Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) is an emerging regulator of tumor progression. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of COMP in periampullary adenocarcinoma with respect to prognostic value for survival and relapse, levels of fibrosis and infiltrating immune cells. COMP expression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry in primary tumors and subsets of paired lymph node metastases in tissue microarrays including 175 patients with periampullary adenocarcinoma. Collagen content was assessed with Sirius Red-Fast Green staining. High COMP levels were detected in cancer cells and in stroma, in 46% and 57% of the patients, respectively. High COMP expression was strongly associated with more aggressive pancreatobiliary-type (PB-type) compared to intestinal-type tumors (p < .0001). Importantly, high expression of COMP correlated with the exclusion of cytotoxic T-cells from the cancer cell compartment of the tumors, particularly in PB-type tumors. Higher levels of fibrosis measured by the density of collagen fibers correlated with high COMP levels in both cancer cells and stroma. This in turn could lead to exclusion of cytotoxic T-cells from accessing the cancer cells, a recognized immunotherapy resistance mechanism. Targeting COMP could therefore be considered as a novel therapeutic strategy in PB-type periampullary adenocarcinoma.
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cancer and Oncology
- immune cell exclusion
- pancreatic cancer