Title: Lingual Denervation Improves the Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy Efficacy in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas
Presenter: Miss TAO Zhuoying, PhD candidate
Supervisors: Dr. Y. Su (Primary Supervisor) and Prof. X. Guan (Co-supervisor)
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the eighth most common malignancy worldwide. The 5-year survival rate of oral cancer is poor, only around 50%. Checkpoint blockade immunotherapy is a new thriving therapeutic regimen for advanced-stage patients with OSCC. However, the therapeutic efficacy varies among patients, and no more than one-fifth of patients benefit from it, possibly due to inadequate immune activation. Many efforts have been made to address this issue, but little was achieved. Accumulative evidence contributes to the relationship between nerve-tumor crosstalk and poor clinical outcomes in cancer, but few studies focus on the relationship between neural involvement and anti-tumor immunity in cancer. Therefore, we hypothesize that neural infiltration may remodel the tumor microenvironment to an immunosuppressive status in OSCC. Issues awaiting clarification include the underlying mechanisms for the nerve-tumor crosstalk leading to immune suppression as well as immunotherapy resistance in OSCC. The proposed study aims to determine the possible tumor cell-intrinsic alteration in response to neural signaling, which is responsible for immune suppression and unfavorable immunotherapy efficacy in tumors with nerve infiltration.
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