Journal Article
. 2009 Aug; 9:292.
doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-9-292.

Distribution of immune cells in head and neck cancer: CD8+ T-cells and CD20+ B-cells in metastatic lymph nodes are associated with favourable outcome in patients with oro- and hypopharyngeal carcinoma

Dominik Pretscher 1 Luitpold V Distel  Gerhard G Grabenbauer  Michael Wittlinger  Maike Buettner  Gerald Niedobitek  
  • PMID: 19698134
  •     32 References
  •     86 citations


Background: Tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) are generally considered to represent a host immune response directed against tumour antigens. TIL are also increasingly recognised as possible prognostic parameters. However, the effects observed are variable indicating that results cannot be extrapolated from type of tumour to another. Moreover, it has been suggested that primary solid tumours may be ignored by the immune system and that a meaningful immune response is only mounted in regional lymph nodes.

Methods: We have examined the local distribution of immune cells in tumour-related compartments in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). In a second step, the prognostic impact of these cells on disease-free survival (DFS) was analysed. A total of 198 tissue cores from 33 patients were evaluated using tissue mircroarray technique and immunohistochemistry. Tumour-infiltrating immune cells were identified using antibodies specific for CD3, CD8, GranzymeB, FoxP3, CD20 and CD68 and quantified using an image analysis system.

Results: We demonstrate a relative expansion of FoxP3+ regulatory T-cells (Treg) and of cytotoxic T-cells among tumour infiltrating T-cells. We also show that intratumoural CD20+ B-cells are significantly more frequent in metastatic deposits than in primary tumours. Furthermore, we observed a reduced number of peritumoural CD8+ T-cells in metastatic lymph nodes as compared to univolved regional nodes suggesting a local down-modulation of cellular immunity. All other immune cells did not show significant alterations in distribution. We did not observe an association of tumour infiltrating immune cells at the primary site with outcome. However, increased numbers of intraepithelial CD8+ TIL in metastatic tumours as well as large numbers of peritumoural B-cells in lymph node metastases were associated with favourable outcome. Unexpectedly, no effect on patient outcome was observed for Treg in any compartment.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that alterations in lymphocyte distribution in regional lymph nodes rather than at the primary tumour site may be relevant for patient prognosis. Moreover, we demonstrate that in addition to cellular immunity humoral immune responses may be clinically relevant in anti-tumour immunity.

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Cancers (Basel), 2019 Apr 18; 11(4). PMID: 30991692    Free PMC article.
Epigenetic stratification of head and neck cancer survivors reveals differences in lycopene levels, alcohol consumption, and methylation of immune regulatory genes.
Laura Moody, Sylvia L Crowder, +11 authors, Anna E Arthur.
Clin Epigenetics, 2020 Sep 13; 12(1). PMID: 32917280    Free PMC article.
TMEM119 as a specific marker of microglia reaction in traumatic brain injury in postmortem examination.
Simone Bohnert, Anja Seiffert, +4 authors, Camelia-Maria Monoranu.
Int J Legal Med, 2020 Jul 29; 134(6). PMID: 32719959    Free PMC article.
Comparative analysis of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in a syngeneic mouse model of oral cancer.
Nancy P Judd, Clint T Allen, Ashley E Winkler, Ravindra Uppaluri.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2012 Mar 22; 147(3). PMID: 22434099    Free PMC article.
Characterization and Differentiation of the Tumor Microenvironment (TME) of Orthotopic and Subcutaneously Grown Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) in Immunocompetent Mice.
Matthias Brand, Simon Laban, +4 authors, Cornelia Brunner.
Int J Mol Sci, 2021 Jan 02; 22(1). PMID: 33383676    Free PMC article.
The Role of Regulatory B Cells in Health and Diseases: A Systemic Review.
Endeshaw Chekol Abebe, Tadesse Asmamaw Dejenie, +3 authors, Zelalem Tilahun Muche.
J Inflamm Res, 2021 Jan 21; 14. PMID: 33469337    Free PMC article.
Tumor-Infiltrating CD20+ B Lymphocytes: Significance and Prognostic Implications in Oral Cancer Microenvironment.
Faustino Julián Suárez-Sánchez, Paloma Lequerica-Fernández, +6 authors, Juan Carlos de Vicente.
Cancers (Basel), 2021 Jan 27; 13(3). PMID: 33494389    Free PMC article.
CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in sentinel nodes exhibit distinct pattern of PD-1, CD69, and HLA-DR expression compared to tumor tissue in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Krzysztof Piersiala, Pedro Farrajota Neves da Silva, +9 authors, Lars-Olaf Cardell.
Cancer Sci, 2021 Jan 20; 112(3). PMID: 33462898    Free PMC article.
Inhibition of PI3K Isoform p110γ Increases Both Anti-Tumor and Immunosuppressive Responses to Aggressive Murine Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma with Low Immunogenicity.
Kelvin Anderson, Nathan Ryan, +2 authors, Steve Oghumu.
Cancers (Basel), 2021 Mar 07; 13(5). PMID: 33668795    Free PMC article.
Immuno-Oncological Biomarkers for Squamous Cell Cancer of the Head and Neck: Current State of the Art and Future Perspectives.
Stijn J De Keukeleire, Tijl Vermassen, +3 authors, Sylvie Rottey.
Cancers (Basel), 2021 May 01; 13(7). PMID: 33916646    Free PMC article.
MHC Class I Deficiency in Solid Tumors and Therapeutic Strategies to Overcome It.
Elena Shklovskaya, Helen Rizos.
Int J Mol Sci, 2021 Jul 03; 22(13). PMID: 34201655    Free PMC article.
Tumor Immunity and Immunotherapy for HPV-Related Cancers.
Achraf A Shamseddine, Bharat Burman, +2 authors, Nadeem Riaz.
Cancer Discov, 2021 May 16; 11(8). PMID: 33990345    Free PMC article.
Prognostic value of H-index in patients surgically treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx.
Paolo Boscolo-Rizzo, Enrico Zanelli, +24 authors, Giancarlo Tirelli.
Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol, 2021 Aug 18; 6(4). PMID: 34401497    Free PMC article.
Assessment of immune status of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma can predict prognosis and guide treatment.
Xueying Wang, Kui Cao, +10 authors, Susheng Miao.
Cancer Immunol Immunother, 2021 Oct 14;. PMID: 34643766
Quantitative evidence of suppressed TMEM119 microglial immunohistochemistry in fatal morphine intoxications.
Simone Bohnert, Kosmas Georgiades, +3 authors, Benjamin Ondruschka.
Int J Legal Med, 2021 Sep 24; 135(6). PMID: 34553260    Free PMC article.
Prognostic Significance of Circulating Lymphocyte Subsets Before Treatment in Patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma.
De-Song Shen, Chang Yan, +2 authors, Xiao-Dong Zhu.
Cancer Manag Res, 2021 Nov 06; 13. PMID: 34737639    Free PMC article.
The Role of B Cells in Head and Neck Cancer.
Niki Gavrielatou, Ioannis Vathiotis, Panagiota Economopoulou, Amanda Psyrri.
Cancers (Basel), 2021 Nov 14; 13(21). PMID: 34771546    Free PMC article.