Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 73–82 | Cite as

Low intratumoral regulatory T cells and high peritumoral CD8+ T cells relate to long-term survival in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma after pancreatectomy

  • Li Liu
  • Guochao Zhao
  • Wenchuan WuEmail author
  • Yefei Rong
  • Dayong Jin
  • Dansong Wang
  • Wenhui LouEmail author
  • Xinyu Qin
Original Article


The prognosis for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains extremely poor. Recent studies have focused on the role of lymphocytes in the PDAC microenvironment. Using immunohistochemistry, our study explored the clinical significance of intratumoral or peritumoral CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and CD8+ T cells in the tumor microenvironment and analyzed their relation to the prognosis of PDAC in a consecutive series of 92 patients after resection. CD8+ T cells were more frequently seen within peritumoral sites, while CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs were more frequent within intratumoral areas. Neither exhibited any relationship with other clinicopathologic factors. Patients with low levels of intratumoral Tregs had longer disease-free survival than those with higher levels (DFS 22.2 vs. 11.2 months, p < 0.001), and patients with higher levels of peritumoral CD8+ T cells had longer overall survival than those with lower levels (OS 31.0 vs. 14.2 months, p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that intratumoral Tregs (hazard ratio, HR 3.39, p = 0.010) and peritumoral CD8+ T cells (HR 0.10, p < 0.001) are related to DFS and OS, respectively. These results indicate that intratumoral Tregs are a negative predictor of DFS, while peritumoral CD8+ T cells are a positive predictor of OS for PDAC patients with pancreatectomy.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma Pancreatectomy Tumor microenvironment Tregs CD8+ T cells Prognosis 



Computed tomography


Cytotoxic T cells


Disease-free survival


Distal pancreatectomy


Fas ligand


Granzyme B


High-power fields


Hazard ratio




Magnetic resonance imaging


Overall survival




Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma


Pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy


T helper type 1


T helper type 2


Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes


Regulatory T cells


Union for International Cancer Control



This work was supported by the following grants: the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 30801104, 81272731), the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 11JC1402502), and the Public Welfare Industry of Health (No. 201202007).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

262_2015_1775_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (392 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 392 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Liu
    • 1
  • Guochao Zhao
    • 1
  • Wenchuan Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yefei Rong
    • 1
  • Dayong Jin
    • 1
  • Dansong Wang
    • 1
  • Wenhui Lou
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xinyu Qin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Surgery, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of General SurgeryFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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