Tumor-infiltrating FoxP3+ Tregs predict favorable outcome in colorectal cancer patients: A meta-analysis

Guoming Hu _, Zhi’an Li and Shimin Wang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:75361-75371. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17722

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Guoming Hu1, Zhi’an Li2 and Shimin Wang3

1Department of General Surgery (Breast and Thyroid Surgery), Shaoxing People’s Hospital, Shaoxing Hospital of Zhejiang University, 312000, Shaoxing, China

2Department of Surgical Oncology, Shaoxing Second Hospital, 312000, Shaoxing, China

3Department of Nephrology, Shaoxing People’s Hospital, Shaoxing Hospital of Zhejiang University, 312000, Shaoxing, China

Correspondence to:

Guoming Hu, email: [email protected]

Shimin Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: tumor-infiltrating FoxP3+ Tregs, favorable outcome, human colorectal cancer, meta-analysis

Received: December 22, 2016     Accepted: April 11, 2017     Published: June 07, 2017


FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (FoxP3+ Tregs) are considered to be a key mediator in immune escape and tumor progression. However, the role of FoxP3+ Tregs in human colorectal cancer (CRC) remains controversial. Herein, we conducted a meta-analysis including 17 published studies with 3811 patients identified from PubMed and EBSCO to assess the prognostic impact of tumor-infiltrating FoxP3+ Tregs in human CRC. We found FoxP3+ Tregs infiltrating into both intraepithelium and stroma within tumor were significantly positively correlated with 1, 3, 5 and 10-year overall survival (OS), but not with 1, 3, 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) of patients. Interestingly, in stratified analyses by compartments within tumor FoxP3+ Tregs infiltrating into, FoxP3+ Tregs invading stromal compartment significantly improved 3 and 5-year OS, yet OS wasn’t improved when FoxP3+ Tregs infiltrated into intraepithelium only. Furthermore, FoxP3+ Tregs invading both intraepithelium and stroma significantly inversely correlated with TNM stage of CRC. In conclusion, High density of FoxP3+ Tregs within tumor especially at stromal compartment leads to a favorable outcome in CRC, implicating FoxP3+ Tregs are one of valuable indexes for prognostic prediction in human CRC.

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