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Tohoku J Exp Med. 2000 Jun;191(2):113-8.

Infiltration of CD8+ T cells in non-small cell lung cancer is associated with dedifferentiation of cancer cells, but not with prognosis.

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Department of Pathology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


CD8+ T cells infiltrating within cancer cell nests in human colorectal cancer were associated with a favorable patients' survival, suggesting the presence of anti-tumor immunity. The present study was designed to examine this concept in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by a retrospective analysis of 128 surgically resected cases. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the number of CD8+ T cells within cancer cell nests in NSCLC was related to the histological subtype (large cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma > adenocarcinoma) and the degree of dedifferentiation (undifferentiated type > differentiated type). In contrast to colorectal cancer, the number of CD8+ T cells in NSCLC had no statistically significant impact on the patients' survival. The present study demonstrated that the degree of infiltration of CD8+ T cells within cancer cell nests is dependent on the dedifferentiation of cancer cells in NSCLC, which could be one of the important aspects for the study of tumor immunity.

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