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Oral Oncol 2011 Sep;47(9):810-7

USC-HN2, a new model cell line for recurrent oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma with immunosuppressive characteristics.

Russell SM, Lechner MG, Gong L, Megiel C, Liebertz DJ, Masood R, Correa AJ, Han J, Puri RK, Sinha UK, Epstein AL


Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are common and aggressive tumors that have not seen an improvement in survival rates in decades. These tumors are believed to evade the immune system through a variety of mechanisms and are therefore highly immune modulatory. In order to elucidate their interaction with the immune system and develop new therapies targeting immune escape, new pre-clinical models are needed. A novel human cell line, USC-HN2, was established from a patient biopsy specimen of invasive, recurrent buccal HNSCC and characterized by morphology, heterotransplantation, cytogenetics, phenotype, gene expression, and immune modulation studies and compared to a similar HNSCC cell line; SCCL-MT1. Characterization studies confirmed the HNSCC origin of USC-HN2 and demonstrated a phenotype similar to the original tumor and typical of aggressive oral cavity HNSCC (EGFR(+)CD44v6(+)FABP5(+)Keratin(+) and HPV(-)). Gene and protein expression studies revealed USC-HN2 to have highly immune-modulatory cytokine production (IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, GM-CSF, and VEGF) and strong regulatory T and myeloid derived suppressor cell (MDSC) induction capacity in vitro. Of note, both USC-HN2 and SCCL-MT1 were found to have a more robust cytokine profile and MDSC induction capacity when compared to seven previously established HNSCC cell lines. Additionally, microarray gene expression profiling of both cell lines demonstrate up-regulation of antigen presenting genes. Because USC-HN2 is therefore highly immunogenic, it also induces strong immune suppression to evade immunologic destruction. Based upon these results, both cell lines provide an excellent model for the development of new suppressor cell-targeted immunotherapies.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #21719345 DOI: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2011.05.015
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-03 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29