may expedite pathology workflow.

Immunoregulatory Potential of Exosomes Derived from Cancer Stem Cells

Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) are malignancies that originate in the mucosal lining of the upper aerodigestive tract. Despite advances in therapeutic interventions, survival rates among HNSCC patients have remained static for years. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are tumor-initiating cells that are highly resistant to treatment, and are hypothesized to contribute to a significant fraction of tumor recurrences. Consequently, further investigations of how CSCs mediate recurrence may provide insights into novel druggable targets. A key element of recurrence involves the tumor's ability to evade immunosurveillance. Recent published reports suggest that CSCs possess immunosuppressive properties, however, the underlying mechanism have yet to be fully elucidated. To date, most groups have focused on the role of CSC-derived secretory proteins, such as cytokines and growth factors. Here, we review the established immunoregulatory role of exosomes derived from mixed tumor cell populations, and propose further study of CSC-derived exosomes may be warranted. Such studies may yield novel insights into new druggable targets, or lay the foundation for future exosome-based diagnostics.

Advances in bone marrow stem cell therapy for retinal dysfunction

The most common cause of untreatable vision loss is dysfunction of the retina. Conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma remain leading causes of untreatable blindness worldwide. Various stem cell approaches are being explored for treatment of retinal regeneration. The rationale for using bone marrow stem cells to treat retinal dysfunction is based on preclinical evidence showing that bone marrow stem cells can rescue degenerating and ischemic retina. These stem cells have primarily paracrine trophic effects although some cells can directly incorporate into damaged tissue. Since the paracrine trophic effects can have regenerative effects on multiple cells in the retina, the use of this cell therapy is not limited to a particular retinal condition. Autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells are being explored in early clinical trials as therapy for various retinal conditions. These bone marrow stem cells include mesenchymal stem cells, mononuclear cells and CD34+ cells. Autologous therapy requires no systemic immunosuppression or donor matching. Intravitreal delivery of CD34+ cells and mononuclear cells appears to be tolerated and is being explored since some of these cells can home into the damaged retina after intravitreal administration. The safety of intravitreal delivery of mesenchymal stem cells has not been well established. This review provides an update of the current evidence in support of the use of bone marrow stem cells as treatment for retinal dysfunction. The potential limitations and complications of using certain forms of bone marrow stem cells as therapy are discussed. Future directions of research include methods to optimize the therapeutic potential of these stem cells, non-cellular alternatives using extracellular vesicles, and in vivo high-resolution retinal imaging to detect cellular changes in the retina following cell therapy.

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