BACKGROUND: This study aimed to analyze margin status and the impact of the immune elements on recurrence in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), employing a prognostic biomarker, cumulative suppressive index (CSI), which reflects FoxP3+, PD-L1+, and CD8+ cell spatial relationships in the tumor microenvironment.
METHODS: Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate the interactive effect of the margin by CSI discrepancy (high, 3-4 vs low, 0-2) on recurrence free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in 119 patients with stage I to IVA OSCC.
RESULTS: In cases with negative margins, multivariable analysis showed high CSI was significantly associated with worse RFS (HR = 2.59, 95% CI [1.03, 6.49], P = .04) and OS (HR = 5.49, 95% CI [1.48, 20.35], P = .01) compared to low CSI. However, high CSI was not significantly associated with recurrence in cases with positive margins.
CONCLUSIONS: Immune architecture analysis can augment our current histopathological risk assessment of margin status.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/carlo-bifulco/8/