Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 11359–11364 | Cite as

Body composition of the host influences dendritic cell phenotype in patients treated for colorectal cancer

  • George Malietzis
  • Gui Han Lee
  • Hafid O. Al-Hassi
  • David Bernardo
  • Alexandra I. F. Blakemore
  • Robin H. Kennedy
  • Morgan Moorghen
  • John T. Jenkins
  • Stella C. Knight
Original Article


Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells that can acquire tumour antigens and initiate cytotoxic T cell reactions. Obesity has been proposed as a cause for tumours escaping immune surveillance, but few studies investigate the impact of other body composition parameters. We examined the relationship of DC phenotype with computer tomography (CT)-defined parameters in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). DCs were identified within peripheral blood mononuclear cells by flow cytometry as HLA-DR positive and negative for markers of other cell lineages in 21 patients. Analysis of CT scans was used to calculate lumbar skeletal muscle index (LSMI) and mean muscle attenuation (MA). Positive correlation between the LSMI and expression of CD40 in all DCs (r = 0.45; p = 0.04) was demonstrated. The MA was positively correlated with scavenger receptor CD36 [all DCs (r = 0.60; p = 0.01) and myeloid DCs (r = 0.63; p < 0.01)]. However, the MA was negatively correlated with CCR7 expression in all DCs (r = −0.46, p = 0.03.) and with CD83 [all DCs (r = −0.63; p = 0.01) and myeloid DCs (r = −0.75; p < 0.01)]. There were no relationships between the fat indexes and the DC phenotype. These results highlight a direct relationship between muscle depletion and changes in stimulatory, migratory and fatty acid-processing potential of DC in patients with CRC.


Body composition Myopenia Colorectal cancer Dendritic cells 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (BBSRC Strategic Programme for Gut Health and Food Safety to the Institute for Food Research BB/J004529/1).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Malietzis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gui Han Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hafid O. Al-Hassi
    • 1
  • David Bernardo
    • 1
    • 3
  • Alexandra I. F. Blakemore
    • 4
    • 5
  • Robin H. Kennedy
    • 2
  • Morgan Moorghen
    • 6
  • John T. Jenkins
    • 2
  • Stella C. Knight
    • 1
  1. 1.Antigen Presentation Research Group, Imperial College LondonNorth West London Hospitals CampusHarrowUK
  2. 2.Department of SurgerySt. Mark’s HospitalHarrow MiddlesexUK
  3. 3.Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital Universitario de La Princesa and Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Princesa (IIS-IP)Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBEREHD)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Section of Investigative Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine|Imperial CollegeLondonUK
  5. 5.Department of Life SciencesBrunel University LondonMiddlesexUK
  6. 6.Department of HistopathologySt. Mark’s HospitalHarrow MiddlesexUK

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