Research Papers:

Prognostic effect of intratumoral neutrophils across histological subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer

Mehrdad Rakaee _, Lill-Tove Busund, Erna-Elise Paulsen, Elin Richardsen, Samer Al-Saad, Sigve Andersen, Tom Donnem, Roy M. Bremnes and Thomas K. Kilvaer

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:72184-72196. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12360

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Mehrdad Rakaee1, Lill-Tove Busund1,2, Erna-Elise Paulsen3,4, Elin Richardsen1,2, Samer Al-Saad1,2, Sigve Andersen3,4, Tom Donnem3,4, Roy M. Bremnes3,4, Thomas K. Kilvaer3,4

1Department of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromso, Norway

2Department of Clinical Pathology, University Hospital of North Norway, N-9038 Tromso, Norway

3Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromso, Norway

4Department of Oncology, University Hospital of North Norway, N-9038 Tromso, Norway

Correspondence to:

Mehrdad Rakaee, email: [email protected]

Keywords: CD66b, TANs, NSCLC, neutrophils, lung cancer

Received: July 04, 2016    Accepted: September 19, 2016    Published: September 30, 2016


Recent data indicate that tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs) serve a dual role in tumor progression and regression. CD66b is a neutrophil marker and has been associated with patient outcome in various cancers. However, its clinical impact in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains controversial. 536 NSCLC patients, of which 172 harbored lymph node metastases, were included in this study. Tissue microarrays were constructed and multiplexed immunohistochemistry of CD66b, CD34 and pan-keratin was performed to evaluate the localization and quantity of CD66b+ TANs. High intratumoral CD66b+ TANs density in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) subgroup was an independent positive prognosticator for disease-specific survival (P = 0.038). In contrast, high intratumoral TANs density was an independent negative prognostic factor in the adenocarcinoma (ADC) subgroup (P= 0.032). Likewise, in ADC patients with lymph node metastases, high level of intratumoral TANs was associated with poor prognosis (P = 0.003). Stromal CD66b+ TANs were not associated with outcome of NSCLC patients. In conclusion, CD66b+ TANs show diverging prognostic effect in NSCLC patients according to histological subgroups. The presence of CD66b+ TANs could prove pivotal for development of an immunoscore in ADC NSCLC patients.

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