CD163+ immune cell infiltrates and presence of CD54+ microvessels are prognostic markers for patients with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
ABSTRACT: Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS) are rare and often lethal diseases. It is assumed that the tumor microenvironment (TME) of RMS exerts an immunosuppressive function, but there is currently no systematic analysis of the immune cells infiltrating sarcoma tissue. Focusing on two common types of RMS (alveolar [RMA] and embryonal [RME]), we performed a comprehensive immunohistochemical analysis of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in the TME. We performed a qualitative estimation of infiltrating immune cells in the tumor microenvironment by an experienced pathologist as well as a quantitative digital pathology analysis. We found that (1) manual and automatic quantification of tumor-infiltrating immune cells were consistent; (2) RME tumors showed a higher degree of immune cell infiltration than RMA tumors but (3) the number of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes was low compared to other solid tumor types; (4) microvascular density correlated with immune cell infiltration and (5) CD163 positive macrophages as well as CD54 positive microvessels were more often detected in RME than in RMA and correlated with patient overall and event free survival. Our systematic analysis provides a comprehensive view of the immune landscape of RMS which needs to be taken into account for developing immunotherapies for this rare type of cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The epigenetic regulation of immune response has been demonstrated in recent studies. Nonetheless, potential roles of RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification in tumor microenvironment (TME) cell infiltration remain unknown. METHODS:We comprehensively evaluated the m6A modification patterns of 1938 gastric cancer samples based on 21 m6A regulators, and systematically correlated these modification patterns with TME cell-infiltrating characteristics. The m6Ascore was constructed to quantify m6A modification patterns of individual tumors using principal component analysis algorithms. RESULTS:Three distinct m6A modification patterns were determined. The TME cell-infiltrating characteristics under these three patterns were highly consistent with the three immune phenotypes of tumors including immune-excluded, immune-inflamed and immune-desert phenotypes. We demonstrated the evaluation of m6A modification patterns within individual tumors could predict stages of tumor inflammation, subtypes, TME stromal activity, genetic variation, and patient prognosis. Low m6Ascore, characterized by increased mutation burden and activation of immunity, indicated an inflamed TME phenotype, with 69.4% 5-year survival. Activation of stroma and lack of effective immune infiltration were observed in the high m6Ascore subtype, indicating a non-inflamed and immune-exclusion TME phenotype, with poorer survival. Low m6Ascore was also linked to increased neoantigen load and enhanced response to anti-PD-1/L1 immunotherapy. Two immunotherapy cohorts confirmed patients with lower m6Ascore demonstrated significant therapeutic advantages and clinical benefits. CONCLUSIONS:This work revealed the m6A modification played a nonnegligible role in formation of TME diversity and complexity. Evaluating the m6A modification pattern of individual tumor will contribute to enhancing our cognition of TME infiltration characterization and guiding more effective immunotherapy strategies.
Project description:The tumor microenvironment (TME) constitutes a complex milieu of cells and cytokines that maintain equilibrium between tumor progression and prognosis. However, comprehensive analysis of the TME and its clinical significance in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains to be unreported. In this study, based on large-scale RNA sequencing data pertaining to single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and copy number variations (CNVs) in HNSCC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas database, we analysed subpopulations of infiltrating immune cells and evaluated the role of TME infiltration pattern (TME score) in assessing immunotherapy outcome. TME signature genes involved in several inflammation and immunity signalling pathways were observed in the TME score subtype, which were considered immunosuppressive and potentially responsible for significantly worse prognosis. In comparison with SNV- and CNV-mediated tumor mutation burden, TME score can significantly differentiate between high- and low-risk HNSCC and predict immunotherapy outcome. Our data provide clarity on the comprehensive landscape of interactions between clinical characteristics of HNSCC and tumor-infiltrating immune cells. TME score seems to be a useful biomarker that can predict immunotherapy outcome in HNSCC patients.
Project description:Hypoxia leads to up-regulation of PD-L1 and decreases T lymphocyte infiltration, thus boosting immunotherapeutic resistance of tumors. Moreover, tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells such as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) correlate with potent immune suppressive activity and resistance to the immune checkpoint blocking (ICB) in tumor sites. Here, a multifunctional nanoregulator incorporating MnO2 particles and small molecular IPI549 is developed, which can reshape the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) to unleash the immune system. The intravenously administered nanoregulator effectively accumulates in tumor sites to alleviate hypoxia via oxygen-generating reduction of MnO2 and to inhibit PI3K? on MDSCs via IPI549 release in the tumor microenvironment (TME), which results in concurrent downregulation of PD-L1 expression, polarization of tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) toward pro-inflammatory M1-like phenotype (tumor-suppressive), enhanced infiltration of CD4+ helper T lymphocytes (Th cells), and cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (Tc cells), and suppressed infiltration of regulatory T lymphocytes (Treg cells) for effective tumor immunotherapy. Furthermore, the local generation of Mn2+ in TME allows tumor-specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). More excitingly, the nanoregulator-reshaped TIME is effectively reserved due to the synergistic effect of hypoxia alleviation and MDSC PI3K? inhibition, leading to remarkable post-medication inhibition of tumor re-growth and metastasis in an animal study.
Project description:Immunotherapy (IMT) is now a core component of cancer treatment, however, many patients do not respond to these novel therapies. Investigating the resistance mechanisms behind this differential response is now a critical area of research. Immune-based therapies, particularly immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), rely on a robust infiltration of T-cells into the tumor microenvironment (TME) for an effective response. While early efforts relied on quantifying tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in the TME, characterizing the functional quality and degree of TIL exhaustion correlates more strongly with ICI response. Even with sufficient TME infiltration, immune cells face a harsh metabolic environment that can significantly impair effector function. These tumor-mediated metabolic perturbations include hypoxia, oxidative stress, and metabolites of cellular energetics. Primarily through HIF-1-dependent processes, hypoxia invokes an immunosuppressive phenotype via altered molecular markers, immune cell trafficking, and angiogenesis. Additionally, oxidative stress can promote lipid peroxidation, ER stress, and Treg dysfunction, all associated with immune dysregulation. Finally, the metabolic byproducts of lipids, amino acids, glucose, and cellular energetics are associated with immunosuppression and ICI resistance. This review will explore these biochemical pathways linked to immune cell dysfunction in the TME and highlight potential adjunctive therapies to be used alongside current IMT.
Project description:Emerging evidence has highlighted that the immune and stromal cells formed the majority of tumor microenvironment (TME) which are served as important roles in tumor progression. In our study, we aimed to screen vital prognostic signature associated with TME in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). We obtained total 611 samples from TCGA database consisting of transcriptome profiles and clinical data. ESTIMATE algorithm was applied to estimate the infiltrating fractions of immune/stromal cells. We found that the immune scores revealed more prognostic significance in overall survival and positive associations with risk clinical factors than stromal scores. We carried out differential expression analysis between Immunescore and stromalscore groups to obtain the 72 intersect genes. Protein to protein interaction (PPI) network and functional analysis was performed to indicate potential altered pathways. Additionally, we further conducted multivariate Cox analysis to identify 12 hub genes associated highly with TME of ccRCC using a stepwise regression procedure. Accordingly, risk score was constructed from the multivariate Cox results and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was used to assess the predictive value (AUC = 0.781). The ccRCC patients with high risk scores suffered poor survival outcomes than that with low risk scores. In the validation cohort from GSE53757, TNFSF13B, CASP5, and GJB6 correlated positively with tumor stages, while FREM1 negatively correlated with tumor stages. Importantly, we further observed that TNFSF13B, CASP5 and XCR1 showed the remarkable correlations with tumor-infiltrating immune cells. Taken together, our research identified specific signatures that related to the infiltration of stromal and immune cells in TME of ccRCC using the transciptome profiles, which reached a comprehensive understanding of tumor microenvironment in ccRCC.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have been approved for patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), but not all patients benefit from ICI. One reason is the tumor microenvironment (TME) that has substantial influence on patient's prognosis and therapy response. Thus, we comprehensively analyzed the TME of ccRCC regarding prognostic and predictive properties. METHODS:Tumor-infiltrating CD3-positive T-cells, CD8-positive cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs), regulatory T-cells, B-cells, plasma cells, macrophages, granulocytes, programmed cell death receptor 1 (PD-1), and its ligand PD-L1 were examined in a large hospital-based series of ccRCC with long-term follow-up information (n = 756) and in another patient collective with information on response to nivolumab therapy (n = 8). Tissue microarray technique and digital image analysis were used. Relationship between immune cell infiltration and tumor characteristics, cancer-specific survival (CSS), or response to ICI was examined. RESULTS:Univariate survival analysis revealed that increased tumor-infiltrating B-cells, T-cells, and PD-1-positive cells were significantly associated with favorable CSS and high levels of intratumoral granulocytes, macrophages, cytotoxic T-cells, and PD-L1 significantly with poor CSS. High CTL or B-cell infiltration and high PD-L1 expression of ccRCC tumor cells qualified as independent prognostic biomarkers for patients' CSS. Significantly higher densities of intratumoral T-cells, CTLs, and PD-1-positive immune cells were observed in ccRCC with response to ICI compared with patients with mixed or no response (CD3: p = 0.003; CD8: p = 0.006; PD-1: p = 0.01). DISCUSSION:This study shows that subsets of tumor-infiltrating leukocytes in the TME and also PD-1/PD-L1 provide prognostic and predictive information for patients with ccRCC.
Project description:The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a heterogeneous system that contributes to breast cancer progression. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database provides global gene expression profiling data for further analysis of various malignancies, including breast cancer. Based on the ESTIMATE algorithm, immune and stromal scores were calculated according to immune or stromal components in the TME. We divided breast cancer cases into high- and low-score groups and identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were significantly associated with overall survival. We performed enrichment analysis and constructed a protein-protein interaction network and found that the DEGs were mainly involved in primary immunodeficiency, T cell receptor signaling pathway and cytokine-cytokine receptor reaction. Furthermore, we explored the effect of aging on immune and stromal scores, which was validated by lower immune/stromal scores, lower infiltration of T cells and lower expression of immune checkpoints in the elder group. In conclusion, certain differentially expressed immune-related genes contribute to longer overall survival, and aging influences the immune microenvironment and immunotherapy efficacy by changing the tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) abundance and checkpoint expression in breast cancer.
Project description:Tumor mass consists of a complex ensemble of malignant cancer cells and a wide variety of resident and infiltrating cells, secreted factors, and extracellular matrix proteins that are referred as tumor microenvironment (TME). Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are key TME components that support tumor growth, generating a physical barrier against drugs and immune infiltration, and contributing to regulate malignant progression. Thus, it is largely accepted that therapeutic approaches aimed at hampering the interactions between tumor cells and CAFs can enhance the effectiveness of anti-cancer treatments. In this view, nucleic acid therapeutics have emerged as promising molecules. Here, we summarize recent knowledge about their role in the regulation of CAF transformation and tumor-promoting functions, highlighting their therapeutic utility and challenges.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is associated with an immunosuppressive tumor-microenvironment (TME) that supports the growth of tumors and mediates tumors enabling evasion of the immune system. Expression of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and loss of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I on tumor cells are methods by which tumors escape immunosurveillance. We examined immune cell infiltration, the expression of PD-L1 and HLA class I by PDA cells, and the correlation between these immunological factors and clinical prognosis. PDA samples from 36 patients were analyzed for HLA class I, HLA-DR, PD-L1, PD-1, CD4, CD8, CD56, CD68, and FoxP3 expression by immunohistochemistry. The correlations between the expression of HLA class I, HLA-DR, PD-L1 or PD-1 and the pattern of tumor infiltrating immune cells or the patients' prognosis were assessed. PD-L1 expression correlated with tumor infiltration by CD68+ and FoxP3+ cells. Low HLA class I expression was an only risk factor for poor survival. PD-L1 negative and HLA class I high-expressing PDA was significantly associated with higher numbers of infiltrating CD8+ T cells in the TME, and a better prognosis. Evaluation of both PD-L1 and HLA class I expression by PDA may be a good predictor of prognosis for patients. HLA class I expression by tumor cells should be evaluated when selecting PDA patients who may be eligible for treatment with PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade therapies.
Project description:Immune-checkpoint inhibition (ICI) has revolutionized treatment in cancers that are naturally immunogenic by enabling infiltration of T cells into the tumor microenvironment (TME) and promoting cytotoxic signaling pathways. Tumors possessing complex immunosuppressive TMEs such as breast and pancreatic cancers present unique therapeutic obstacles as response rates to ICI remain low. Such tumors often recruit myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), whose functioning prohibits both T-cell activation and infiltration. We attempted to sensitize these tumors to ICI using epigenetic modulation to target MDSC trafficking and function to foster a less immunosuppressive TME. We showed that combining a histone deacetylase inhibitor, entinostat (ENT), with anti-PD-1, anti-CTLA-4, or both significantly improved tumor-free survival in both the HER2/neu transgenic breast cancer and the Panc02 metastatic pancreatic cancer mouse models. Using flow cytometry, gene-expression profiling, and ex vivo functional assays, we characterized populations of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and MDSCs, as well as their functional capabilities. We showed that addition of ENT to checkpoint inhibition led to significantly decreased suppression by granulocytic MDSCs in the TME of both tumor types. We also demonstrated an increase in activated granzyme-B-producing CD8+ T effector cells in mice treated with combination therapy. Gene-expression profiling of both MDSCs and TILs identified significant changes in immune-related pathways. In summary, addition of ENT to ICI significantly altered infiltration and function of innate immune cells, allowing for a more robust adaptive immune response. These findings provide a rationale for combination therapy in patients with immune-resistant tumors, including breast and pancreatic cancers.