Microsatellite Instability, EMAST, and Morphology Associations with T Cell Infiltration in Colorectal Neoplasia
- First Online:
- 175 Downloads
Background and Objectives
Colorectal tumors are often observed with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, presumably as a host-immune response, and patterns may segregate by types of genomic instability. Microsatellite unstable (MSI) colorectal cancers contain a pronounced lymphocyte reaction that can pathologically identify these tumors. Colorectal tumors with elevated microsatellite alterations at selected tetranucleotide repeats (EMAST) have not been examined for lymphocyte patterns.
We evaluated a 108-person cohort with 24 adenomas and 84 colorectal cancers for MSI and EMAST. Immunohistochemical detection of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell infiltration were performed. Prognostic relevance was assessed by survival analysis.
CD8+ T cell infiltration in the tumor cell nest (p = 0.013) and tumor stroma (p = 0.004) were more prominent in moderately and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma than in adenoma and well-differentiated adenocarcinoma. CD8+ T cells in the tumor cell nest (p = 0.002) and tumor stroma (p = 0.009) were at higher density in tumors with ulcerating features compared to tumors with a sessile or polypoid appearance. MSI-H tumors showed a higher density of CD8+ T cell infiltrations in tumor cell nests (p = 0.003) and tumor stroma (p = 0.001). EMAST-positive tumors showed a higher density of CD8+ T cell infiltrations than EMAST-negative tumors both in tumor cell nest (p = 0.027) and in tumor stroma (p = 0.003). These changes were not observed with CD4+ T lymphocytes. There was no difference in cancer patient survival based on density of CD8+ cells.
CD8+ T lymphocytes, but not CD4+ cells, were increased in tumor cell nests and the tumor stroma in both MSI and EMAST tumors, and showed higher infiltration in ulcerated tumors. CD8+ T lymphocyte infiltration is associated with both EMAST and MSI patterns, and increases with histological advancement.