Tumor immune infiltration cells (TIICs) are highly heterogeneous, not only in different cancer subtypes but also within different cancer regions. We conducted the Cell-type Identification using Estimating Relative Subsets Of RNA Transcripts (CIBERSORT) method. We assessed the relative proportions of 22 TIICs in HNSC using publicly available TCGA transcriptional datasets, analyzed the proportions of TIICs between HNSC tissues and normal tissues, along with accompanying clinicopathological data, and impact of TIICs on clinical outcome. After the filter criteria, a total of 395 patients were included in the analysis. We found significant differences in naïve B cells, monocytes, resting mast cells, activated mast cells, CD8+ T cells, and M0 macrophages between HNSC tissues and adjacent non-cancer tissues. We also found some TIICs subgroups were significantly associated with clinical parameters. Moreover, the patients with low Tregs fraction had worse OS and DFS than those with high Tregs fraction. However, low M0 macrophages fraction was associated with better OS and DFS in HNSC patients. Moreover, Tregs and M0 macrophages are likely to be important determinants of prognosis, which may serve as a potential immunotherapy target for HNSC. Then, we screened the immune-related differentially expressed genes (DEGs), performed the GO and KEGG enrichment analysis, constructed the protein-protein interaction network, and screened the prognosis-related hub genes in HNSC. However, further clinical investigation and basic experiments are needed to validate our results, and uncover the molecular mechanisms interlinking TIICs in HNSC and their roles in prognosis and therapy.

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