Intratumoral CD8+ T lymphocytes as a prognostic factor of survival in endometrial carcinoma

Svetlana Kondratiev, Edmond Sabo, Evgeny Yakirevich, Ofer Lavie, Murray B Resnick
Clinical Cancer Research 2004 July 1, 10 (13): 4450-6

PURPOSE: CTLs are a prominent immune component infiltrating many solid tumors. These cells are considered to be a manifestation of host-immune response to the tumor; however, their prognostic significance remains a subject of considerable debate. The objective of this study was to evaluate the distribution pattern and prognostic value of CD8(+) T cells in endometrial carcinoma.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We studied 90 cases of endometrial carcinoma, including 75 endometrioid and 15 papillary serous carcinomas. Immunohistochemical staining for CD8 and granzyme B was performed on paraffin-embedded sections. The number of immunohistochemically staining CD8(+) T cells was enumerated in the following four regions: lymphocytes infiltrating the tumor epithelium at the invasive border, within the underlying tumor stroma, within the superficial tumor epithelium, and in the perivascular areas of the myometrium.

RESULTS: Patients with >10 CD8(+) T lymphocytes/high-power field within the tumor epithelium at the invasive border displayed improved overall survival compared with patients with fewer intraepithelial CD8(+) T lymphocytes (87 and 50%, respectively; P = 0.027). Multivariate analysis revealed that stage, vascular invasion, grade, and the number of intraepithelial CD8(+) T lymphocytes at the invasive border were the only independent predictors of survival (P < 0.0001, P = 0.001, P = 0.011, and P = 0.025, respectively). Granzyme B(+) cytoplasmatic granules were detected in a high proportion of CTLs, confirming their activated cytotoxic phenotype.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates for the first time that increased numbers of CTLs at the invasive border may be a reliable independent prognostic factor of survival in patients with endometrial carcinoma.

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