The prognostic impact of B7-H3 and B7-H4 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma


PURPOSE: Immune checkpoint inhibition is a therapeutic option in many cancer entities. In head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) targeting of the PD-1/PD-L1 (B7-H1) axis is approved in recurrent/metastatic disease and is being explored in the curative setting. Here, we evaluated two related members of the B7 family, B7-H3 & B7-H4, for their prognostic impact under standard treatment.

METHODS: A tissue microarray (TMA) of a single center HNSCC cohort was stained for B7-H3 and B7-H4. Staining intensity and the number of tumor cells stained were assessed, and the expression was scored according to an established algorithm. Staining scores were correlated with clinicopathological parameters and associated with patient survival. mRNA levels of both proteins were associated with patient outcome using the TCGA dataset.

RESULTS: mRNA levels of B7-H3 and B7-H4 were not significantly associated with patient survival. TMA analysis revealed interpretable protein staining in 408 samples. Strong staining was the most frequent category for B7-H3 and no staining for B7-H4. In patients with p16-negative oropharyngeal SCC (OPSCC) and in a pooled cohort consisting of p16-negative OPSCC, laryngeal, hypopharyngeal and oral cavity SCC, strong B7-H3 expression was associated with better overall survival. For the latter cohort, this was in part due to reduced lymph node involvement. B7-H3 expression in p16-positive OPSCC and B7-H4 expression were not associated with outcome.

CONCLUSION: Despite a possible role in tumor immune escape, B7-H3 was associated with favorable prognosis in HPV-negative HNSCC in our cohort. The underlying mechanisms and a potential impact for B7-H3 targeting remain to be elucidated.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 07.2023

Anmerkungen des Dekanats

© 2022. The Author(s).

PubMed 35941227