Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 22 pp 22509—22526
Comprehensive characterization of the tumor microenvironment for assessing immunotherapy outcome in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
- 1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Affiliated Cancer Hospital & Institute of Guangzhou Medical University, State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou, 510095, P. R. China
- 2 Department of Radiation, Affiliated Cancer Hospital & Institute of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, 510095, P. R. China
- 3 Department of Cardiovascularology, Tungwah Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Dongguan, 523000, P. R. China
- 4 Department of Urology, Tungwah Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Dongguan, 523000, P. R. China
- 5 State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, 510120, P. R. China
Received: February 21, 2020 Accepted: May 27, 2020 Published: November 18, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.103460
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2020 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The tumor microenvironment (TME) constitutes a complex milieu of cells and cytokines that maintain equilibrium between tumor progression and prognosis. However, comprehensive analysis of the TME and its clinical significance in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains to be unreported. In this study, based on large-scale RNA sequencing data pertaining to single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and copy number variations (CNVs) in HNSCC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas database, we analysed subpopulations of infiltrating immune cells and evaluated the role of TME infiltration pattern (TME score) in assessing immunotherapy outcome. TME signature genes involved in several inflammation and immunity signalling pathways were observed in the TME score subtype, which were considered immunosuppressive and potentially responsible for significantly worse prognosis. In comparison with SNV- and CNV-mediated tumor mutation burden, TME score can significantly differentiate between high- and low-risk HNSCC and predict immunotherapy outcome. Our data provide clarity on the comprehensive landscape of interactions between clinical characteristics of HNSCC and tumor-infiltrating immune cells. TME score seems to be a useful biomarker that can predict immunotherapy outcome in HNSCC patients.
HNSCC: head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; SNVs: single nucleotide variants; CNVs: copy number variations; TMB: tumor mutational burden; TME: tumor microenvironment; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas database; RNA-seq: RNA sequencing; DEGs: Differentially expressed genes; COSMIC: Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer; APOBEC: apolipoprotein B-editing catalytic polypeptide-like subunit; GISTIC: Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer; OS: overall survival.