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Active immunosurveillance in the tumor microenvironment of colorectal cancer is associated with low frequency tumor budding and improved outcome


Koelzer, Viktor H; Dawson, Heather; Andersson, Emilia; Karamitopoulou, Eva; Masucci, Giuseppe V; Lugli, Alessandro; Zlobec, Inti (2015). Active immunosurveillance in the tumor microenvironment of colorectal cancer is associated with low frequency tumor budding and improved outcome. Translational Research, 166(2):207-217.

Abstract

Tumor budding (single tumor cells or small tumor cell clusters) at the invasion front of colorectal cancer (CRC) is an adverse prognostic indicator linked to epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This study characterized the immunogenicity of tumor buds by analyzing the expression of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I in the invasive tumor cell compartment. We hypothesized that maintenance of a functional MHC-I antigen presentation pathway, activation of CD8+ T-cells, and release of antitumoral effector molecules such as cytotoxic granule-associated RNA binding protein (TIA1) in the tumor microenvironment can counter tumor budding and favor prolonged patient outcome. Therefore, a well-characterized multipunch tissue microarray of 220 CRCs was profiled for MHC-I, CD8, and TIA1 by immunohistochemistry. Topographic expression analysis of MHC-I was performed using whole tissue sections (n = 100). Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and B-Raf proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase (BRAF) mutations, mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression, and CpG-island methylator phenotype (CIMP) were investigated. Our results demonstrated that membranous MHC-I expression is frequently down-regulated in the process of invasion. Maintained MHC-I at the invasion front strongly predicted low-grade tumor budding (P = 0.0004). Triple-positive MHC-I/CD8/TIA1 in the tumor microenvironment predicted early T-stage (P = 0.0031), absence of lymph node metastasis (P = 0.0348), lymphatic (P = 0.0119) and venous invasion (P = 0.006), and highly favorable 5-year survival (90.9% vs 39.3% in triple-negative patients; P = 0.0032). MHC-I loss was frequent in KRAS-mutated, CD8+ CRC (P = 0.0228). No relationship was observed with CIMP, MMR, or BRAF mutation. In conclusion, tumor buds may evade immune recognition through downregulation of membranous MHC-I. A combined profile of MHC-I/CD8/TIA1 improves the prognostic value of antitumoral effector cells and should be preferred to a single marker approach.

Abstract

Tumor budding (single tumor cells or small tumor cell clusters) at the invasion front of colorectal cancer (CRC) is an adverse prognostic indicator linked to epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This study characterized the immunogenicity of tumor buds by analyzing the expression of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I in the invasive tumor cell compartment. We hypothesized that maintenance of a functional MHC-I antigen presentation pathway, activation of CD8+ T-cells, and release of antitumoral effector molecules such as cytotoxic granule-associated RNA binding protein (TIA1) in the tumor microenvironment can counter tumor budding and favor prolonged patient outcome. Therefore, a well-characterized multipunch tissue microarray of 220 CRCs was profiled for MHC-I, CD8, and TIA1 by immunohistochemistry. Topographic expression analysis of MHC-I was performed using whole tissue sections (n = 100). Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and B-Raf proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase (BRAF) mutations, mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression, and CpG-island methylator phenotype (CIMP) were investigated. Our results demonstrated that membranous MHC-I expression is frequently down-regulated in the process of invasion. Maintained MHC-I at the invasion front strongly predicted low-grade tumor budding (P = 0.0004). Triple-positive MHC-I/CD8/TIA1 in the tumor microenvironment predicted early T-stage (P = 0.0031), absence of lymph node metastasis (P = 0.0348), lymphatic (P = 0.0119) and venous invasion (P = 0.006), and highly favorable 5-year survival (90.9% vs 39.3% in triple-negative patients; P = 0.0032). MHC-I loss was frequent in KRAS-mutated, CD8+ CRC (P = 0.0228). No relationship was observed with CIMP, MMR, or BRAF mutation. In conclusion, tumor buds may evade immune recognition through downregulation of membranous MHC-I. A combined profile of MHC-I/CD8/TIA1 improves the prognostic value of antitumoral effector cells and should be preferred to a single marker approach.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Health Sciences > Biochemistry (medical)
Health Sciences > Physiology (medical)
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:26 Sep 2019 14:01
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1878-1810
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2015.02.008
PubMed ID:25797890

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