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High density of CXCL12-positive immune cell infiltration predicts chemosensitivity and recurrence-free survival in ovarian carcinoma

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2023 Nov 15. doi: 10.1007/s00432-023-05466-8. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Ovarian carcinoma is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy because of its late diagnosis, extremely high recurrence rate, and limited curative treatment options. In clinical practice, high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) predominates due to its frequency, high aggressiveness, and rapid development of drug resistance. Recent evidence suggests that CXCL12 is an important immunological factor in ovarian cancer progression. Therefore, we investigated the predictive and prognostic significance of the expression of this chemokine in tumor and immune cells in patients with HGSC.

METHODS: We studied a cohort of 47 primary high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas and their associated recurrences. A tissue microarray was constructed to evaluate the CXCL12 immunostained tumor tissue. CXCL12 expression was evaluated and statistically analyzed to correlate clinicopathologic data, overall survival, and recurrence-free survival.

RESULTS: A high proportion of CXCL12 + positive immune cells in primary ovarian serous carcinoma correlated significantly with chemosensitivity (p = 0.005), overall survival (p = 0.021), and longer recurrence-free survival (p = 0.038). In recurrent disease, high expression of CXCL12 was also correlated with better overall survival (p = 0.040). Univariate and multivariate analysis revealed that high CXCL12 + tumor-infiltrating immune cells (TICs) (HR 0.99, p = 0.042, HR 0.99, p = 0.023, respectively) and combined CXCL12 + /CD66b + infiltration (HR 0.15, p = 0.001, HR 0.13, p = 0.001, respectively) are independent favorable predictive markers for recurrence-free survival.

CONCLUSION: A high density of CXCL12 + TICs predicts a good response to chemotherapy, leading to a better overall survival and a longer recurrence-free interval. Moreover, with concomitant high CXCL12/CD66b TIC density, it is an independent favorable predictor of recurrence-free survival in patients with ovarian carcinoma.

PMID:37966614 | DOI:10.1007/s00432-023-05466-8

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