Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
CCBIO seminar series

CCBIO Seminar – Tuula Salo

Welcome to the CCBIO seminar series in the spring term 2023. Open to all in auditorium 4, BBB. Speaker is Tuula Salo from the University of Helsinki. No registration necessary. Join us also for the informal pizza get-together in the hall following the talk!

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SpeakerTuula Salo, University of Helsinki
Title: Personalized oral cancer treatment assays
Host: Daniele Elena Costea
Where: Auditorium 4, BB-building
When: June 15, 2023 at 14.30-15.30

No registration necessary. Join us also for the informal pizza get-together in the hall following the talk!

Abstract: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is an agressive cancer with high mortality rate, poor quality of life of survivors and only limited treatment modalities in addition to surgery and irradiation. Based on our and other's studies the following prognostics features, such as depth of invasion, tumour budding, intraneural invasion, tumour stroma ratio, tumour infiltration lymphocytes, and their association with clinical features should be considered in determining the optimal treatment protocol of OSCC patients. We have recently evaluated the ability of five published web-based tools to predict the clinical behaviour of oral tongue resection and biopsy samples. One tool predicted 5- (AUC 0.723) and the other 10-year (AUC 0.858) cancer-related mortality with sensitivity of 82.1%, and the third tool predicted the loco-regional recurence with an accuracy of 82.0% and specificity of 97.4%. Web-based tools may be helpful to predict the clinical behaviour of oral tongue cancer. For personalized oral cancer treatment, we have tested the reliability of our rapid cancer treatment-testing assays: human uterus tumour derived myogel-coated plates; zebrafish xenografts and 3D microfluidic chips. Chemo-, radio- and targeted-therapy tests of primary and metastatic lymph node samples and peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from the patients' blood were used for the analyses of three OSCC patients. The assays were fast: it took only around one week to get the responses of the patient's mimicking treatments. The cancer cells' sensitivity to the ex vivo treatments was compared with the patients' clinical response. Primary and metastatic lymph node tissue-derived DNA samples from two patients underwent also whole exome sequencing to compare the mutational profiles of the samples. Our test results were in line with patients' responses in 77% of zebrafish xenograft assays and 55% of Myogel-coated wells' assays. Immunotherapy testing was done using one metastatic patient sample which matched the patients' response. Our preliminary results of three OSCC patients show the possible potential of applying in oral cancer patients our personalized cancer treatment testing assays, specifically zebrafish xenografts and microfluidic ships, for planning the most effective chemo-immuno-radiation therapies to the patients. However, still more OSCC patient cases with possible improved methods should be tested to show if these assays could be considered for clinical use in the future.