3 research outputs found

    Collagen induces a more proliferative, migratory and chemoresistant phenotype in head and neck cancer via DDR1

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    Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and includes squamous cell carcinomas of the oropharynx and oral cavity. Patient prognosis has remained poor for decades and molecular targeted therapies are not in routine use. Here we showed that the overall expression of collagen subunit genes was higher in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) than normal fibroblasts. Focusing on collagen8A1 and collagen11A1, we showed that collagen is produced by both CAFs and tumour cells, indicating that HNSCCs are collagen-rich environments. We then focused on discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1), a collagen-activated receptor tyrosine kinase, and showed that it is over-expressed in HNSCC tissues. Further, we demonstrated that collagen promoted the proliferation and migration of HNSCC cells and attenuated the apoptotic response to cisplatin. Knockdown of DDR1 in HNSCC cells demonstrated that these tumour-promoting effects of collagen are mediated by DDR1. Our data suggest that specific inhibitors of DDR1 might provide novel therapeutic opportunities to treat HNSCC

    Development and Validation of a Combined Hypoxia and Immune Prognostic Classifier for Head and Neck Cancer.

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    PURPOSE Intratumoral hypoxia and immunity have been correlated with patient outcome in various tumor settings. However, these factors are not currently considered for treatment selection in head and neck cancer (HNC) due to lack of validated biomarkers. Here we sought to develop a hypoxia-immune classifier with potential application in patient prognostication and prediction of response to targeted therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN A 54-gene hypoxia-immune signature was constructed on the basis of literature review. Gene expression was analyzed using the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) HNC dataset ( = 275) and validated using two independent cohorts ( = 130 and 123). IHC was used to investigate the utility of a simplified protein signature. The spatial distribution of hypoxia and immune markers was examined using multiplex immunofluorescence staining. RESULTS Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of TCGA dataset (development cohort) identified three patient subgroups with distinct hypoxia-immune phenotypes and survival profiles: hypoxia/immune, hypoxia/immune, and mixed, with 5-year overall survival (OS) rates of 71%, 51%, and 49%, respectively ( = 0.0015). The prognostic relevance of the hypoxia-immune gene signature was replicated in two independent validation cohorts. Only PD-L1 and intratumoral CD3 protein expression were associated with improved OS on multivariate analysis. Hypoxia/immune and hypoxia/immune tumors were overrepresented in "inflamed" and "immune-desert" microenvironmental profiles, respectively. Multiplex staining demonstrated an inverse correlation between CA-IX expression and prevalence of intratumoral CD3 T cells ( = -0.5464; = 0.0377), further corroborating the transcription-based classification. CONCLUSIONS We developed and validated a hypoxia-immune prognostic transcriptional classifier, which may have clinical application to guide the use of hypoxia modification and targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of HNC