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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Aug 24;30:78. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-30-78.

T cell subpopulations in lymph nodes may not be predictive of patient outcome in colorectal cancer.

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  • 1Cancer Genetics Laboratory, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. roslyn.kemp@otago.ac.nz



The immune response has been proposed to be an important factor in determining patient outcome in colorectal cancer (CRC). Previous studies have concentrated on characterizing T cell populations in the primary tumour where T cells with regulatory effect (Foxp3+ Tregs) have been identified as both enhancing and diminishing anti-tumour immune responses. No previous studies have characterized the T cell response in the regional lymph nodes in CRC.


Immunohistochemistry was used to analyse CD4, CD8 or Foxp3+ T cell populations in the regional lymph nodes of patients with stage II CRC (n = 31), with (n = 13) or without (n = 18) cancer recurrence after 5 years of follow up, to determine if the priming environment for anti-tumour immunity was associated with clinical outcome.


The proportions of CD4, CD8 or Foxp3+ cells in the lymph nodes varied widely between and within patients, and there was no association between T cell populations and cancer recurrence or other clinicopathological characteristics.


These data indicate that frequency of these T cell subsets in lymph nodes may not be a useful tool for predicting patient outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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