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Br J Cancer. 2008 Nov 18;99(10):1704-11. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604738. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Prognostic implications of type and density of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes in gastric cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.


The study aims to determine whether type and density of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) can predict the clinical course in gastric cancer. Gastric carcinomas (n=220) were immunostained for CD3, CD8, CD20, and CD45RO and evaluated for clinicopathologic characteristics. Number of TILs that immunostained positively for each marker were counted using NIH ImageJ software. Tumours were grouped into low- and high-density groups for each marker (CD3, CD8, CD45RO). The densities of CD3(+), CD8(+), and CD45RO(+) TILs were found to be independent predictors of lymph node metastasis by multivariate analysis with odds ratios (95% CI) of 0.425 (0.204-0.885), 0.325 (0.150-0.707), and 0.402 (0.190-0.850), respectively. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that patients in the high-density groups for CD3, CD8, and C45RO had a significantly longer survival time than the patients in the corresponding low-density groups, respectively. In multivariate survival analysis, the densities of CD3(+), CD8(+), and CD45RO(+) TILs remained independent prognostic factors with hazard ratios (95% CI) of 0.549 (0.317-0.951), 0.574 (0.347-0.949), and 0.507 (0.298-0.862), respectively. In conclusion, density of TILs was found to be independently predictive of regional lymph node metastasis and patient survival in gastric cancer.

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