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PDCD1 (PD-1) Promoter Methylation Predicts Outcome In Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients

Diane Goltz, Heidrun Gevensleben, Joern Dietrich, Friederike Schröck, Luka de Vos, Freya Droege, Glen Kristiansen, Andreas Schroeck, Jennifer Landsberg, Friedrich Bootz, Dimo Dietrich
Published 2017 · Medicine
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Background Biomarkers that facilitate the prediction of disease recurrence in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) may enable physicians to personalize treatment. In the current study, DNA promoter methylation of programmed cell death 1 (PDCD1, PD-1) was evaluated as a prognostic biomarker in HNSCC patients. Results High PDCD1 methylation (mPDCD1) was associated with a significantly shorter overall survival after surgical resection in both the discovery (HR = 2.24 [95%CI: 1.08–4.64], p = 0.029) and the validation cohort (HR = 1.54 [95%CI: 1.08–2.21], p = 0.017). In multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis, PDCD1 methylation remained a significant prognostic factor for HNSCC (HR = 2.14 [95%CI: 1.19–3.84], p = 0.011). Further, mPDCD1 was strongly associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV) status. Materials and Methods mPDCD1 was assessed retrospectively in a discovery cohort of 120 HNSCC patients treated at the University Hospital of Bonn and a validation cohort of 527 HNSCC cases analyzed by The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. Conclusions PDCD1 methylation might aid the identification of HNSCC patients potentially benefitting from a radical or alternative treatment, particularly in the context of immunotherapies targeting PD-1/PD-L1.
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