Immune system's interaction with chemotherapy provides prognosis in breast cancer

Monday, March 14, 2011 (Last Updated: 03/15/2011)

MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Immunological CD8 and FOXP3 cell infiltrate after neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be a predictive factor of survival for patients with breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in The Journal of Pathology.

Sylvain Ladoire, M.D., from the Georges François Leclerc Center in Dijon, France, and colleagues studied 111 consecutive HER2 and 51 non-HER2 overexpressing breast cancer patients who were treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Tumor infiltration by FOXP3 and CD8 T lymphocytes before and after chemotherapy was determined by immunohistochemistry. Relapse-free (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed. A predictive scoring system was created based on the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) pathological staging and the FOXP3/CD8 ratio.

The researchers found that the association of high CD8 and low FOXP3 cell infiltrates after chemotherapy was significantly linked with improved RFS and OS, and provided better prediction than classical factors in a multivariate analysis. A score combining the CD8/FOXP3 ratio and AJCC pathological staging identified a subgroup of patients with a long-term OS of 100 percent. This score also identified HER2 negative breast cancer patients with a favorable prognosis.

"This study highlights the importance of the immune system and its interaction with chemotherapy for the prognosis of localized breast cancer, suggesting that precise evaluation of local immune response could be useful for predicting prognosis in the context of neoadjuvant chemotherapy," the authors write.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
Emergency Medicine

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