N. Zhang, Depu Wang, Yixin Duan
Mar 17, 2020
Pathology, research and practice
Recent studies showed that the tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are not randomly distributed, but organized to accumulate more or less densely in different regions within tumors, which have provoked new thoughts on cancer management. In this study we explored the characteristics of tumor immunemicroenvironment (TIME) for the tumor budding (TB) and lymphocytes in patients with gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC) as well as their prognostic significance. The TILs around the TB at the invasive margin were assessed by double-immunohistochemistry staining for the CD8, FOXP3, OX40 and GrB phenotypes. Results showed that there was a negative correlation between the density of TB and TILs in the budding area, tumor stroma and parenchyma. And the number of TILs around the TB was evidently reduced, compared with TILs in the non-budding region (P < 0.001). Additionally, the number of TILs in turn changed from non-budding area CD8+>FOXP3+>OX40+> GrB + T cells to FOXP3+>CD8+>OX40 + T > GrB + T cells in budding area. Survival rate was significantly lower in patients who had a higher density of TB (P < 0.001) and a lower density of TILs (P = 0.013). We concluded that TB was surrounded by a weak immune surveillance and immunosuppressive response supported the spatial heterogeneity in the TIME of gastric adenocarcinomas. The regional heterogeneity should be attached importance for identifying the influence of the TIME on cancer development and evolution.