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E. Smits

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    OA02 - Novel Targets and Biomarkers in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (ID 369)

    • Event: WCLC 2016
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Mesothelioma/Thymic Malignancies/Esophageal Cancer/Other Thoracic Malignancies
    • Presentations: 1
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      OA02.07 - Characterization of the Tumor Microenvironment and Investigation of Immune Checkpoint Expression in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (ID 4437)

      11:00 - 12:30  |  Author(s): E. Smits

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis and an increasing incidence, for which novel therapeutic strategies are urgently required. Since the immune system has been described to play a role in protection against MPM, characterization of its tumor immune microenvironment (TME) and immune checkpoints might help to identify new immunotherapeutic targets and their predictive and/or prognostic value.

      Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on tissue samples of untreated (n=40) and chemotherapy-pretreated (n=14) MPM patients. Different subsets if immune cells were identified based on staining for CD4, CD8, FoxP3, CD68, CD45RO and granzyme B. The expression of the immune checkpoints TIM-3, LAG-3, PD-1 and its ligand PD-L1 was also investigated. The relationship between the immunological parameters and survival, as well as response to chemotherapy was analyzed using the R statistical software.

      All patients had CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), CD68+ histiocytes and macrophages and CD45RO+ T cells in their stroma, with CD8+ TILs being the predominant cell type of the immune infiltrate. Stromal CD4+ TILs were found in 75% of the untreated and 71% of the pretreated samples. A subset of those cells was also FoxP3+ and these CD4+FoxP3+ cells were positively correlated with stromal CD4 expression (p<0.001). Less than half of the samples showed positivity for granzyme B. Both, untreated and pretreated patients had PD-1+ TILs, while only 10% of the untreated patients also had PD-1+ tumor cells. PD-L1 positivity on lymphocytes and/or tumor cells was observed for more than half of the patients, with significant differences according to the histological subtype (p<0.001). Patients with a sarcomatoid histology showed the most PD-1 expression. TIM-3 was expressed in tumor cells, stromal lymphocytes and plasma cells, less often in pretreated samples compared to untreated samples. All samples were negative for LAG-3. After multivariate analysis stromal CD45RO expression was found to be an independent negative predictive factor for response to chemotherapy (p=0.017) and expression of CD4 and TIM-3 in lymphoid aggregates were good prognostic factors (p=0.008; p=0.001).

      Our data reveal the diversity of immune cells present in MPM and point to TIM-3 as a new target in mesothelioma. Administering chemotherapy before or together with PD-1/PD-L1/TIM-3 blocking agents may not be the best combination sequence and further research on the predictive value of CD45RO in the stroma might guide patient selection for chemotherapy.

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