Tumor microenvironment predicts local tumor extensiveness in PD-L1 positive nasopharyngeal cancer

Soehartati Argadikoesoema, Handoko, Marlinda Adham, Lisnawati Rachmadi, Henry Kodrat, Demak Lumban Tobing, I. Made Haryoga, Agustinus Gatot Dwiyono, Yoseph Adi Kristian, Tiara Bunga Mayang Permata

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Abstract

Tumor microenvironment have been implicated in many kind of cancers to hold an important role in determining treatment success especially with immunotherapy. In nasopharyngeal cancer, the prognostic role of this immune cells within tumor microenvironment is still doubtful. We conducted a study that included 25 nasopharyngeal cancer biopsy specimens to seek a more direct relationship between tumor infiltrating immune cells and tumor progression. Apart from that, we also checked the PD-L1 protein through immunohistochemistry. The PD-L1 was positively expressed in all our 25 samples with nasopharyngeal cancer WHO type 3 histology. Majority samples have >50% PD-L1 expression in tumor cells. We also found that denser local tumor infiltrating immune cells population have relatively much smaller local tumor volume. The inverse applied, with the mean local tumor volumes were 181.92 cm3 ± 81.45 cm3, 117.13 cm3 ± 88.72 cm3, and 55.13 cm3 ± 25.06 cm3 for mild, moderate, and heavy immune cells infiltration respectively (p = 0.013). Therefore, we concluded that tumor infiltrating immune cells play an important role in tumor progression, hence evaluating this simple and predictive factor may provide us with some valuable prognostic information.

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