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Molecular subtyping of head and neck cancer - Clinical applicability and correlations with morphological characteristics

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Item Type:Article
Title:Molecular subtyping of head and neck cancer - Clinical applicability and correlations with morphological characteristics
Creators Name:Stögbauer, F. and Otto, R. and Jöhrens, K. and Tinhofer, I. and Keilholz, U. and Poremba, C. and Keller, U. and Leser, U. and Weichert, W. and Boxberg, M. and Klinghammer, K.
Abstract:AIM: We aimed to evaluate the applicability of a customized NanoString panel for molecular subtyping of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M-HNSCC). Additionally, histological analyses were conducted, correlated with the molecular subtypes and tested for their prognostic value. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted molecular subtyping of R/M-HNSCC according to the molecular subtypes defined by Keck et al. For molecular analyses a 231 gene customized NanoString panel (the most accurately subtype defining genes, based on previous analyses) was applied to tumor samples from R/M-HNSCC patients that were treated in the CeFCiD trial (AIO/IAG-KHT trial 1108). A total of 130 samples from 95 patients were available for sequencing, of which 80 samples from 67 patients passed quality controls and were included in histological analyses. H&E stained slides were evaluated regarding distinct morphological patterns (e.g. tumor budding, nuclear size, stroma content). RESULTS: Determination of molecular subtypes led to classification of tumor samples as basal (n = 46, 45 %), inflamed/mesenchymal (n = 31, 30 %) and classical (n = 26, 25 %). Expression levels of Amphiregulin (AREG) were significantly higher for the basal and classical subtypes compared to the mesenchymal subtype. While molecular subtypes did not have an impact on survival, high levels of tumor budding were associated with poor outcomes. No correlation was found between molecular subtypes and histological characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Utilizing the 231-gene NanoString panel we were able to determine the molecular subtype of R/M-HNSCC samples by the use of FFPE material. The value to stratify for different treatment options remains to be explored in the future. The prognostic value of tumor budding was underscored in this clinically well annotated cohort.
Keywords:Head and Neck Cancer, Disease Recurrence, NanoString, Tumor Budding, Gene Expression
Source:Oral Oncology
Page Range:106678
Date:February 2024
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2023.106678
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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