Defining biomarkers in oral cancer according to smoking and drinking status

Juliette Rochefort, Ioannis Karagiannidis, Claude Baillou, Lisa Belin, Maude Guillot-Delost, Rodney Macedo, Aline Le Moignic, Véronique Mateo, Patrick Soussan, Isabelle Brocheriou, Jean Luc Teillaud, Marie Caroline Dieu-Nosjean, Chloé Bertolus, Francois Michel Lemoine, Géraldine Lescaille

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas (OSCC) are mostly related to tobacco consumption eventually associated to alcohol (Smoker/Drinker patients: SD), but 25-30% of the patients have no identified risk factors (Non-Smoker/Non-Drinker patients: NSND). We hypothesized that these patients have distinguishable immune profiles that could be useful for prognosis. Materials and Methods: Cells present in immune tumor microenvironment (TME) and blood from 87 OSCC HPV-negative patients were analyzed using a multiparameter flow cytometry assay, in a prospective case-control study. Cytokine levels in tumor supernatants and blood were determined by a cytometric bead array (CBA) assay. Results: Normal gingiva and blood from healthy donors (HD) were used as controls. A significant increase of granulocytes (p<0.05 for blood), of monocytes-macrophages (p<0.01 for blood) and of CD4+ T cells expressing CD45RO and CCR6 (p<0.001 for blood; p<0.0001 for TME) as well as higher levels of IL-6 (p<0.01 for sera, p<0.05 for tumor supernatant) were observed in SD patients as compared to NSND OSCC patients and HD. High percentages of CD4+ T cells expressing CD45RO and CCR6 cells in tumor tissue (p=0.05) and blood (p=0.05) of SD OSCC patients were also associated with a poorer prognosis while a high percentage of regulatory T cells (Treg) in tumor tissue was associated with a more favorable prognostic factor (p=0.05). Also, a higher percentage of blood CD8+ T lymphocytes among CD45+ cells in NSND patients was associated with a better disease-free survival (p=0.004). Conclusion: Granulocytes, monocytes-macrophages, and CD4+ T cells expressing CD45RO and CCR6 in blood and TME as well as serum IL-6 can therefore distinguish OSCC SD and NSND patients. Quantifying the proportion of CD4+ T cells expressing CD45RO and CCR6 and of Treg in SD patients and CD8+ T cells in NSND patients could help defining the prognostic of OSCC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1068979
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Jan 11 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • non-drinker
  • non-smoker
  • oral cancer
  • oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • prognostic biomarker
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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