Immunoscore encompassing CD3+ and CD8+ T cell densities in distant metastasis is a robust prognostic marker for advanced colorectal cancer.
ABSTRACT: The immunoscore (IS), an index based on the density of CD3+ and CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in the tumor center (CT) and invasive margin (IM), has gained considerable attention as a prognostic marker. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have also been reported to have prognostic value. However, its clinical significance has not been fully clarified in patients with advanced CRC who present with distant metastases.The density of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, FOXP3+, CD68+, and CD163+ immune cells within CRC tissue procured from three sites-the primary CT, IM, and distant metastasis (DM)-was determined using immunohistochemistry and digital image analyzer (n=196). The IS was obtained by quantifying the densities of CD3+ and CD8+ TILs in the CT and IM. IS-metastatic and IS-macrophage-additional IS models designed in this study-were obtained by adding the score of CD3 and CD8 in DM and the score of CD163 in primary tumors (CT and IM), respectively, to the IS.Higher IS, IS-metastatic, and IS-macrophage values were significantly correlated with better prognosis (p=0.020, p?0.001, and p=0.005, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that only IS-metastatic was an independent prognostic marker (p=0.012). No significant correlation was observed between KRAS mutation and three IS models. However, in the subgroup analysis, IS-metastatic showed a prognostic association regardless of the KRAS mutational status.IS is a reproducible method for predicting the survival of patients with advanced CRC. Additionally, an IS including the CD3+ and CD8+ TIL densities at DM could be a strong prognostic marker for advanced CRC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:T cell density in colorectal cancer (CRC) has proven to be of high prognostic importance. Here, we evaluated the influence of a hyperfractionated preoperative short-term radiation protocol (25 Gy) on immune cell density in tumor samples of rectal cancer (RC) patients and on patient survival. In addition, we assessed spatial tumor heterogeneity by comparison of analogue T cell quantification on full tissue sections with digital T cell quantification on a virtually established tissue microarray (TMA). METHODS:A total of 75 RC patients (60 irradiated, 15 treatment-naïve) were defined for retrospective analysis. RC samples were processed for immunohistochemistry (CD3, CD8, PD-1, PD-L1). Analogue (score 0-3) as well as digital quantification (TMA: 2 cores vs. 6 cores, mean T cell count) of marker expression in 2 areas (central tumor, CT; invasive margin, IM) was performed. Survival was estimated on the basis of analogue as well as digital marker densities calculated from 2 cores (Immunoscore: CD3/CD8 ratio) and 6 cores per tumor area. RESULTS:Irradiated RC samples showed a significant decrease in CD3 and CD8 positive T cells, independent of quantification mode. T cell densities of 6 virtual cores approximated to T cell densities of full tissue sections, independent of individual core density or location. Survival analysis based on full tissue section quantification demonstrated that CD3 and CD8 positive T cells as well as PD-1 positive tumor infiltrating leucocytes (TILs) in the CT and the IM had a significant impact on disease-free survival (DFS) as well as overall survival (OS). In addition, CD3 and CD8 positive T cells as well as PD-1 positive TILs in the IM proved as independent prognostic factors for DFS and OS; in the CT, PD-1 positive TILs predicted DFS and CD3 and CD8 positive T cells as well as PD-1 positive TILs predicted OS. Survival analysis based on virtual TMA showed no impact on DFS or OS. CONCLUSION:Spatial tumor heterogeneity might result in inadequate quantification of immune marker expression; however, if using a TMA, 6 cores per tumor area and patient sample represent comparable amounts of T cell densities to those quantified on full tissue sections. Consistently, the tissue area used for immune marker quantification represents a crucial factor for the evaluation of prognostic and predictive biomarker potential.
Project description:PURPOSE:In colorectal cancer (CRC), whether the immune score can be used to predict the clinical prognosis of the patient has not been completely established. Besides, the prognostic values of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in different anatomical locations, counting sites, and subtypes have been controversial. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to analyze and determine the prognostic value of TILs indices including TIL subsets, infiltrating sites, and anatomical sites. METHODS:Relevant literature was obtained by searching PubMed and Google Scholar. The pooled hazard ratio (HR) of the overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and cancer-specific survival (CSS) was computed to investigate the prognostic significance of CD3+, CD8+, CD45RO+, and FOXP3+ T cells. RESULTS:A total of 22 studies involving 5108 patients were included in the meta-analysis. In CC, based on T cell subtypes analysis, the final results indicated that CD8+ and FOXP3+ infiltrating cells, but not CD3+ T cells were prognostic markers for DFS and OS. In addition, with regard to the counting location of TILs, subgroup analysis revealed that only high FOXP3+ infiltrates in the tumor stroma (ST) were significantly associated with OS (HR = 0.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.22-0.67, P = 0.0007), whereas in invasive margin (IM), high density of CD3+ infiltrating cells indicated increased DFS (HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.62-0.93, P = 0.008). At the tumor center (TC), high CD8+ T cells infiltration was associated with improved DFS (HR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.38-0.65, P < 0.00001). In RC, whether CSS or OS, high-density TIL was associated with improved prognosis. CONCLUSION:In a single counting site, high-density TILs reflect favorable prognostic value in CC or RC. For CC, more prospective studies are needed to verify whether different anatomical sites affect the distribution of TILs and thus the prognosis of patients. For RC, further studies should analyze the prognostic value of the immune score.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that metformin reduces the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, underlying mechanisms have not been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to examine the pathological characteristics of resected CRC from patients treated with metformin for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). In total, 267 patients with DM underwent curative colectomy for Stage I-III CRC and 53 (19.9%) patients had been treated medically including metformin. Pathological N-stage was significantly lower in metformin-treated patients (P < .05) with prolonged disease-free survival (DFS) (P < .05). Immunohistochemistry showed that the densities of CD3(+) and CD8(+) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in the invasive front area were significantly higher in 40 patients treated with metformin compared with propensity score matched cases without metformin (P < .05). The density of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) in tumor stroma was markedly increased in metformin-treated patients (P < .001). In those tumors, there were more CD68(+) tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) infiltrated (P < .05), while the ratio of CD163(+) M2-phenotype was markedly reduced (P < .001). Stromal fibrosis tended to be suppressed by metformin intake (P = .051). These findings suggested that metformin drastically changes the characteristics of infiltrating immune cells in CRC and reprograms the tumor microenvironment from immunosuppressive to immunocompetent status, which may lead to suppression of microscopic tumor spread and improve the outcomes of patients with CRC and type 2 DM.
Project description:An increasing amount of evidence suggests that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is related to a positive prognosis in various cancers. However, the correlation between HDL-C and the immune signature and the prognostic role of HDL-C in stage II/III colorectal cancer (CRC) has not been previously reported. A total of 667 CRC patients were enrolled and divided into two groups based on the lower limit of normal HDL-C values (0.78 mmol/L). We used Kaplan-Meier curves and the Cox regression model to analyze the prognostic role of HDL in both disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Fifty-five pairs of tumor tissues were selected according to the variation in HDL-C levels (high or low) and the matched characterizes (ages, T stage, and N stage). Using immunohistochemistry, tumor tissues were stained with antibodies against CD3, CD8, CD163, iNOS, Forkhead box P3 (FOXP3), and CD33. We calculated the density of positively-stained infiltrating cells in the tumor center (TC) and invasive margin (IM). We then used Spearman rank correlation to further investigate the relationship between HDL-C levels and the immune signatures. Our results revealed that compared to patients with high HDL-C levels, patients with low HDL-C levels had poor 3-year DFS (68.9% vs 83.1%, P = 0.032) and 5-year OS rates (66.6% vs 85.3%, P = 0.002). We also identified a positive correlation between HDL-C and CD3+ , CD8+ and iNOS+ cells and a negative correlation between HDL-C and CD163+ cells in both the TC and IM. This study reveals that a low HDL-C level in stage II/III CRC patients predicts poor prognosis. The correlation between the HDL-C level and immune signature in tissue specimens suggested that HDL-C is likely to play an inhibitory role in tumor development via affecting immune responses.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cytotoxic CD8+ T cell-mediated response is the most important arm of adaptive immunity, which dictates the capacity of the host immune response in eradicating tumor cells. Due to tumor intrinsic and/or extrinsic factors, the density and function of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) could be compromised, leading to poor prognosis and survival. METHODS:Using RNA-Seq, transcriptomes of sorted CD3+CD8+ TILs from treatment-naïve colorectal cancer (CRC) patients at advanced stages (III and IV) were compared with those from patients with early stages (I and II). A signature referred to as 'poor prognosis CD8 gene signature (ppCD8sig)' was identified and analyzed in The Cancer Genome Atlas CRC dataset. Scores for the ppCD8sig were calculated and classified as high, intermediate and low, and its prognostic significance was assessed using multivariate analysis and Cox proportional hazard model. Densities of CD3+ and CD8+ T cell infiltration in tumors from patients with high and low ppCD8sig scores were assessed by flow cytometry and immunostaining. RESULTS:Genes related to epigenetic regulation and response to hypoxia were upregulated in CD8+ TILs from patients with advanced stages, while genes related to T cell activation, cell proliferation and cell cycle were downregulated. Patients with high ppCD8sig score had poorer disease-specific survival (DSS) and shorter progression-free interval (PFI). The ppCD8sig was an independent prognostic indicator for DSS (HR 1.83, 95%?CI 1.40 to 2.38, p<0.0001) and PFI (HR 1.42, 95%?CI 1.04 to 1.93, p=0.026). Additionally, patients with high ppCD8sig score were more likely to have advanced stages (?2 p<0.0001) and residual disease after primary therapy (?2 p=0.046). Patients with high ppCD8sig score had reduced levels of CD3+ and CD8+ TILs and low Immunoscores (IS), compared to patients with low ppCD8sig score. CONCLUSIONS:Our data provided insights into the altered regulation of biological mechanisms and signaling pathways in CD8+ TILs during CRC progression, and revealed a gene signature as an independent prognostic indicator. Patients with high ppCD8sig score had lower levels of TILs and low IS. These data further confirm the prognostic value of the identified ppCD8sig and potentially highlight its clinical relevance.
Project description:PURPOSE:Colorectal cancers with deficient DNA mismatch repair (dMMR) are presumed to uniformly have dense lymphocytic infiltration that underlies their favorable prognosis and is critical to their responsiveness to immunotherapy, as compared with MMR-proficient (pMMR) tumors. We examined T-cell densities and their potential heterogeneity in a large cohort of dMMR tumors. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:CD3+ and CD8+ T-cell densities were quantified at the invasive margin (IM) and tumor core (CT) in 561 stage III colon cancers (dMMR, n = 278; pMMR, n = 283) from a phase III adjuvant trial (N0147). Their association with overall survival (OS) was determined using multivariable Cox analysis. RESULTS:Although CD3+ and CD8+ T-cell densities in the tumor microenvironment were higher in dMMR versus pMMR tumors overall, intertumoral heterogeneity in densities between tumors was significantly higher by 30% to 88% among dMMR versus pMMR cancers (P < 0.0001 for all four T-cell subtypes [CD3+IM, CD3+CT, CD8+IM, CD8+CT]). A substantial proportion of dMMR tumors (26% to 35% depending on the T-cell subtype) exhibited T-cell densities as low as that in the bottom half of pMMR tumors. All four T-cell subtypes were prognostic in dMMR with CD3+IM being the most strongly prognostic. Low (vs. high) CD3+IM was independently associated with poorer OS among dMMR (HR, 4.76; 95% confidence interval, 1.43-15.87; P = 0.0019) and pMMR tumors (P = 0.0103). CONCLUSIONS:Tumor-infiltrating T-cell densities exhibited greater intertumoral heterogeneity among dMMR than pMMR colon cancers, with CD3+IM providing robust stratification of both dMMR and pMMR tumors for prognosis. Potentially, lower T-cell densities among dMMR tumors may contribute to immunotherapy resistance.
Project description:Small-cell cancer of the urinary bladder is a rare but highly aggressive disease. It is currently unclear whether immune checkpoint therapies that have been approved for urothelial carcinomas will also be efficient in small-cell carcinomas. In this study, we analyzed potential predictors of response including PD-L1 expression and the quantity and location of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in 12 small-cell and 69 "classical" urothelial cancers by immunohistochemistry. The analysis revealed that small-cell carcinomas were characterized by the virtual absence of PD-L1 expression and an "immune-excluded" phenotype with only a few TILs in the center of the tumor (CT). In small-cell carcinomas, the average immune cell density in the CT (CD3: 159 ± 206, CD8: 87 ± 169 cells/mm2) was more than 3 times lower than that in the urothelial carcinomas (CD3: 625 ± 800, p < 0.001; CD8: 362 ± 626 cells/mm2, p = 0.004) while there was no significant difference in the immune cell density at the invasive margin (IM) (small-cell carcinomas CD3: 899 ± 733, CD8: 404 ± 433 cells/mm2; urothelial carcinomas CD3: 1167 ± 1206, p = 0.31; CD8: 582 ± 864 cells/mm2, p = 0.27). Positive PD-L1 staining was found in 39% of urothelial cancers, but in only 8% of small-cell bladder cancer cases (p = 0.04). Concordant with these data, a sharp decrease of PD-L1 positivity from >80% to 0% positive cells and of TILS in the CT from 466-1063 CD3-positive cells/mm2 to 50-109 CD3-positive cells/mm2 was observed in two cancers with clear-cut progression from "classical" urothelial to small-cell carcinoma. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that small-cell bladder cancer commonly exhibits an immune-excluded phenotype.
Project description:The presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) reflects an active inflammatory tumor microenvironment. High density of TILs as well as presence of TLS is associated with improved survival in various solid cancer types. We aimed to describe the density and distribution of TILs and TLS in pulmonary metastases (PMs) from primary colorectal cancer (CRC) and its correlation with clinicopathological variables. Fifty-seven CRC pulmonary metastasectomy specimen (PM) and 31 matched primary CRC specimen were included. Cluster of differentiation (CD)3+, CD8+, CD45RO+ and FoxP3+ TILs were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and density was scored semiquantitatively. TLS were evaluated based on morphological criteria. Survival time was defined from pulmonary metastasectomy to death or last follow up. A marked infiltration with CD3+, CD8+, CD45RO+ and FoxP3+ TILs was evident in CRC PM and matched primary CRC. Further assessment of the immune infiltrate in PM showed that a high density of FOXP3+ TILs at the invasive margin [HR 2.40 (1.11-6.96); P = 0.031] and low density of CD8+ cells in TLS [HR 0.30 (0.14-0.79); P = 0.016] were associated with a worse prognosis in univariate analysis. Moreover, a low CD8/FoxP3-ratio of TILs at the invasive margin (P = 0.042) and in TLS (P = 0.027) conferred an impaired prognosis after pulmonary metastasectomy. Our findings suggest that CRC PM harbor an immune active microenvironment. The balance of CD8+ and FoxP3+ T-cells at the tumor border and in TLS provides prognostic information in patients with CRC PM.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a highly mortal malignancy with limited therapeutic options. Immunotherapies targeting PD-1/PD-L1 pathway represent a promising treatment for ICC. However, PD-L1 expression and microsatellite instability are not common in ICC. This study aimed to investigate whether HHLA2, a newly identified B7 family immune checkpoint for T cells, could be a therapeutic target next to PD-L1 in ICC. METHODS:Expression levels of PD-L1 and HHLA2 as well as infiltrations of CD3+, CD8+, CD4 + Foxp3+, CD68+, CD163+ and CD20+ cells were evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 153 resected ICC samples. Comprehensive comparisons were made between PD-L1 and HHLA2 in terms of the expression rates, clinicopathological features and infiltrations of different immune cells. The expression level and prognostic significance of HHLA2 were further validated in an independent cohort. RESULTS:Expression of HHLA2 is more frequent than PD-L1 in ICC (49.0% vs 28.1%). Co-expression of both immune checkpoints was infrequent (13.1%) and 50% PD-L1 negative cases were with elevated HHLA2. HHLA2 overexpression was associated with sparser CD3+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), CD8+ TILs and a higher CD4 + Foxp3+/CD8+ TIL ratio, whereas PD-L1 expression was associated with prominent T cells and CD163+ tumor associated macrophages infiltrations. PD-L1 failed to stratify overall survival (OS) but HHLA2 was identified as an independent prognostic indicator for OS in two independent cohorts. CONCLUSIONS:Compared with PD-L1, HHLA2 is more prevalent and possesses more explicit prognostic significance, which confer the rationale for HHLA2 as a potential immunotherapeutic target next to PD-L1 for ICC patients.
Project description:Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is the most common esophageal cancer associated with poor prognosis and additional therapeutic strategies must be implemented to optimize ESCC treatment. Meanwhile, the important biologic role and potential prognostic and therapeutic implications of a tumors immunologic microenvironment (IM) have been recognized in various cancers.In order to investigate the contexture and the prognostic relevance of the IM in ESCC, we immunohistochemically evaluated the extent of overall/intraepithelial TILs (CD3+/CD8+) and of PD-1 / PD-L1 expression in a cohort of 125 therapy-naive ESCCs, additionally assessing PD-L1 copy number status via fluorescence in-situ hybridization.High intraepithelial CD3+ TILs (CD3ihigh) and high PD-L1 expression on tumor cells (PD-L1high) were each significantly associated with improved overall- (OS) (CD3+: p = 0.019; PD-L1: p = 0.028), disease specific- (DSS) (CD3+: p = 0.05; PD-L1: p = 0.006) and disease free survival (DFS) (CD3+: p = 0.009; PD-L1: p < 0.001). CD3ihigh- and PD-L1high cases were significantly associated with one another (p < 0.001). Subgrouping of ESCC revealed decreased OS (p = 0.031), DSS (p = 0.012) and DFS (p < 0.001) for CD3ilow/PD-L1low cancers.Our data not only associate CD3ihigh- and PD-L1high ESCC with a beneficial outcome, but also demonstrate PD-L1high- and CD3ihigh status to be closely intertwined. Furthermore, our study demarcates a prognostically unfavorable, "non-immunoreactive" CD3ilow / PD-L1low ESCC-subgroup, potentially forming the basis for an immune-based stratification of ESCC.