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Cancer Lett. 2008 Sep 8;268(1):98-109. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.056. Epub 2008 May 16.

Clinical significance and regulation of the costimulatory molecule B7-H1 in pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Ismaninger Strasse 22, 81675 Munich, Germany.


We investigated the expression pattern and clinical significance of the costimulatory ligands B7-1, B7-2, B7-H1, and B7-DC, and their counter-receptors CTLA-4 and PD-1 in pancreatic cancer. Gene expression of all examined costimulatory molecules was significantly upregulated in pancreatic cancer tissues. B7-1, B7-2, B7-H1, and B7-DC protein was detectable in pancreatic cancer cells. Only the expression of B7-H1 significantly correlated with postoperative survival (p<0.0001). B7-H1 was inducible in cultured pancreatic cancer cells by IFN-gamma and significantly correlated with the level of IFN-gamma expression in human pancreatic cancer tissues (Spearman rho=0.4536,p=0.0029). B7-H1 positive tumors showed an increased prevalence of tumor-infiltrating regulatory T cells (Tregs) compared to B7-H1 negative tumors. Among the investigated costimulatory molecules only tumor-associated B7-H1 seems to be of prognostic relevance in pancreatic cancer. B7-H1 might, therefore, be involved in the downregulation of antitumor responses through regulation of Tregs in pancreatic cancer. Our findings also suggest a dual role of IFN-gamma in antitumor response. Through induction of B7-H1 in pancreatic cancer cells IFN-gamma might contribute to the evasion of antitumor immunity.

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