PD-L1 expressing circulating tumour cells in head and neck c
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Blockade of the PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint pathway is emerging as a promising immunotherapeutic approach for the management and treatment of head and neck cancer patients who do not respond to 1st/2nd line therapy. However, as checkpoint inhibitors are cost-intensive, identifying patients who would most likely benefit from anti PD-L1 therapy is required.

Case presentation:
We report the case of a 56-year-old man affected by a supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). A CT scan showed a 20 mm right jugulodigastric node and suspicious lung lesions. The lung lesion was biopsied and confirmed to be consistent with SCC. The patient was offered palliative chemotherapy. At the time of presentation, a blood sample was taken for circulating tumour cell (CTC) analysis. The dissemination of cancer was confirmed by the detection of CTCs in the peripheral blood of the patient, measured by the CellSearch System. Using marker-independent, low-shear spiral microfluidic technology combined with immunocytochemistry, CTC clusters were found in this patient at the same time point, expressing PD-L1...

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