STAT3 as a predictive biomarker in head and neck cancer: A validation study

Head and Neck Cancer

Pathol Res Pract. 2020 Aug 17;216(11):153172. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2020.153172. Online ahead of print.


Locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LAHNSCC) treatment consists of radiotherapy (RT) alone or cisplatin-based concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CCRT). CCRT is accompanied by substantially more toxicity than RT alone. A previous retrospective cohort study found that LAHNSCC patients with tumors negative for nuclear expression of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) protein might not benefit from the addition of cisplatin to radiotherapy (RT) treatment.

We set out to validate these results in a new cohort. We found that in patients with both STAT3 positive and negative tumors, disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) did not differ significantly between treatment with cisplatin-based concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) and radiotherapy alone. Therefore, our validation study does not confirm that STAT3 is a potential biomarker to predict the effectiveness of the addition of cisplatin to RT in LAHNSCC patients.