Investigational New Drugs

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 799–809 | Cite as

A novel humanized anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody potentiates therapy in oral squamous cell carcinoma

  • Y. Cai
  • Fei Wang
  • Q. Liu
  • Z. Li
  • D. LiEmail author
  • Z. SunEmail author


Currently, immune checkpoint inhibitors have been shown to extend the survival of many cancer patients. However, few studies have focused on immune checkpoint inhibition for the treatment of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Here, by screening at an early stage, we obtained a strain of anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) that targets programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) does not contain the CH1 and CL fragment. In this study, the role of our novel mAb was tested in the treatment of OSCC in vitro and in vivo. We found that our novel mAb can significantly augment T cell mediated cytokine secretion, target cellular lytic and apoptotic abilities, and inhibit tumor growth and inflammation in vivo. The PD-L1 blockade was accompanied by the inhibition of AKT and ERK1/2, thus suggesting that the PD-L1/PD-1 signaling pathway may play an important immunopreventive role in the tumorigenic properties of OSCC cells by modulating the AKT and ERK1/2 pathways. Additionally, PD-L1 staining was observed both in human OSCC tissues and normal oral mucous tissue adjacent to the tumor, which occurred at different rates. Taken together, these results indicated that our novel anti-PD-1 mAb may be used as a clinical therapy in human OSCC development and progression.


Oral squamous cell carcinomas Monoclonal antibody PD-1 PD-L1 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81001205, 81472179, 81873975), the Three-year Planning for Strengthening the Construction of Public Health System in Shanghai (2015–2017) (15GWZK0301), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (22120170071), the Excellent Academic Leader Training Program of Shanghai Health System (2018BR31), and the Clinical Research and Cultivation Project of Shanghai Tongji Hospital [ITJ (ZD) 1803].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animal were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants received ethics approval from the independent Ethics Committee of the Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital Affliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (No. 200926). All experimental procedures were in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Stomatology, Renji HospitalShanghai Jiaotong University, School of MedicineShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, Shanghai Tongji HospitalTongji University, School of MedicineShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Clinical LaboratoryBaoshan Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine HospitalShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Putuo District Mental Health CenterShanghaiChina
  5. 5.Department of Clinical Laboratory, Shanghai Tongji HospitalTongji University, School of MedicineShanghaiChina

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