Comparison of PD-L1 and VISTA expression status in primary and recurrent/refractory tissue after (chemo)radiotherapy in head and neck cancer


Strahlentherapie und Onkologie, vol.199, no.8, pp.761-772, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 199 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00066-023-02053-1
  • Journal Name: Strahlentherapie und Onkologie
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.761-772
  • Keywords: Immunotheraphy, Larynx cancer, Biomarker, Immunoresistance, Radiotheraphy
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: PD-L1 and VISTA are thought to play a role in escape from the immune system, tumor progression, and treatment response in tumoral tissue. The current study aimed to evaluate the effects of radiotherapy (RT) and chemoradiotherapy (CRT) on PD-L1 and VISTA expression in head and neck cancers. Methods: PD-L1 and VISTA expression were compared between the primary biopsy taken at the time of diagnosis and refractory tissue biopsies of patients who received definitive CRT or recurrent tissue biopsies of patients who had surgery followed by adjuvant RT or CRT. Results: In total, 47 patients were included. Radiotherapy had no effect on the expression levels of PD-L1 and VISTA in patients with head and neck cancer (p = 0.542 and p = 0.425, respectively). A positive correlation was found between PD-L1 and VISTA expression (p < 0.001; r = 0.560). PD-L1 and VISTA expression in the first biopsy were found to be significantly higher in clinical lymph node-positive patients compared to node-negative patients (PD-L1 p = 0.038; VISTA p = 0.018). The median overall survival of patients with ≥ 1% VISTA expression in the initial biopsy was significantly shorter than that of patients with < 1% VISTA expression (52.4 vs. 110.1 months, respectively; p = 0.048). Conclusion: It was found that PD-L1 and VISTA expression did not change with RT or CRT. Further studies are needed to evaluate the relationship of PD-L1 and VISTA expression with RT and CRT.