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Infiltration of FoxP3+ Regulatory T Cells is a Strong and Independent Prognostic Factor in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Department of Human Anatomy and Experimental Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Mons, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Should be considered as co-senior authors.
Cancers 2019, 11(2), 227;
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fox Proteins and Cancers: Old Proteins with Emerging New Tales)
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Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas (HNSCC) are characterized by a large heterogeneity in terms of the location and risk factors. For a few years now, immunotherapy seems to be a promising approach in the treatment of these cancers, but a better understanding of the immune context could allow to offer a personalized treatment and thus probably increase the survival of HNSCC patients. In this context, we evaluated the infiltration of FoxP3+ Tregs on 205 human formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded HNSCC and we assessed its prognostic value compared to other potential prognostic factors, including HPV infection. First, we found a positive correlation of FoxP3+ Treg infiltration between the intra-tumoral (IT) and the stromal (ST) compartments of the tumors (p < 0.0001). A high infiltration of these cells in both compartments was associated with longer recurrence-free (ST, RFS, p = 0.007; IT, RFS, p = 0.019) and overall survivals (ST, OS, p = 0.002; ST, OS, p = 0.002) of HNSCC patients. Early tumor stage (OS, p = 0.002) and differentiated tumors (RFS, p = 0.022; OS, p = 0.043) were also associated with favorable prognoses. Multivariate analysis revealed that FoxP3+ Treg stromal infiltration, tumor stage and histological grade independently influenced patient prognosis. In conclusion, the combination of these three markers seem to be an interesting prognostic signature for HNSCC. View Full-Text
Keywords: HNSCC; FoxP3+ Tregs; prognosis; tumor stage; histological grade; HPV HNSCC; FoxP3+ Tregs; prognosis; tumor stage; histological grade; HPV

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Seminerio, I.; Descamps, G.; Dupont, S.; de Marrez, L.; Laigle, J.-A.; Lechien, J.R.; Kindt, N.; Journe, F.; Saussez, S. Infiltration of FoxP3+ Regulatory T Cells is a Strong and Independent Prognostic Factor in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Cancers 2019, 11, 227.

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