Introduction: Intraepithelial CD8+ tumour-infiltrating T-lymphocytes (TIL) are associated with a prolonged survival in endometrial cancer (EC). By contrast, stromal infiltration of CD8+ TIL does not confer prognostic benefit. A single marker to discriminate these populations would therefore be of interest for rapid assessment of the tumour immune contexture, ex vivo analysis of intraepithelial and stromal T-cells on a functional level and/or adoptive T-cell transfer. Here we determined whether CD103, the alpha E subunit of the alpha Eb7integrin, can be used to specifically discriminate the epithelial and stromal CD8+ TIL populations in EC.
Methods: CD103+ TIL were quantified in a cohort of 305 EC patients by immunohistochemistry. Localization of CD103+ cells and co-expression of CD103 with CD3, CD8, CD16 and FoxP3 were assessed by immunofluorescence. Further phenotyping of CD103+ cells was performed by flow cytometry on primary endometrial tumour digests.
Results: CD8+CD103+ cells were preferentially located in endometrial tumour epithelium, whereas CD8+CD103-cells were located in stroma. CD103+ lymphocytes were predominantly CD3+CD8+ T-cells and expressed PD1. The presence of a high CD103+ cell infiltration was associated with an improved prognosis in patients with endometrial adenocarcinoma (p = 0.035). Moreover, this beneficial effect was particularly evident in high-risk adenocarcinoma patients (p = 0.031).
Conclusions: Because of the restricted expression on intraepithelial CD8+ T-cells, CD103 may be a suitable biomarker for rapid assessment of immune infiltration of epithelial cancers. Furthermore, this intraepithelial tumour-reactive subset might be an interesting T-cell subset for adoptive T-cell transfer and/or target for checkpoint inhibition therapy. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes
- Endometrial cancer
- TUMOR-INFILTRATING LYMPHOCYTES
- LYTIC GRANULE POLARIZATION
- ALPHA(E)BETA(7) INTEGRIN