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Clin Transl Immunology. 2019 Dec 25;8(12):e1100. doi: 10.1002/cti2.1100. eCollection 2019.

Accumulation of CD103+ CD8+ T cells in a cutaneous melanoma micrometastasis.

Author information

1
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne VIC Australia.
2
Department of Microbiology & Immunology The University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity Melbourne VIC Australia.
3
Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology The University of Melbourne Parkville VIC Australia.
4
Telethon Kids Institute University of Western Australia Perth WA Australia.
5
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute Heidelberg VIC Australia.
6
Department of Surgery University of Melbourne Melbourne VIC Australia.

Abstract

Objective:

The immune system can halt cancer progression by suppressing outgrowth of clinically occult micrometastases in a state of cancer-immune equilibrium. Cutaneous melanoma provides a unique opportunity to study the immune contexture of such lesions, as miniscule skin metastases are accessible to clinical inspection and diagnostic biopsy.

Methods:

Here, we analysed by multiplex immunofluorescence microscopy samples from a melanoma patient presenting with an overt and an occult in-transit metastasis (ITM), the latter of which appeared as a small erythematous papule.

Results:

Microarchitecture and immune composition in the two lesions were vastly different. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells accumulated around the margin of the overt SOX10+ Melan A+ ITM but were largely excluded from the tumor centre. By contrast, the occult micrometastasis contained only few SOX10+ Melan A- melanoma cells which were scattered within a dense infiltrate of T cells, including a prominent population of CD103+ CD8+ T cells resembling tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells. Notably, almost every single melanoma cell in the micrometastasis was in close proximity to these TRM-like cells.

Conclusion:

Such results support the emerging concept that CD103+ CD8+ TRM cells are key mediators of cancer surveillance and imply an important function of these cells in controlling clinically occult micrometastases in humans.

KEYWORDS:

melanoma; micrometastasis; tissue‐resident memory T cells

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