Tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes predict response to definitive chemoradiotherapy in head and neck cancer

  • Bbackground: We aimed to investigate the prognostic value of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes’ (TILs) expression in pretreatment specimens from patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT). Methods: The prevalence of CD3+, CD8+, CD4+ and FOXP3+ TILs was assessed using immunohistochemistry in tumour tissue obtained from 101 patients before CRT and was correlated with clinicopathological characteristics as well as local failure-free- (LFFS), distant metastases free- (DMFS), progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Survival curves were measured using the Kaplan–Meier method, and differences in survival between the groups were estimated using the log-rank test. Prognostic effects of TIL subset density were determined using the Cox regression analysis. Results: With a mean follow-up of 25 months (range, 2.3–63 months), OS at 2 years was 57.4% for the entire cohort. Patients with high immunohistochemical CD3 and CD8 expression had significantly increased OS (P=0.024 and P=0.028), PFS (P=0.044 and P=0.047) and DMFS (P=0.021 and P=0.026) but not LFFS (P=0.90 and P=0.104) in multivariate analysis that included predictive clinicopathologic factors, such as age, sex, T-stage, N-stage, tumour grading and localisation. Neither CD4 nor FOXP3 expression showed significance for the clinical outcome. The lower N-stage was associated with improved OS in the multivariate analysis (P=0.049). Conclusion: The positive correlation between a high number of infiltrating CD3+ and CD8+ cells and clinical outcome indicates that TILs may have a beneficial role in HNSCC patients and may serve as a biomarker to identify patients likely to benefit from definitive CRT.

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Author:Panagiotis BalermpasORCiDGND, Yvonne Michel, Jens Wagenblast, Oliver Seitz, Christian Weiß, Franz RödelORCiDGND, Claus RödelORCiDGND, Emmanouil FokasORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):British Journal of Cancer
Publisher:Nature Publ. Group
Place of publication:Edinburgh
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2014
Date of first Publication:2013/10/15
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/05/23
Tag:head and neck cancer; prognostic value; radiotherapy; tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes
Page Number:9
First Page:501
Last Page:509
This work is published under the standard license to publish agreement. After 12 months the work will become freely available and the license terms will switch to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
There is a Corrigendum (21 January 2014) associated with this article.  http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v110/n2/full/bjc2013825a.html
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Keine kommerzielle Nutzung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen