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Histological Assessment of Synovial Sarcoma Before and After TCR-T Cell Therapy and Cryoablation: A Case Report.

Anticancer Research 2023 December
BACKGROUND/AIM: Cancer/testis antigens (CTAs) are well-known molecular targets with expression restricted to testicular germ cells and malignant tumors. T-cell receptor (TCR)-engineered T-cell (TCR-T) therapy against CTAs in patients with sarcoma has shown substantial progress, but resistance to TCR-T therapy remains a critical problem. In this report, we present a case of synovial sarcoma treated with TCR-T therapy targeting the New York-esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (NY-ESO)-1 protein. Histological findings were compared before and after TCR-T therapy and before and immediately after cryoablation.

CASE REPORT: A 68-year-old man received additional wide resection for synovial sarcoma in the left leg. Due to multiple metastases, he was enrolled in a clinical trial of TCR-T therapy for NY-ESO-1. The tumor demonstrated a 34.9% reduction in diameter. However, disease progression occurred by day 84 after TCR-T therapy. Six months after disease progression, cryoablation was performed for right posterior rib lesion and tumor specimens were obtained by needle biopsy both before and immediately after cryoablation. Ten months after the diagnosis of disease progression, the patient died. Expression levels of NY-ESO-1, human leukocyte antigen, and immune checkpoint proteins remained unchanged before and after TCR-T therapy. Beta catenin was up-regulated in recurrent tumor tissues after TCR-T therapy compared to levels observed before TCR-T therapy. Immediately after cryoablation, immunoreactivity for NY-ESO-1 showed a slightly reduction.

CONCLUSION: Up-regulation of beta-catenin in synovial sarcoma with recurrence after TCR-T therapy may be involved in T-cell exclusion and resistance to TCR-T therapy. Needle biopsy after cryoablation can be performed with sufficient pathological diagnostic accuracy including immunostaining.

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