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Journal ArticleDOI

Impact of the tumor microenvironment on prognosis in follicular lymphoma is dependent on specific treatment protocols

01 Jan 2009-Haematologica (Ferrata Storti Foundation)-Vol. 94, Iss: 1, pp 70-77

TL;DR: It is suggestive that a dense infiltrate of FoxP3-positive T cells, dense and interfollicular infiltrate of CD68-positive macrophages and complete follicular dendritic meshworks were associated with a favorable time to progression in CVP-treated patients, while being poor prognostic sign in fludarabine- treated patients.

AbstractBackground The clinical behavior of follicular lymphoma is largely determined by properties of the non-malignant tumor microenvironment. The precise nature of the cell populations is still unclear and published data on their prognostic significance are highly conflicting. This may be partly due to heterogeneous composition and tr eatments. Design and Methods Pre-treatment biopsy samples of patients with follicular lymphoma treated in an EORTC/BNLI trial comparing fludarabine to cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisone (CVP) chemotherapy could be retrieved for 61 patients in five Eur opean countries. Immunohistochemical investigations were performed to evaluate tumor cell characteristics, T-cell subsets, follicular dendritic cells and macrophages and associations with clinical outcome were studied. Results Some markers showed a homogeneous prognostic impact, while others had a different and sometimes opposite effect in the treatment arms. CD69 expression on tumor cells was a poor prognostic sign and an interfollicular infiltrate of FoxP3-positive T cells was a good prognostic sign irrespective of the treatment arm. It is suggestive that a dense infiltrate of FoxP3-positive T cells, a dense and interfollicular infiltrate of CD68-positive macr ophages and complete follicular dendritic meshworks were associated with a favorable time to progression in CVP-treated patients, while being a poor prognostic sign in fludarabine-treated patients. Conclusions Our results suggest that characteristic properties of the microenvironment in follicular lymphoma determines the responses to essentially different chemotherapeutic approaches. These data may provide an explanation for the highly conflicting r esults on immunohistochemical markers and the prognostic role of the microenvironment in follicular lymphoma reported thus far and lay the basis for the development of predictive assays to tailor treatment in patients with follicular lymphoma.

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
15 Oct 2009-Blood
TL;DR: A paradigm shift in the treatment of selected B-cell malignancies is anticipated, moving from targeting primarily the malignant cells toward combining cytotoxic drugs with agents that interfere with the microenvironment's proactive role.
Abstract: Despite major therapeutic advances, most mature B-cell malignancies remain incurable. Compelling evidence suggests that crosstalk with accessory stromal cells in specialized tissue microenvironments, such as the bone marrow and secondary lymphoid organs, favors disease progression by promoting malignant B-cell growth and drug resistance. Therefore, disrupting the crosstalk between malignant B cells and their milieu is an attractive novel strategy for treating selected mature B-cell malignancies. Here we summarize the current knowledge about the cellular and molecular interactions between neoplastic B lymphocytes and accessory cells that shape a supportive microenvironment, and the potential therapeutic targets that are emerging, together with the new problems they raise. We discuss clinically relevant aspects and provide an outlook into future biologically oriented therapeutic strategies. We anticipate a paradigm shift in the treatment of selected B-cell malignancies, moving from targeting primarily the malignant cells toward combining cytotoxic drugs with agents that interfere with the microenvironment's proactive role. Such approaches hopefully will help eliminating residual disease, thereby improving our current therapeutic efforts.

522 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A fundamental understanding of interactions between tumour cells and non-malignant cells gives insight into the pathogenesis of most B cell lymphomas and identifies novel therapeutic opportunities for targeting oncogenic pathways, both now and in the future.
Abstract: B cell lymphomas are cancers that arise from cells that depend on numerous highly orchestrated interactions with immune and stromal cells in the course of normal development. Despite the recent focus on dissecting the genetic aberrations within cancer cells, it has been increasingly recognized that tumour cells retain a range of dependence on interactions with the non-malignant cells and stromal elements that constitute the tumour microenvironment. A fundamental understanding of these interactions gives insight into the pathogenesis of most B cell lymphomas and, moreover, identifies novel therapeutic opportunities for targeting oncogenic pathways, both now and in the future.

322 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
29 Jul 2009-PLOS ONE
TL;DR: Host immune responses to EOC vary widely according to histological subtype and the extent of residual disease, and TIA-1, FoxP3 and CD20 emerge as new positive prognostic factors in high-grade serous EOC from optimally debulked patients.
Abstract: Background Tumor-infiltrating T cells are associated with survival in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), but their functional status is poorly understood, especially relative to the different risk categories and histological subtypes of EOC.

319 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Crosstalk between neoplastic B cells and non-neoplastic immune and stromal cells in the microenvironment plays an important role in sustaining tumor cell growth, cultivating immune privilege, and promoting transformation.
Abstract: The hallmark t(14;18)(q32;q21) in follicular lymphoma (FL) results in constitutive overexpression of the BCL2 protein, allowing B cells to abrogate the default germinal center apoptotic program. Most tumors are characterized by recurrent secondary genetic alterations including genomic gains, losses, and mutations, some providing a growth advantage, including alterations in MLL2, EPHA7, TNFRSF14, and EZH2. The sequence in which these events occur and how they contribute to progression and ultimately to transformation is unclear. Lastly, crosstalk between neoplastic B cells and non-neoplastic immune and stromal cells in the microenvironment plays an important role in sustaining tumor cell growth, cultivating immune privilege, and promoting transformation.

225 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
19 Nov 2009-Blood
Abstract: An important hallmark of cancer progression is the ability of tumor cells to evade immune recognition. Understanding the relationship between neoplastic cells and the immune microenvironment should facilitate the design of improved immunotherapies. Here we identify impaired T-cell immunologic synapse formation as an active immunosuppressive mechanism in follicular lymphoma (FL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We found a significant reduction in formation of the F-actin immune synapse in tumor-infiltrating T cells (P < .01) from lymphoma patients compared with age-matched healthy donor cells. Peripheral blood T cells exhibited this defect only in patients with leukemic-phase disease. Moreover, we demonstrate that this T-cell defect is induced after short-term tumor cell contact. After 24-hour coculture with FL cells, previously healthy T cells showed suppressed recruitment of critical signaling proteins to the synapse. We further demonstrate repair of this defect after treatment of both FL cells and T cells with the immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide. Tissue microarray analysis identified reduced expression of the T-cell synapse signature proteins, including the cytolytic effector molecule Rab27A associated with poor prognosis, in addition to reduced T-cell numbers and activity with disease transformation. Our results highlight the importance of identifying biomarkers and immunotherapeutic treatments for repairing T-cell responses in lymphoma.

201 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Sep 2004-Blood
TL;DR: The Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index was designed from the data recorded over 8 years of nearly 5000 patients registered worldwide to help provide an optimal treatment option for patients with follicular lymphoma.
Abstract: The prognosis of follicular lymphomas (FL) is heterogeneous and numerous treatments may be proposed. A validated prognostic index (PI) would help in evaluating and choosing these treatments. Characteristics at diagnosis were collected from 4167 patients with FL diagnosed between 1985 and 1992. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to propose a PI. This index was then tested on 919 patients. Five adverse prognostic factors were selected: age (> 60 years vs 120 g/L), number of nodal areas (> 4v s 3 adverse factors, 27% of patients, HR 4.3). This Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) appeared more discriminant than the International Prognostic Index proposed for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Results were very similar in the confirmation group. The FLIPI may be used for improving treatment choices, comparing clinical trials, and designing studies to evaluate new treatments. (Blood. 2004;104:1258-1265)

1,367 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The length of survival among patients with follicular lymphoma correlates with the molecular features of nonmalignant immune cells present in the tumor at diagnosis.
Abstract: background Patients with follicular lymphoma may survive for periods of less than 1 year to more than 20 years after diagnosis. We used gene-expression profiles of tumor-biopsy specimens obtained at diagnosis to develop a molecular predictor of the length of survival. methods Gene-expression profiling was performed on 191 biopsy specimens obtained from patients with untreated follicular lymphoma. Supervised methods were used to discover expression patterns associated with the length of survival in a training set of 95 specimens. A molecular predictor of survival was constructed from these genes and validated in an independent test set of 96 specimens. results Individual genes that predicted the length of survival were grouped into gene-expression signatures on the basis of their expression in the training set, and two such signatures were used to construct a survival predictor. The two signatures allowed patients with specimens in the test set to be divided into four quartiles with widely disparate median lengths of survival (13.6, 11.1, 10.8, and 3.9 years), independently of clinical prognostic variables. Flow cytometry showed that these signatures reflected gene expression by nonmalignant tumor-infiltrating immune cells. conclusions The length of survival among patients with follicular lymphoma correlates with the molecular features of nonmalignant immune cells present in the tumor at diagnosis.

1,281 citations


"Impact of the tumor microenvironmen..." refers background in this paper

  • ...From a biological point of view, the clinical behavior of FL is determined principally by the tumor microenvironment rather than by inherent properties of the tumor cells themselves.(5-7) Specific T-cell and accessory cell populations, including macrophages and follicular dendritic cells, have been reported to have an influence on overall and/or progression-free survival, either as a poor or a good prognostic parameter....

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  • ...haematologica | 2009; 94(1) | 75 | tance of the microenvironment in the clinical behavior of FL.(5-7) The precise nature of the relevant cell populations is still unclear, and published data on the prognostic significance of cell populations, including T-cell subsets, macrophages and follicular dendritic cells, are conflicting....

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Journal Article
TL;DR: The population of CD4+CD25+ immunoregulatory cells is characterized and it is demonstrated that they can suppress not only the induction of disease post-thymectomy, but can also efficiently suppress disease induced by cloned autoantigen-specific effector cells.
Abstract: Thymectomy of susceptible strains of mice on day 3 of life results in a spectrum of organ-specific autoimmunity that can be prevented by reconstitution of the thymectomized animals early in life with normal adult lymphocytes. The effectors and suppressors of autoimmunity in this model have been convincingly shown to be CD4+ T cells. It has been demonstrated recently that the regulatory CD4+ T cells that prevent disease coexpress CD25. We have further characterized the population of CD4+CD25+ immunoregulatory cells and demonstrated that they can suppress not only the induction of disease post-thymectomy, but can also efficiently suppress disease induced by cloned autoantigen-specific effector cells. Furthermore, the CD4+CD25+ T cells appear to be members of a unique lineage of regulatory T cells, as the induction of CD25 expression on a monospecific population of T cells derived from TCR transgenic SCID mice did not result in suppression of post-thymectomy autoimmunity. In addition, the TCR transgenic SCID mice were highly susceptible to autoimmune disease induced by the cloned line of autoantigen-specific effectors, while normal mice were relatively resistant. The capacity of the cloned line to transfer disease to nu/nu recipients could be inhibited by normal spleen cell populations containing CD4+CD25+ cells and by purified CD4+CD25+ cells. Although the target Ag(s) and mechanism of action of the CD4+CD25+ T cells remain to be determined, it is likely that they also play an important role in modulating other autoimmune diseases that are mediated by activation of "ignorant" self-reactive T cells present in the normal peripheral lymphocyte pool.

923 citations


"Impact of the tumor microenvironmen..." refers background in this paper

  • ...It has been shown that fludarabine has a rather specific effect on FoxP3-positive regulatory T cells in patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in that both the frequency and the inhibitory functions of these cells are reduced after treatment.(23-25) Very likely, interference with the tumor microenvironment may result in different responses depending on the specific role of the microenvironment in a specific class of FL....

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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Apr 2005-Blood
TL;DR: This is the first report demonstrating that CY, in addition to decreasing cell number, inhibits the suppressive capability of T(REGs), and the relevance of the loss of suppressor functionality and the changes in gene expression are discussed.
Abstract: Regulatory T cells (T(REGs)) control the key aspects of tolerance and play a role in the lack of antitumor immune responses. Cyclophosphamide (CY) is a chemotherapeutic agent with a dose-dependent, bimodal effect on the immune system. Although a previous study demonstrated that CY reduces the number of T(REGs), the mechanism involved in this process has yet to be defined. In this report, it is established that low-dose CY not only decreases cell number but leads to decreased functionality of T(REGs). CY treatment enhances apoptosis and decreases homeostatic proliferation of these cells. Expression of GITR and FoxP3, which are involved in the suppressive activity of T(REGs), is down-regulated after CY administration, though the level of expression varies depending on the time studied. This is the first report demonstrating that CY, in addition to decreasing cell number, inhibits the suppressive capability of T(REGs). The relevance of the loss of suppressor functionality and the changes in gene expression are further discussed.

855 citations


"Impact of the tumor microenvironmen..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Similar effects of cyclophosphamide have been shown on regulatory T cells too.(26)...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index was designed from the data recorded over 8 years of nearly 5000 patients registered worldwide to help provide an optimal treatment option for patients with follicular lymphoma.
Abstract: Although numerous treatment approaches are proposed for patients with follicular lymphoma, criteria to help in choosing a treatment for a given patient and for comparing trial results are lacking. Several retrospective studies have analyzed prognostic factors, but their conclusions rely on limited numbers of patients treated during long periods, and their results are discordant. The Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index was designed from the data recorded over 8 years of nearly 5000 patients registered worldwide. Five factors are used (age, Ann Arbor stage, number of nodal sites, serum lactate dehydrogenase level, and hemoglobin level) to build a three-category index. This index, together with new biologic markers such as gene profiling and proteomics, could help provide an optimal treatment option for patients with follicular lymphoma.

825 citations


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