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Infiltrating T Cells Linked to Better Ovarian Cancer Survival

CD8+ cells in tumor biopsies double survival time

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Ovarian cancer patients have a better survival rate if their tumor biopsies show high infiltration of CD8+ T cells, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

Kunle Odunsi, M.D., Ph.D., of Roswell Park Memorial Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and colleagues sought to determine any correlation between tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) subtype in ovarian cancer specimens and patient survival.

Using immunohistochemical staining, the authors found that patients with a higher level of CD8+ cells, including TILs and regulatory T cells, had a median survival of 55 months compared with 26 months for those with low levels. Those with a high CD8+/CD4+ ratio survived 74 months compared with 25 months for those with a low CD8+/CD4+ ratio. This suggests CD4+ cells have an unfavorable effect on prognosis. Other cells, such as CD3+, showed no association with survival.

"The presence of TILs within the tumor microenvironment is considered to be an indication of the host immune response to tumor antigens and is thought to reflect the dynamic process of 'cancer immunoediting,'" the authors write. Further studies should be conducted to determine the nature and role of these T cells in the tumor, they add.

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