Differential mutation spectrum and immune landscape in African Americans versus Whites: A possible determinant to health disparity in head and neck cancer

Sanjib Chaudhary, Vi Dam, Koelina Ganguly, Sunandini Sharma, Pranita Atri, Ramakanth Chirravuri-Venkata, Jesse L. Cox, Zafar Sayed, Dwight T. Jones, Apar K. Ganti, Dario Ghersi, Muzafar A. Macha, Surinder K. Batra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

African Americans (AA) with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) have a worse disease prognosis than White patients despite adjusting for socio-economic factors, suggesting the potential biological contribution. Therefore, we investigated the genomic and immunological components that drive the differential tumor biology among race. We utilized the cancer genome atlas and cancer digital archive of HNSCC patients (1992–2013) for our study. We found that AA patients with HNSCC had a higher frequency of mutation compared to Whites in the key driver genes—P53, FAT1, CASP8 and HRAS. AA tumors also exhibited lower intratumoral infiltration of effector immune cells (CD8+, γδT, resting memory CD4+ and activated memory CD4+ T cells) with shorter survival than Whites. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of differentially expressed genes demonstrated distinct gene clusters between AA and White patients with unique signaling pathway enrichments. Connectivity map analysis identified drugs (Neratinib and Selumetinib) that target aberrant PI3K/RAS/MEK signaling and may reduce racial disparity in therapy response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Volume492
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Keywords

  • Disease surveillance
  • HNSCC
  • Immune response
  • Molecular determinant
  • Mutation burden
  • Neo-antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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