Tumor infiltrating CD8/CD103/TIM-3-expressing lymphocytes in epithelial ovarian cancer co-express CXCL13 and associate with improved survival

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Reactivation of tumor infiltrating T lymphocytes (TILs) with immune checkpoint inhibitors or co-stimulators has proven to be an effective anti-cancer strategy for a broad range of malignancies. However, epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) remains largely refractory to current T cell-targeting immunotherapeutics. Therefore, identification of novel immune checkpoint targets and biomarkers with prognostic value for EOC is warranted. Combining multicolor immunofluorescent staining’s with single cell RNA-sequencing analysis, we here identified a TIM-3/CXCL13-positive tissue-resident memory (CD8/CD103-positive) T cell (Trm) population in EOC. Analysis of a cohort of ~175 patients with high-grade serous EOC revealed TIM-3-positive Trm were significantly associated with improved patient survival. As CXCL13-positive CD8-positive T cells have been strongly linked to patient response to anti-PD1 immune checkpoint blockade, combinatorial TIM-3 and PD-1 blockade therapy may be of interest for the (re)activation of anti-cancer immunity in EOC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1031746
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 21-Oct-2022


  • CXCL13
  • epithelial ovarian cancer
  • RNA-seq
  • TIM-3
  • tumor infiltrating lymphocytes

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