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Paul Gallagher

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    MA15 - Usage of Computer and Molecular Analysis in Treatment Selection and Disease Prognostication (ID 141)

    • Event: WCLC 2019
    • Type: Mini Oral Session
    • Track: Pathology
    • Presentations: 1
    • Now Available
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      MA15.11 - Establishing a Cell Sociology Platform for the Assessment of Targetable Interactions to Predict Lung Cancer Outcome (Now Available) (ID 2652)

      15:45 - 17:15  |  Author(s): Paul Gallagher

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides


      The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a complex mixture of tumor epithelium, stroma and immune cells. The immune component of the TME is highly prognostic for tumor progression and patient outcome. Immune functionality, however, is often dictated by direct cell-to-cell contacts and cannot be resolved by simple metrics of cell density (for example, number of cells per mm2 or flow cytometry). For example, direct contact between CD8+ T cells and target cells is necessary for CD8+ T cell activity, and direct contact between PD1+ and PD-L1+ cells is necessary for the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Current immunohistochemistry (IHC) techniques identify immune cell numbers and densities, but lack assessment of spatial relationships (or “cell sociology”). Here, we develop a platform to examine these direct interactions within the TME, and assess their relationship with patient outcome in two independent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cohorts.


      Tissue sections of primary tumors from lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) patients with known clinical outcome were stained using 2 multiplex IHC panels: CD3/CD8/CD79a (Panel 1) and PD1/PDL1/CD8 (Panel 2). Hyperspectral image analysis determined the phenotype of all cells. Using the same IHC panels, these observations were assessed in a secondary NSCLC dataset (n=674). Deconvolution of these images was used to identify cell types, and cellular ‘neighborhoods’ were assessed using a Voronoi approach. This cohort was also profiled by for gene expression to validate immune subset fractions. We further identified other tumor features, including the presence of tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs; transient immune structures necessary for antibody production from B cells).


      High density of intra-tumoral CD8+ T cells was associated with non-recurrence of tumors. However, we find that a non-random cell sociology pattern of CD8+ T cells directly surrounded by tumor cells was more significantly associated with non-recurrence compared to density alone. Monte Carlo re‐sampling analysis determined that these cell sociology patterns were non-random.


      Hyperspectral cell sociology expands our understanding of the complex interplay between tumor cells and immune infiltrate. This technology improves our understanding of the tumour microenvironment and allows us to directly quantify interactions that dictate immune responses to cancers. Consequently, the implementation of this platform could improve predictions of responses to immunotherapy and lead to a deeper understanding of anti-tumor immunity.

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