Expression profile and in vitro blockade of programmed death-1 in human papillomavirus-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Ian James Malm, Tullia C. Bruno, Juan Fu, Qi Zeng, Janis M. Taube, William H Westra, Drew Pardoll, Charles G. Drake, Young J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Treatment with a blocking programmed death-1 (αPD-1) antibody recently showed clinical efficacy for various tumor types. In this study, we characterized the expression profile of PD-1/programmed death-ligand-1 (PD-L1) and the potential of PD-1 blockade in human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Methods Lymphocytes from peripheral blood, draining lymph nodes, and the tumor were phenotyped for PD-1 expression, and their proliferative activity was assessed in the presence of blocking αPD-1 treatment. Primary tumor expression of PD-L1 was also analyzed using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Results Lymphocyte PD-1 expression was abundant with highest expression in the tumor, and in vitro mixed lymphocyte reaction demonstrated that PD-1 blockade could induce T cell proliferation. Furthermore, tumor cells were found to have 3 distinct patterns of PD-L1 expression with over 78% of the specimens demonstrating strong PD-L1 positivity. Conclusion Our data strongly supports the use of αPD-1 blockade in patients with HPV-negative HNSCC that are refractory to standard treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1095
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2015

Keywords

  • T cell
  • anergy
  • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)
  • immunotherapy
  • programmed death-1 (PD-1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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