Is AJCC/UICC Staging Still Appropriate for Head and Neck Cancers in Developing Countries?

By 2030, 70% of cancers will occur in developing countries. Head and neck cancers are primarily a developing world disease. While anatomical location and the extent of cancers are central to defining prognosis and staging, the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)/International Union Against Cancer (UICC) have incorporated nonanatomic factors that correlate with prognosis into staging (eg, p16 status of oropharyngeal cancers). However, 16 of 17 head and neck surgeons from 13 African countries cannot routinely test for p16 status and hence can no longer apply AJCC/UICC staging to oropharyngeal cancer. While the AJCC/UICC should continue to refine staging that best reflects treatment outcomes and prognosis by incorporating new nonanatomical factors, they should also retain and refine anatomically based staging to serve the needs of clinicians and their patients in resource-constrained settings. Not to do so would diminish their global relevance and in so doing also disadvantage most of the world’s cancer patients.

Assessment of Eustachian Tube Functioning Following Surgical Intervention of Oral Submucus Fibrosis by Using Tympanometry & Audiometry

Oral Submucus fibrosis has been reported to cause variation in hearing sensitivity & changes in middle ear function. This study was conducted to validate the influence of OSMF and its surgical correction on middle ear function and hearing sensitivity. In this study, 20 patients (40 ears) suffering from biopsy proven OSMF (Group 2 & 3) were tested for Middle ear dysfunction and hearing sensitivity using Tympanometry & Audiometry. On Tympanometry, Type A curve was obtained in 29 ears, Type B curve in 11 ears preoperatively. Immediate postoperatively TYPE A curve was obtained in 27 ears, TYPE B curve in 13 ears. After 1 month and 3 month Type B curve was not obtained in any ear. On Audiometry,28 ears showed normal hearing and 12 ears showed minimal conductive hearing loss preoperatively and Immediate postoperatively. Tests after 1 month and 3 months showed all 40 ears having normal hearing. Results were found statistically significant with p value 0.000 and F value of 11.331 in Tympanometry and 11.143 in Audiometry. Pearson correlation test revealed that results from both the test are highly co related (0.902). OSMF causes fibrotic changes in paratubal muscles which in addition with restricted mouth opening hampers proper Eustachian tube functioning in turn causing changes in Middle ear function. This feature is seldom/infrequently found in Group 2 and 3 and if encountered can be dealt effectively with surgical intervention.

The Impact of Cleft Lip/Palate and Surgical Intervention on Adolescent Life Outcomes: Evidence from Operation Smile in India

Cleft Lip/Palate (CLP) is a congenital orofacial anomaly appearing in approximately one in 700 births worldwide. While in high-income countries CLP is normally addressed surgically during infancy, in developing countries CLP is often left unoperated, potentially impacting multiple dimensions of life quality. Previous research has frequently compared CLP outcomes to those of the general population. But because local environmental and genetic factors both contribute to the risk of CLP and also may influence life outcomes, such studies may present a downward bias in estimates of both CLP status and restorative surgery. Working with the non- profit organization Operation Smile, this research uses quasi-experimental causal methods on a novel data set of 1,118 Indian children to study the impact of CLP status and CLP correction on the physical, psychological, and social well-being of Indian teenagers. Our results indicate that adolescents with median-level CLP severity show statistically significant losses in indices of speech quality (-1.55), academic and cognitive ability (-0.43), physical well-being (-0.35), psychological well-being (-0.23), and social inclusion (-0.35). We find that CLP surgery improves speech if carried out at an early age, and that it significantly restores social inclusion.

Recommendations for Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Practice in a Setting of Acute Severe Resource Constraint During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An International Consensus

The speed and scale of the global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented pressures on health services worldwide, requiring new methods of service delivery during the health crisis. In the setting of severe resource constraint and high risk of infection to patients and clinicians, there is an urgent need to identify consensus statements on head and neck surgical oncology practice. We completed a modified Delphi consensus process of three rounds with 40 international experts in head and neck cancer surgical, radiation, and medical oncology, representing 35 international professional societies and national clinical trial groups. Endorsed by 39 societies and professional bodies, these consensus practice recommendations aim to decrease inconsistency of practice, reduce uncertainty in care, and provide reassurance for clinicians worldwide for head and neck surgical oncology in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the setting of acute severe resource constraint and high risk of infection to patients and staff.

Pearls of Experience for Safe and Efficient Hospital Practices in Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in Hong Kong During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic originated in Wuhan, China and spread rapidly worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare an official global COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In Hong Kong, clinicians and other healthcare personnel collaborated closely to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and minimize the cross-transmission of disease among hospital staff members. In the field of otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OHNS) and its various subspecialties, contingency plans were required for patient bookings in outpatient clinics, surgeries in operating rooms, protocols in wards and other services. Infected patients may shed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) particles into their environments via body secretions. Therefore, otolaryngologists and other healthcare personnel in this specialty face a high risk of contracting COVID-19 and must remain vigilant when performing examinations and procedures involving the nose and throat. In this article, we share our experiences of the planning and logistics undertaken to provide safe and efficient OHNS practices over the last 2 months, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that our experiences will serve as pearls for otolaryngologists and other healthcare personnel working in institutes that serve large numbers of patients every day, particularly with regard to the sharing of clinical and administrative tasks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rehabilitation of an Irradiated Marginal Mandibulectomy Patient Using Immediately Loaded Basal Implant-Supported Fixed Prostheses and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: A 2-year Follow-Up

Introduction: The prosthetic rehabilitation of mandibular defects owing to tumor resection is challenging, especially when the patient has undergone subsequent radiotherapy.

Presentation of case: A 46-year old male presented with a marginal mandibular resection. Following surgery, the patient received adjunctive radiation therapy with a total dose of 70 grays. On clinical examination, the patient presented with severely resorbed edentulous jaws, with an anterior marginal mandibular resection and an obliterated vestibular sulcus. The panoramic radiograph showed a hypocellularity of the maxillary and mandibular bones. A multidisciplinary team was formed, and a treatment plan was formulated which involved the construction of a vestibuloplast stent, and the application of 20 hyperbaric oxygen sessions before implant treatment and 10 more sessions after implant insertion. A total of 16 basal cortical screw implants were inserted to support the fixed prostheses, and a vestibuloplasty was performed to improve esthetics. No complications were observed, and at the 2-year follow-up, the patient presented with excellent peri-implant soft tissue health; increased bone-implant contact; and stable, well-functioning prostheses.

Discussion: The construction of a stable, retentive, well-supported removable prosthesis may be complicated in cases of comprehensive mandibular resection. Basal implants can eliminate the need for bone grafting, and reduce the treatment period required for providing a fixed prosthesis.

Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first evidence reporting the use of fixed basal implant-supported prostheses in irradiated bone, in conjunction with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A treatment modality that significantly improves the peri-implant tissue health, and ensures an excellent implant-bone contact.

Parotid Tumours: A Conservative Investigative and Surgical Approach

Background: The extent of preoperative investigations for parotid tumours and whether a partial or total parotidectomy should be performed for malignancy remain controversial. In developing countries, limited access to special investigations and their affordability requires careful consideration when investigating parotid tumors.

Aims: This study assesses whether a conservative investigative and surgical approach to parotid malignancies with adjuvant radiation therapy in selected patients is associated with acceptable local control and survival rates.

Methods: A retrospective observational audit was conducted on patients undergoing parotid surgery for parotid masses, by a single surgeon, between 1st January 2004 and 31st December 2012. Outcome measures included local tumour control and five-year disease-specific survival, calculated via Kaplan-Meier analysis.

Results: Three hundred and forty-seven parotidectomies were performed for parotid masses between 2004 and 2012. Fifty-three primary parotid malignancies were diagnosed (15%) and were followed up for a mean of 56.6 months postoperatively. Adopting a conservative investigative and surgical approach to primary parotid malignancies was associated with a local tumour control rate of 92.5%.

Conclusion: A conservative investigative and surgical approach with adjuvant radiation therapy in select patients is associated with excellent local control with primary parotid malignancy.

Predictors of Survival After Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma in South America: The InterCHANGE Study

PURPOSE
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) incidence is high in South America, where recent data on survival are sparse. We investigated the main predictors of HNSCC survival in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia.

METHODS
Sociodemographic and lifestyle information was obtained from standardized interviews, and clinicopathologic data were extracted from medical records and pathologic reports. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression were used for statistical analyses.

RESULTS
Of 1,463 patients, 378 had a larynx cancer (LC), 78 hypopharynx cancer (HC), 599 oral cavity cancer (OC), and 408 oropharynx cancer (OPC). Most patients (55.5%) were diagnosed with stage IV disease, ranging from 47.6% for LC to 70.8% for OPC. Three-year survival rates were 56.0% for LC, 54.7% for OC, 48.0% for OPC, and 37.8% for HC. In multivariable models, patients with stage IV disease had approximately 7.6 (LC/HC), 11.7 (OC), and 3.5 (OPC) times higher mortality than patients with stage I disease. Current and former drinkers with LC or HC had approximately 2 times higher mortality than never-drinkers. In addition, older age at diagnosis was independently associated with worse survival for all sites. In a subset analysis of 198 patients with OPC with available human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 data, those with HPV-unrelated OPC had a significantly worse 3-year survival compared with those with HPV-related OPC (44.6% v 75.6%, respectively), corresponding to a 3.4 times higher mortality.

CONCLUSION
Late stage at diagnosis was the strongest predictor of lower HNSCC survival. Early cancer detection and reduction of harmful alcohol use are fundamental to decrease the high burden of HNSCC in South America.

Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy: A prospective analysis among ICU patients

Introduction: Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) is a simple bedside procedure, particularly useful in the intensive care units. Over the last few decades, the technique of PDT has gained popularity due to its comparable safety to the more surgical tracheostomy (ST).

Objective: To describe the outcome of PDT using modified Ciaglia’s technique in patients of Surgical ICU.

Methodology: This was a prospective cohort study that analysed the outcomes of PDTs carried out on critically ill patients admitted in the surgical ICU, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad from August 2015 to January 2017. All PDTs were performed by the presiding consultant and his team using modified Ciaglia’s (Blue Rhino) technique. The main outcome was the frequency of perioperative and early complications within the first six days. Demographic variables and complications were recorded. Data was analysed using SPSS version 18.

Results: Seventy-four patients underwent PDTs in the surgical ICU with mean age of the patients was 49.17 ± 12.82 years. The commonest indication of tracheostomy was prolonged mechanical ventilation followed by failure to wean. Complications rate was 12.16% of which perioperative bleeding occurred in 6.7% of patients. Early complications within the first six days were wound infection, tube displacement and blocked tube.

Conclusion: PDT is a valuable, efficacious and safe method that can be performed at the bedside with minimal complication rate and needs to be considered more frequently in the intensive care units in developing countries.

Availability of ENT Surgical Procedures and Medication in Low-Income Nation Hospitals: Cause for Concern in Zambia

Background
Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) diseases are an oft overlooked global health concern. Despite their high prevalence and associated morbidity and mortality, ENT diseases have remained neglected in health care delivery. In Zambia and many other low-income countries, ENT services are characterized by poor funding, unavailable surgical procedures, and erratic supply of essential drugs.
Objective
To investigate ENT service provision in Zambia with regard to availability of surgical procedures and supply of essential drugs.
Methods
A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted using a piloted structured questionnaire between 17 January 2017 and 2 January 2018. Included in the study were the 109 hospitals registered with the Ministry of Health (MoH) across the 10 provinces of Zambia.
Results
Of the participating hospitals, only 5.9% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (n = 1) and 40% (.
Conclusion
ENT service delivery in Zambia is limited with regard to performed surgical procedures and availability of essential drugs, necessitating urgent intervention. The findings from this study may be used to direct national policy on the improvement of provision of ENT services in Zambia.