Regulatory T-cell infiltration in tongue squamous cell carcinoma

Hiroyuki Hanakawa, Yorihisa Orita, Yasuharu Sato, Mai Takeuchi, Kyotaro Ohno, Yuka Gion, Kiyoaki Tsukahara, Ryo Tamamura, Toshihiro Ito, Hitoshi Nagatsuka, Kazunori Nishizaki, Tadashi Yoshino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Conclusion: In tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), high levels of regulatory T-cell (Treg) infiltration in tumor nests are observed in the cases with poor prognosis. Objectives: The role of Tregs in head and neck cancers remains unclear. The aim of this study was to observe the distribution of Tregs in different stages of tongue SCC and estimate the effects on prognosis. Methods: Thirty-four cases with tongue SCC were examined immunohistochemically for CD4, CD8, and Forkhead box P3 (Foxp3). Immunoreactive cells were counted in cancer stroma and nest regions, and relationships between cell numbers and disease-free survival rates were analyzed. Results: In the 34 cases, univariate analysis for disease-free survival indicated high-level infiltration of Tregs (CD4+Foxp3+) into both cancer nests and stroma and presence of helper T (CD4+Foxp3-) cells in cancer stroma as potential predictors of significantly worse prognosis. In early-stage cases (stage I/II), high-level infiltration of Tregs in cancer nests correlated significantly with poor disease-free survival rate. Multivariate analysis for disease-free survival found no independent variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-864
Number of pages6
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Disease-free survival
  • Foxp3
  • Immunohistochemical study
  • Tumor nest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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