Assessing the prognostic value of tumor-infiltrating CD57+cells in advanced stage head and neck cancer using QuPath digital image analysis

Emma J. de Ruiter*, Sangeeta K. Bisheshar, Reinout H. de Roest, Frederik W.R. Wesseling, Frank J.P. Hoebers, Mari F.C.M. van den Hout, C. René Leemans, Ruud H. Brakenhoff, Remco de Bree, Chris H.J. Terhaard, Stefan M. Willems

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


This study aimed to assess the prognostic value of intratumoral CD57+ cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and to examine the reproducibility of these analyses using QuPath. Pretreatment biopsies of 159 patients with HPV-negative, stage III/IV HNSCC treated with chemoradiotherapy were immunohistochemically stained for CD57. The number of CD57+ cells per mm(2) tumor epithelium was quantified by two independent observers and by QuPath, software for digital pathology image analysis. Concordance between the observers and QuPath was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). The correlation between CD57 and clinicopathological characteristics was assessed; associations with clinical outcome were estimated using Cox proportional hazard analysis and visualized using Kaplan-Meier curves. The patient cohort had a 3-year OS of 65.8% with a median follow-up of 54 months. The number of CD57+ cells/mm(2) tumor tissue did not correlate to OS, DFS, or LRC. N stage predicted prognosis (OS: HR 0.43, p = 0.008; DFS: HR 0.41, p = 0.003; LRC: HR 0.24, p = 0.007), as did WHO performance state (OS: HR 0.48, p = 0.028; LRC: 0.33, p = 0.039). Quantification by QuPath showed moderate to good concordance with two human observers (ICCs 0.836, CI 0.805-0.863, and 0.741, CI 0.692-0.783, respectively). In conclusion, the presence of CD57+ TILs did not correlate to prognosis in advanced stage, HPV-negative HNSCC patients treated with chemoradiotherapy. Substantial concordance between human observers and QuPath was found, confirming a promising future role for digital, algorithm driven image analysis.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)223-231
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftVirchows Archiv
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
Vroegere onlinedatum22-apr.-2022
StatusPublished - aug.-2022


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