American Association for Cancer Research
ccr-22-3496_supplementary_table_s4_suppts4.pdf (205.29 kB)

Supplementary Table S4 from Increased Nerve Density Adversely Affects Outcome in Oral Cancer

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-11, 14:20 authored by Cindy Perez-Pacheco, Ligia B. Schmitd, Allison Furgal, Emily L. Bellile, Min Liu, Aya Fattah, Laura Gonzalez-Maldonado, Shelby P. Unsworth, Sunny Y. Wong, Laura S. Rozek, Arvind Rao, Gregory T. Wolf, Jeremy M.G. Taylor, Keith Casper, Michelle Mierzwa, Nisha J. D'Silva

Adjusted Cox regression modeling of normalized nerve density using AJCC 8th edition



Perineural invasion (PNI) in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is associated with poor survival. Because of the risk of recurrence, patients with PNI receive additional therapies after surgical resection. Mechanistic studies have shown that nerves in the tumor microenvironment promote aggressive tumor growth. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated whether nerve density (ND) influences tumor growth and patient survival. Moreover, we assessed the reliability of artificial intelligence (AI) in evaluating ND. To investigate whether increased ND in OSCC influences patient outcome, we performed survival analyses. Tissue sections of OSCC from 142 patients were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and IHC stains to detect nerves and tumor. ND within the tumor bulk and in the adjacent 2 mm was quantified; normalized ND (NND; bulk ND/adjacent ND) was calculated. The impact of ND on tumor growth was evaluated in chick chorioallantoic-dorsal root ganglia (CAM-DRG) and murine surgical denervation models. Cancer cells were grafted and tumor size quantified. Automated nerve detection, applying the Halo AI platform, was compared with manual assessment. Disease-specific survival decreased with higher intratumoral ND and NND in tongue SCC. Moreover, NND was associated with worst pattern-of-invasion and PNI. Increasing the number of DRG, in the CAM-DRG model, increased tumor size. Reduction of ND by denervation in a murine model decreased tumor growth. Automated and manual detection of nerves showed high concordance, with an F1 score of 0.977. High ND enhances tumor growth, and NND is an important prognostic factor that could influence treatment selection for aggressive OSCC.

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