Tissue-infiltrating immune cells as prognostic markers in oral squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Br J Cancer 2019 Apr 27;120(7):714-727. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway, 9037, Tromsø, Norway.

Background: Various immune cells have been suggested as prognostic markers for cancer patients. In this article, we present a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies assessing the prognostic value of tissue-infiltrating immune cells in oral cancer and discuss the reporting quality of these studies.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature search and included studies using immunohistochemistry and survival analysis to assess the prognostic value of tumour-infiltrating T cells, B cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, mast cells and natural killer cells in oral cancer. We performed meta-analysis of studies providing necessary statistical data and investigated the studies' adherence to the REporting recommendations for tumour MARKer prognostic studies (REMARK) guidelines.

Results: Of the 1960 articles identified, 33 were eligible for this systematic review and 8 were included in the meta-analysis. CD163+ M2 macrophages and CD57+ natural killer cells were the most promising predictors of survival in oral cancer patients. Many studies lacked important information on their design and conduct.

Conclusion: Deficiencies in the reporting of study design and conduct make it difficult to draw reliable conclusions about the suggested markers. The prognostic value of CD163+ M2 macrophages and CD57+ natural killer cells should be validated in large, standardised studies.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0409-6DOI Listing

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April 2019

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