Research Papers:

Lymph nodes may be a source for immunetherapy in gastric cancer

Paula Baraúna Assumpção, Erika Couto Canelas, Aline Cruz Ramos, Ana Anaissi, João Felipe Acioli, Geraldo Ishak, Sidney Santos, Samia Demachki and Paulo Assumpção _

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Oncotarget. 2020; 11:1729-1736. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27578

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Paula Baraúna Assumpção1,2, Erika Couto Canelas2, Aline Cruz Ramos2, Ana Anaissi2,4, João Felipe Acioli2,3, Geraldo Ishak2,3, Sidney Santos1,2, Samia Demachki2,4 and Paulo Assumpção2

1 Laboratório Genética Humana e Médica, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém-PA, Brasil

2 Núcleo de Pesquisas em Oncologia, Hospital Universitário João de Barros Barreto, Belém-PA, Brasil

3 Serviço de Cirurgia do Hospital Universitário João do Barros Barreto, Belém-PA, Brasil

4 Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém-PA, Brasil

Correspondence to:

Paulo Assumpção,email: assumpcaopp@gmail.com

Keywords: gastric cancer; immunotherapy; lymph nodes

Received: January 15, 2020     Accepted: April 10, 2020     Published: May 12, 2020


Background: adoptive immunotherapy is a promising cancer therapy. Immune cells are capable of recognizing and destroying cancer cells and represent a powerful strategy, however, this approach remains technically complicated, due to the need to select and isolate immune cells from these, present cancer antigens to those cells, expanding and reinjecting them. Lymph nodes recovered during gastric cancer surgery may represent an option for immunotherapy, since they harbor an enormous amount of immune cells, which have already been presented to cancer antigens. The advantage of selecting only cancer-negative lymph has not been determined yet. The status of immune checkpoints in the immune cells within the lymph nodes was analyzed in order to try to solve this problem.

Materials and Methods: Tissue microarrays were constructed and automated immunostaining for PD-1 and PD-L1 was performed on 143 lymph nodes from 70 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma.

Results: In positive nodes, PD-L1 was only positivity in cancer cells (6%) and PD-1 was positive for B lymphocytes (60%), T lymphocytes (70%) and one case in cancer cells (2.5%). In negative nodes, most cases were positive for PD-1 in B (73.1%) and T (71.65%) lymphocytes.

Conclusions: Expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 in gastric cancer lymph nodes was demonstrated for the first time. PD-1 is expressed in positive and negative nodes, which could activate the PD-1 pathway. Lymphocytes from tumor-free lymph nodes were negative for PD-L1, and this might represent an advantage for selecting these lymph nodes as a potential source of immune cells for adoptive immunotherapy.

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