Tumour-draining axillary lymph nodes in patients with large and locally advanced breast cancers undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC): the crucial contribution of immune cells (effector, regulatory) and cytokines (TH1, TH2) to immune-mediated tumour cell death induced by NAC

Kaewkangsadan, Viriya and Verma, Chandan and Eremin, Jennifer M. and Cowley, Gerard P. (2016) Tumour-draining axillary lymph nodes in patients with large and locally advanced breast cancers undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC): the crucial contribution of immune cells (effector, regulatory) and cytokines (TH1, TH2) to immune-mediated tumour cell death induced by NAC. Breast Cancer Research . ISSN 1465-542X (Submitted)

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Abstract

Background and Aim:

The tumour microenvironment consists of malignant cells, stroma and immune cells. In women with large and locally advanced breast cancers (LLABCs) undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), various subsets (effector, regulatory) and cytokines in the primary tumour play a key role in the induction of tumour cell death and a pathological complete response (pCR) with NAC. The contribution of the cellular and humoral responses to a pCR in nodal metastases, however, is poorly studied and was investigated.

Patients and Methods:

Axillary lymph nodes (ALNs) (24 with and 9 without metastases) from women with LLABCs undergoing NAC were immunohistochemically assessed for TILs, T cell subsets, NK cells and cytokine expression using labelled antibodies, employing established semi-quantitative methods.

Results:

In ALN metastases high levels of TILs, CD4+ and CD8+ T and CD56+ NK cells were significantly associated with pCRs. High levels of TILs and CD56+ NK cells in ALN metastases were independent predictors (univariate analysis) of a pCR with NAC. Significantly higher levels of Tregs (FOXP3+, CTLA-4+) and CD56+ NK cells were documented in ALN metastases than in the corresponding primary breast tumours. CD8+ T and CD56+ NK cells showed a positive correlation between metastatic and primary tumours. A high % CD8+ and low % FOXP3+ T cells and high CD8+ :FOXP3+ ratio in metastatic ALNs (tumour-free paracortex) were associated with pCRs. Metastatic ALNs expressed high IL-10, low IL-2 and IFN-ϒ.

Conclusion:

Our study has provided new data characterising the possible contribution of T effector/regulatory and NK cells and cytokines to tumour cell death with NAC.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Axillary lymph node; breast cancer, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, tumour microenvironment, tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte subsets, cytokines.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 05 May 2016 16:06
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2016 10:36
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/33127

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