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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Immunoprofiles of colorectal cancer from Lynch syndrome

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Colorectal cancers associated with Lynch syndrome are characterized by defective mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, high mutation rates, and a highly immunogenic environment. These features define a subset of cancer with a favorable prognosis and high likelihood to respond to treatment with anti-programmed death 1 (PD-1)/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) drugs. With the aim to define immune-evasive mechanisms and a potential impact hereof in colorectal cancers from Lynch syndrome versus hereditary cases with retained mismatch repair function, we immunohistochemically and transcriptionally profiled 270 tumors. Lynch syndrome-associated tumors showed an overrepresentation of tumor-infiltrating CD3, CD8 and CD68 positive cells, loss of beta-2-microglobulin (B2M) and up-regulation of PD-L1 on tumor cells. The gene expression signature of Lynch syndrome tumors was characterized by upregulation of genes related to antigen processing and presentation, apoptosis, natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and T cell activation. Tumors with loss of B2M and up-regulation of PD-L1 showed distinctive immunogenic profiles. In summary, our data demonstrate a complex tumor-host interplay where B2M loss and PD-L1 up-regulation influence immunological pathways and clinical outcome in Lynch syndrome tumors. Immunological classification may thus aid in the preselection of colorectal cancers relevant for treatment with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1515612
JournalOncoImmunology
Volume8
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e1515612
ISSN2162-4011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • familial colorectal cancer type X, Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, immunophenotypes, microsatellite instability, mismatch repair

ID: 55855874