Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is a highly immunogenic tumor and differences in tumor microenvironment might contribute to the improved survival of HPV-positive OPSCC patient. Methods: A comprehensive multivariate analysis with clinical and immune variables (human leukocyte antigen [HLA] I/II, programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), programmed death receptor 1 (PD1), T cells, and macrophages) was performed in 142 OPSCC patients. Results: We found an inverse correlation between the expression of HLA class II molecules on tumor cells and CD68+ CD163+ tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). High HLA-DP/DQ/DR expression and low number of TAMs were associated with longer disease-specific survival and disease-free survival (DFS). Furthermore, a new population of CD8+ FoxP3+ T cells was correlated with shorter DFS in multivariate analysis. Conclusions: \We identified new prognostic markers for patients with oropharyngeal cancer, which can be used for selecting patients that can benefit from immunotherapy.
- HPV infection
- oropharyngeal cancer