Clinical significance of tumor-stroma ratio in head and neck cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis



Almangush A, Alabi RO, Troiano G, Coletta RD, Salo T, Pirinen M, Mäkitie AA, Leivo I.


BMC Cancer. 2021 Apr 30;21(1):480. doi: 10.1186/s12885-021-08222-8.


BACKGROUND: The clinical significance of tumor-stroma ratio (TSR) has been examined in many tumors. Here we systematically reviewed all studies that evaluated TSR in head and neck cancer. METHODS: Four databases (Scopus, Medline, PubMed and Web of Science) were searched using the term tumo(u)r-stroma ratio. The preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) were followed. RESULTS: TSR was studied in nine studies of different subsites (including cohorts of nasopharyngeal, oral, laryngeal and pharyngeal carcinomas). In all studies, TSR was evaluated using hematoxylin and eosin staining. Classifying tumors based on TSR seems to allow for identification of high-risk cases. In oral cancer, specifically, our meta-analysis showed that TSR is significantly associated with both cancer-related mortality (HR 2.10, 95%CI 1.56-2.84) and disease-free survival (HR 1.84, 95%CI 1.38-2.46). CONCLUSIONS: The assessment of TSR has a promising prognostic value and can be implemented with minimum efforts in routine head and neck pathology.

Keywords: .

Link/DOI: 10.1186/s12885-021-08222-8