Research Papers:

Distribution pattern of tumor associated macrophages predicts the prognosis of gastric cancer

Jiu-Yang Liu, Chun-wei Peng _, Gui-Fang Yang, Wen-Qing Hu, Xiao-Jun Yang, Chao-Qun Huang, Bin Xiong and Yan Li

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:92757-92769. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21575

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Jiu-Yang Liu1, Chun-wei Peng1, Gui-Fang Yang2, Wen-Qing Hu3, Xiao-Jun Yang1, Chao-Qun Huang1, Bin Xiong1 and Yan Li1,4

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors & Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, Wuhan, China

2Department of Pathology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

3Department of Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, 030001, PR China

4Department of Peritoneal Cancer Surgery, Cancer Center of Beijing Shijitan Hospital Affiliated to the Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Correspondence to:

Chun-wei Peng, email: [email protected]

Yan Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: gastric cancer, tumor microenvironment, macrophages, prognosis

Received: June 15, 2017     Accepted: September 08, 2017     Published: October 06, 2017


Purpose: As mayor biomarkers in tumor microenvironment (TME), tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) of gastric cancer (GC) still needs further studies in terms of the number and distribution pattern.

Methods: Herein, tissue microarrays (TMA) incorporating 494 GC surgical samples in duplicate were stained for TAMs infiltration analysis. TAMs number was counted according to the locations, including infiltrating macrophages in cancer nest (MC), in invasive front (MF) and in stroma (MS). Correlations between TAMs number, distribution pattern and clinic-pathological features and survival analyses were performed.

Results: Infiltrating macrophages number in GC tissues was much higher than that in peritumoral tissues. TAMs number was not significantly correlated with the overall survival (OS). TAMs distribution pattern could be categorized into MC or MF/MS dominant pattern, and correlated with histological grade (P =0.001). The median OS of MF/MS dominant pattern (22.1, 95%CI: 23.5-28.9) was significantly shorter than that of MC dominant pattern (25.6, 95%CI: 28.5-35.6) (P =0.002). By receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis, the predictive value of TAMs distribution pattern was superior to histological grade and pM stage, but inferior to pN and TNM stage.

Conclusions: TAMs distribution pattern could be an independent prognostic factor for the OS of GC patients, and patients with MF/MS dominant pattern had worse outcomes.

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