Research Papers:

Clinicopathological and prognostic significance of regulatory T cells in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Sha Zhao, Tao Jiang, Limin Zhang, Hui Yang, Xiaozhen Liu, Yijun Jia and Caicun Zhou _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:36065-36073. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9130

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Sha Zhao1,*, Tao Jiang1,*, Limin Zhang1, Hui Yang1, Xiaozhen Liu1, Yijun Jia1, Caicun Zhou1

1Department of Medical Oncology, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Tongji University Medical School Cancer Institute, Shanghai, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Caicun Zhou , email: [email protected]

Keywords: regulatory T cells, Foxp3+, non-small cell lung cancer, prognosis, systematic review

Received: February 03, 2016     Accepted: April 11, 2016     Published: April 28, 2016


The prognostic and clinicopathological value of regulatory T cells (Tregs) infiltration in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains undetermined. A comprehensive literature search of electronic databases (up to December 2015) was conducted. Relationship between Tregs infiltration and clinicopathological features, recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) was investigated by synthesizing the qualified data. A total of 1303 NSCLC patients from 11 studies were included. The pooled hazard ratio (HR) for survival showed that high Tregs infiltration had no effect on RFS (HR = 2.03, 95% CI: 0.61–3.44, P = 0.708) and OS (HR = 1.20, 95% CI: 0.58–1.62, P = 0.981). High FoxP3+ Tregs infiltration was significantly associated with poor OS in NSCLC (HR = 3.88, 95% CI: 2.45–5.40, P = 0.000). Test methods, ethnicity and types of specimens had no effect on predicting prognosis of Tregs infiltration. While high Tregs infiltration was significantly correlated with smoking status [odds ratios (ORs) = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.15–2.08; P = 0.004], none of other clinicopathological characteristics such as gender, histological type, lymph node metastasis status, tumor size, vascular invasion, lymphatic invasion and pleural invasion were associated with Tregs infiltration. The present study demonstrated that high FoxP3+ Tregs infiltration was significantly associated with poor prognosis in NSCLC and smoking status.

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