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Density of CD8-positive tumor-infiltrating T-lymphocytes is an independent prognostic factor in adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction

Juliana Knief, Pamela Lazar-Karsten, Ulrich Wellner, Richard Hummel, Christoph Thorns
Histology and Histopathology 2019 April 2, : 18109
Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) have commonly been associated with markedly improved prognosis in a variety of human cancers, including carcinomas of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. Especially the presence of T-cells (cytotoxic as well as helper cells) seems to define a subgroup of patients with prolonged overall and event-free survival. The density of TILs was assessed via immunohistochemistry for CD8 and CD103 in a population of 228 adenocarcinomas of the esophagogastric junction. Density of CD8+ T-lymphocytes was inversely correlated with depth of tumor infiltration (p=0.013) while no correlation with any of the analyzed clinicopathologic factors could be established for CD103-density. High density of CD8-positive T-cells additionally showed significantly longer overall survival (OS) with a p-value of 0.024 while density of CD103+ cells was associated with prolonged tumor free survival (p-value 0.011). Independence could be demonstrated applying Cox proportional hazard analysis (Hazard Ratio 0.742; 95%-Confidence Interval 0.579-0.951; p=0.019). High density of CD8-positive T-lymphocytes identifies a patient subgroup with significantly prolonged overall survival, is correlated with tumor stage and might open up new therapeutic possibilities via immunomodulating drugs.


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