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Cancer. 1992 Dec 15;70(12):2839-44.

Roles of Langerhans' cells and T-lymphocytes infiltrating cancer tissues in patients treated by radiation therapy for cervical cancer.

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Section of Medical Affairs, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba, Japan.


Correlations between infiltration of immunologic cells in tumor tissues and prognosis of radiation therapy were investigated for 275 patients with cervical cancer who were treated with radiation therapy alone, including 216 patients with Stage III squamous cell carcinomas and 59 with adenocarcinomas of all stages. Langerhans' cell (LC) and T-cell were stained immunohistochemically on the specimens excised from the cervical cancer. In squamous cell carcinoma, 5-year survival rates for patients with LC infiltration were significantly better than those without LC (78% versus 60%; P < 0.01). The 5-year survival rate of patients with T-cell infiltration also was significantly better than that of patients without such infiltration (83% versus 61%; P < 0.05). Similar trends were observed in patients with adenocarcinoma; 5-year survival rates for patients with LC infiltration and those without LC infiltration were 49% and 25%, respectively (P < 0.025). The survival rates for patients with T-cell infiltration and those without were 50% and 33%, respectively (P < 0.1). An analysis of patterns of failure of radiation therapy demonstrated that the favorable prognosis in LC infiltration was attributable mainly to improvement of local control rates, but that in T-cell infiltration was not. T-cells infiltrated into tumor specifically in the patients with LC infiltration in both cell types. The authors suggest that the host anti-cancer immune response of individual patients may be remarkably different at the first step of antigen recognition by LC. The LC may induce T-cell-mediated antitumor response and improve local response in radiation therapy.

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