The integrative clinical impact of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes and NK cells in relation to B lymphocyte and plasma cell density in esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma

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BACKGROUND: Several studies have demonstrated a prognostic impact of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells in esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma, but whether these associations differ by the density of tumor-infiltrating immune cells of the B cell lineage remains largely unknown. RESULTS: High infiltration of any T and NK lymphocytes investigated was in general associated with a favorable prognosis, but the strongest beneficial prognostic impact was seen in combination with high B lymphocyte infiltration. These findings were most evident in gastric cancer, where significant interactions in relation to OS were observed for CD3(+), CD8(+) and FoxP3(+) with CD20(+) cells (p(interaction) =0.012, 0.009 and 0.007, respectively) and for FoxP3(+) with IGKC(+) cells (p(interaction) =0.034). In esophageal tumors, there was only a significant interaction for CD3(+) and CD20 (+) cells (p(interaction) =0.028). METHODS: Immunohistochemistry and automated image analysis was applied to assess the density of T lymphocytes (CD3(+), CD8(+), FoxP3(+)) and NK cells (NKp46(+)) in chemoradiotherapy-naïve tumors from a consecutive cohort of 174 patients with resected esophageal or gastric adenocarcinoma. The density of B lymphocytes (CD20(+)) and plasma cells (IGKC(+)) had been assessed previously. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazard's modelling was applied to examine the impact of the investigated markers on time to recurrence (TTR) and overall survival (OS). CONCLUSIONS: These data support that the antitumoral effects of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes in esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma may be largely dependent on a functional interplay between T and B lymphocytes or plasma cells.


External organisations
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72108-72126
Number of pages19
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 22
Publication categoryResearch