Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 15;15(20):6412-20. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-1438. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Lymphocytic reaction to colorectal cancer is associated with longer survival, independent of lymph node count, microsatellite instability, and CpG island methylator phenotype.

Author information

  • 1Center for Molecular Oncologic Pathology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Host immune response to tumor may be an important prognostic factor for colon cancer patients. However, little is known on prognostic significance of histopathologic lymphoid reaction to tumor, independent of the number of lymph nodes examined and tumoral molecular alterations, including microsatellite instability (MSI) and the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), both of which are associated with lymphocytic reaction and clinical outcome.


Using 843 colorectal cancer patients in two independent prospective cohorts, we examined patient prognosis in relation to four components of lymphocytic reaction (i.e., Crohn's-like reaction, peritumoral reaction, intratumoral periglandular reaction, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes) and overall lymphocytic score (0-12). CIMP was determined using eight markers including CACNA1G, CDKN2A (p16), CRABP1, IGF2, MLH1, NEUROG1, RUNX3, and SOCS1. Cox proportional hazard models computed hazard ratio for mortality, adjusted for covariates including tumor stage, body mass index, lymph node count, KRAS, BRAF, p53, cyclooxygenase-2 (PTGS2), MSI, CIMP, and LINE-1 methylation.


Increasing overall lymphocytic reaction score including tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was associated with a significant improvement in colorectal cancer-specific and overall survival (log-rank P < 0.003). These findings remained significant (adjusted hazard ratio estimates, 0.49-0.71; P(trend) < 0.009) in multivariate models that adjusted for covariates, including body mass index, MSI, CIMP, LINE-1 hypomethylation, and cyclooxygenase-2. The beneficial effect of tumoral lymphocytic reaction was consistent across strata of clinical, pathologic, and molecular characteristics.


Lymphocytic reactions to tumor were associated with improved prognosis among colorectal cancer patients, independent of lymph node count and other clinical, pathologic, and molecular characteristics.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center