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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Lynch syndrome-associated epithelial ovarian cancer and its immunological profile

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INTRODUCTION: Lynch syndrome is a multi-tumor syndrome characterized by mismatch repair deficiency (MMR-d), microsatellite instability (MSI), and increased tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) making these tumors candidates for treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. However, response may depend on tumor-induced immune evasion mechanisms, e.g. loss of Beta-2-Microglobulin (B2M) or upregulation of programmed death protein ligand 1 (PD-L1). We investigated the immune response and B2M and PD-L1 expression in Lynch syndrome-associated ovarian cancers.

METHODS: We successfully analyzed 30 Lynch syndrome-associated epithelial ovarian cancers collected through the Danish Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) register. MMR-d, MSI, immune response (CD3, CD8, and CD68), and immune evasion mechanisms (B2M and PD-L1) were investigated. Statistical associations between these markers were evaluated in addition to survival in relation to B2M/PD-L1.

RESULTS: Of the 29 evaluable tumors, 27 were MMR-d (93.1%). Likewise of 26 evaluable tumors, 14 were MSI (53.8%). MMR-d/MMR-proficiency associated with MSI/MSS in 60.0%. Half of the ovarian tumors presented with high levels of TILs. Loss of B2M expression was observed in 46.7% of the tumors, while expression of PD-L1 was seen in 28.0% of the cases. There was no association between B2M/PD-L1 and MSI/TILs/survival. Loss of B2M was often seen in tumors with low TILs (p = 0.056 or p = 0.059 for CD3 and CD8 positive cells, respectively).

CONCLUSION: MMR-d, MSI, and TILs are also seen in Lynch syndrome-associated ovarian cancers making these potential candidates for checkpoint-based immunotherapy. The clinical impact from immune evasion through loss of B2M needs to be investigated further in larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)686-693
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

    Research areas

  • Hereditary colorectal cancer, HLA class I, Immunoediting, MHC class I

ID: 66871454