Because of the particular anatomy of ovaries, which are in close contact with the adipocyte-rich omentum, ovarian cancer frequently presents itself with established metastasis-like disseminated tumor islets along the omentum.
The tropism of ovarian cancer cells for fat is well described. Indeed, adipocyte-derived free fatty acids have been causatively linked to cancer cell proliferation and invasive properties. Obesity is additionally linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer onset and, in ovarian cancer patients, to worse outcome. However, there is to our knowledge no clear association between omentum-anchored dissemination and the anti-tumor immune response.
Here we describe an unsuspected association between the presence peritoneal fat in ovarian tumors and massive tumor infiltration by T cells. Still, this massive T cell influx seems to fail in its anti-tumor activity since (1) tumor-infiltrating T cells seem to be hijacked away from tumor cells and accumulate around fatty areas and (2) tumor-infiltrating T cells display an exhausted phenotype.
In this presentation, we also describe a new model of tissue culture of explants from primary human tumors that are treated with various drugs in an attempt to circumvent this fat-derived immune exhaustion and restore an efficient anti-tumor immune response.
Citation Format: Meggy Suarez-Carmona, Anita Heinzelmann, Nektarios A. Valous, Mareike Hampel, Anna Berthel, Sarah Schott, Inka Zörnig, Dirk Jäger, Niels Halama. The fat in ovarian cancer: Immune-dependent tumor-promoting effects [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr A102.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.