Background: We examined the prognostic value of a panel of biomarkers in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) who were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive (HIV-positive head and neck cancer) and HIV negative (HIV-negative head and neck cancer). Methods: Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed using tumors from 41 disease site-matched and age-matched HIV-positive head and neck cancer cases and 44 HIV-negative head and neck cancer controls. Expression of tumor biomarkers was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and correlations examined with clinical variables. Results: Expression levels of the studied oncogenic and inflammatory tumor biomarkers were not differentially regulated by HIV status. Among patients with HIV-positive head and neck cancer, laryngeal disease site (P =.003) and Clavien-Dindo classification IV (CD4) counts <200 cells/μL (P =.01) were associated with poor prognosis. Multivariate analysis showed that p16 positivity was associated with improved overall survival (OS; P <.001) whereas increased expression of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) was associated with poor clinical outcome (P =.001). Conclusion: Disease site has significant effect on the expression of biomarkers. Expression of tumor TGF-β could be a valuable addition to the conventional risk stratification equation for improving head and neck cancer disease management strategies.
- head and neck cancer
- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
ASJC Scopus subject areas