Archive of Oncology 2007 Volume 15, Issue 1-2, Pages: 5-9
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The features of host immune response with respect to microsatellite status of colorectal cancer

Fenyvesi Attila

Background: The genetic alterations in colorectal cancer (CRC) progression are determined by two separate pathways, chromosomal and microsatellite instability (MSI). The CRCs with MSI have distinct clinicopathological characteristics with pronounced tumor-associated immune responses. The aim of our study was to investigate the intensity of host immune response in CRC tissue by comparing microsatellite stable (MSS) and instable tumors. Methods: The study was performed on CRC specimens from 28 patients with MSI and compared with 30 MSS tumors. The microsatellite status was evaluated with two markers by PCR and melting point analysis. The immunostaining with anti-CD3 pan-T cell antibody was used to quantify the number of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. The lymphocytes in peritumoral stromal and the Crohn’s-like peritumoral reaction were counted on H&E slides. Results: No significant differences were found in the average number of lymphocytes in peritumoral stroma and in clinicopathological characteristics of CRCs. The conspicuous Crohn’s-like lymphoid reactions were present in 67.86% of CRCs with MSI versus 26.66% of MSS cases. The CRCs with MSI cases carried significantly higher numbers of tumor infiltrating T-lymphocytes (13.21 versus 7.47) (p<0.0001). Conclusion: The presences of peritumoral Crohn’s-like lymphoid and intraepithelial lymphocytic reaction were intensive markers for MSI in colorectal carcinomas in our study. The peculiar genetic instability in MSI tumors may lead to a continuous production of abnormal peptides, which act as neoantigens. They could induce specific antitumor immune responses effective in limiting tumor growth and spread. Abnormal peptides are potentially promising in immunotherapy advancing and in the design of a vaccine against colorectal tumors with MSI.

Keywords: colorectal neoplasms, microsatellite instability, lymphocytes, tumor-infiltrating

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