Tumor-infiltrating macrophages can predict favorable prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma after resection
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To evaluate the prognostic value of tumor-associated macrophages (TAM), individually or synergistically with CD45RO + memory T cells (TM), in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients following resection.
The infiltration of TAM and TM was assessed by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarray containing 302 HCC specimens. Correlations between TAM/TM infiltration and clinicopathologic features, disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were statistically analyzed.
High TAM infiltration was associated with both improved DFS (P = 0.0021) and OS (P = 0.0481). Multivariate analysis identified TAM infiltration as independent prognostic factor for DFS (P = 0.004) and OS (P = 0.049). A second analysis clarified the synergistic effect of TAM&TM infiltration for DFS (P = 0.004) and OS (P = 0.040).
Both TAM infiltration alone and concomitant infiltration of TAM&TM are associated with improved DFS/OS, suggesting that TAM could protect HCC patients from recurrence/metastasis and prolong survival by distinct mechanisms.
KeywordsTumor-associated macrophages (TAM) CD45RO + T cell (TM) Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) Prognosis
CD45RO + T cell
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization
We thank Dr. Yuan Ji and Dr. Hai-Ying Zeng for their expertise in immunohistochemistry. We also thank Shanghai Biochip Co., Ltd. for help in tissue microarrays construction. The key project was supported by the science and technology program of the Chinese Ministry of Education (no. 107039), National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30700794).