MAY 19, 2020 12:45 PM EDT | APAC MAY 20, 2020 3:45 PM CST

Highly Multiplexed Digital Spatial Profiling of the Tumor Microenvironment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients Treated with Immune Checkpoint Therapy



Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have shown durable and long-term benefits in a subset of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. To identify patient-responders from non-responders, biomarkers are needed which are predictive of outcome to ICI therapy. Cues in the tumour microenvironment (TME) have been informative in understanding the tumour-immune contexture. In this study, the NanoString GemoMx™ Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) technology was used to determine the immune marker and compartment specific measurements in a cohort of HNSCC tumours from patients receiving ICI therapy. Our data revealed that markers involved with immune cell infiltration (CD8 T-cells) were not predictive of outcome to ICI therapy. Rather, a number of immune cell types were found to correlate with progressive disease. This study, to our knowledge, represents the first spatial analysis of HNSCC tumours.

1 The School of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia.

2 Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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