Liver tumor infiltrating lymphocytes: Comparison of hepatocellular and cholangiolar carcinoma

Kasper, Hans-Udo; Drebber, Uta; Stippel, Dirk Ludger; Dienes, Hans Peter; Gillessen, Anton; Gorrell, Mark D.
October 2009
World Journal of Gastroenterology;10/28/2009, Vol. 15 Issue 40, p5053
Academic Journal
AIM: To investigate the role of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in primary hepatocellular and cholangiolar carcinomas of the liver. METHODS: Immunohistochemical analysis was performed including antibodies to CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, CD56 and TIA-1 in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue of 35 liver resection specimens of hepatocellular or cholangiocellular carcinomas. Semiquantitative evaluation was performed with emphasis on the area of the tumor itself and of the tumor/liver interface. RESULTS: All hepatocellular carcinomas showed infiltration of lymphocytes predominantly around the tumor in the tumor/liver interface consisting mainly of CD3+ CD4+ T lymphocytes [164.3/10 high power fields (HPF)] and in the tumor itself of CD8+ cells (54.9/10 HPF). Cholangiocarcinomas contained a heterogeneous amount of TIL, composed mainly of CD3+ T cells with a predominance of CD8+ cells in the tumor tissue (52.6/10 HPF) and of CD4+ cells in the interface region (223.1/10 HPF). CD56+ cells of the innate immune system were scarce. There was no significant difference between hepatocellular or cholangiolar carcinoma. No correlation with the clinicopathological data was seen. CONCLUSION: Liver TIL consists of intratumoral CD8+ T cells and peritumoral CD4+ T cells independent of histogenetic origin. Different functions of lymphocytes in these regions seem possible.


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