Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2017 Jan 12;12(1):e0170042. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170042. eCollection 2017.

The Prognostic and Clinicopathological Significance of Tumor-Associated Macrophages in Patients with Gastric Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.

Author information

Department of Surgical Oncology, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China.
Department of Breast Surgery, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China.



Comprehensive studies have investigated the prognostic and clinicopathological value of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in gastric cancer patients, yet results remain controversial. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to clarify this issue.


PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases were searched to identify eligible studies. We extracted hazard ratios (HRs) and odds ratios (ORs) with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to estimate the effect sizes. In addition, subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis were also conducted.


A total of 19 studies involving 2242 patients were included. High generalised TAMs density was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS) (HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.15-1.95). Subgroup analysis revealed that CD68+ TAMs had no significant effect on OS (HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.00-1.91). High M1 TAMs density was correlated with better OS (HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.32-0.65). By contrast, high density of M2 TAMs was correlated with a poor prognosis for OS (HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.25-1.75). Furthermore, high M2 TAMs density was correlated with larger tumor size, diffuse Lauren type, poor histologic differentiation, deeper tumor invasion, lymph node metastasis, and advanced TNM stage.


Overall, this meta-analysis reveal that although CD68+ TAMs infiltration has the neutral prognostic effects on OS, the M1/M2 polarization of TAMs are predicative factor of prognosis in gastric cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center