Prognostic significance of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in patients with operable tongue cancer

Wan Yu Chen, Chen Tu Wu, Chun Wei Wang, Keng Hsueh Lan, Hsiang Kuang Liang, Bing Shen Huang, Yih Leong Chang*, Sung Hsin Kuo, Ann Lii Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Our aim was to investigate the prognostic significance of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in operable tongue cancer patients. Methods: The presence of CD3 + , CD4 + , CD8 + , and forkhead box protein P3-positive (FOXP3 + ) TILs in tumor tissues obtained from 93 patients during surgery was examined using immunohistochemistry. Results: The 3-year overall survival (OS) of patients with a low CD8/FOXP3 ratio was significantly lower than that of patients with a high CD8/FOXP3 ratio (63.8% vs. 87.3%, p=0.001). Patients with high FOXP3 had a significantly lower 3-year regional recurrence-free survival (RRFS) than did patients with low FOXP3 (49.3% vs. 87.3%, univariate log rank p=0.000). A low CD4/FOXP3 ratio (68.4% vs. 93.7%, univariate log rank p=0.002) was significantly unfavorable prognostic factors for 3-year distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS). Conclusions: In addition to clinicopathological characteristics, TIL markers represent prognosticators for clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 08 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Adjuvant
  • Head neck cancer
  • Prognosis
  • Tongue cancer
  • Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes


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