Distinct immune signature predicts progression of vestibular schwannoma and unveils a possible viral etiology

Moran Amit, Tongxin Xie, Frederico O. Gleber-Netto, Patrick J. Hunt, Gautam U. Mehta, Diana Bell, Deborah A. Silverman, Ismail Yaman, Yi Ye, Jared K. Burks, Gregory N. Fuller, Paul W. Gidley, Marc Elie Nader, Shaan M. Raza, Franco DeMonte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The management of sub-totally resected sporadic vestibular schwannoma (VS) may include observation, re-resection or irradiation. Identifying the optimal choice can be difficult due to the disease’s variable progression rate. We aimed to define an immune signature and associated transcriptomic fingerprint characteristic of rapidly-progressing VS to elucidate the underpinnings of rapidly progressing VS and identify a prognostic model for determining rate of progression. Methods: We used multiplex immunofluorescence to characterize the immune microenvironment in 17 patients with sporadic VS treated with subtotal surgical resection alone. Transcriptomic analysis revealed differentially-expressed genes and dysregulated pathways when comparing rapidly-progressing VS to slowly or non-progressing VS. Results: Rapidly progressing VS was distinctly enriched in CD4+, CD8+, CD20+, and CD68+ immune cells. RNA data indicated the upregulation of anti-viral innate immune response and T-cell senescence. K − Top Scoring Pair analysis identified 6 pairs of immunosenescence-related genes (CD38-KDR, CD22-STAT5A, APCS-CXCR6, MADCAM1-MPL, IL6-NFATC3, and CXCL2-TLR6) that had high sensitivity (100%) and specificity (78%) for identifying rapid VS progression. Conclusion: Rapid progression of residual vestibular schwannoma following subtotal surgical resection has an underlying immune etiology that may be virally originating; and despite an abundant adaptive immune response, T-cell immunosenescence may be associated with rapid progression of VS. These findings provide a rationale for clinical trials evaluating immunotherapy in patients with rapidly progressing VS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number292
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Immune
  • Progression
  • Skull base
  • Surgery
  • Vestibular schwannoma
  • Viral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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