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Oncoimmunology. 2017 Jul 13;6(10):e1347742. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2017.1347742. eCollection 2017.

Distinctive features of tumor-infiltrating γδ T lymphocytes in human colorectal cancer.

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Central Laboratory of Advanced Diagnosis and Biomedical Research (CLADIBIOR), University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Department of Biopathology and Medical Biotechnologies (DIBIMED), University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Centre de Recherches en Cancérologie de Toulouse (CRCT), Toulouse, France.
Department of Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Department of Surgical and Oncological Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.


γδ T cells usually infiltrate many different types of cancer, but it is unclear whether they inhibit or promote tumor progression. Moreover, properties of tumor-infiltrating γδ T cells and those in the corresponding normal tissue remain largely unknown. Here we have studied features of γδ T cells in colorectal cancer, normal colon tissue and peripheral blood, and correlated their levels with clinicopathologic hallmarks. Flow cytometry and transcriptome analyses showed that the tumor comprised a highly variable rate of TILs (5-90%) and 4% γδ T cells on average, with the majority expressing Vδ1. Most Vδ1 and Vδ2 T cells showed a predominant effector memory phenotype and had reduced production of IFN- γ which was likely due to yet unidentified inhibitory molecules present in cancer stem cell secretome. Transcriptome analyses revealed that patients containing abundant γδ T cells had significantly longer 5-year disease free survival rate, suggesting their efficacy in controlling tumor at very early stage.


DFS; IFN-γ; TILs; colon cancer; γδ T cells

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