Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one of the most deadly carcinomas in females. Immune systems can recognize EOCs; however, a defect of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression is known to be a major mechanism for escape from immune systems, resulting in poor prognosis. The purpose of this study is to identify novel correlations between immunologic responses and other clinical factors. We investigated the expression of immunologic components in 122 cases of EOCs for which surgical operations were performed between 2001 and 2011. We immunohistochemically stained EOC specimens using an anti-pan HLA class I monoclonal antibody (EMR8-5) and anti-CD3, -CD4, and -CD8 antibodies, and we analyzed correlations between immunologic parameters and clinical factors. In multivariate analysis that used the Cox proportional hazards model, independent prognostic factors for overall survival in advanced EOCs included low expression level of HLA class I [risk ratio (RR), 1.97; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01–3.83; P = 0.046] and loss of intraepithelial cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) infiltration (RR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.06–4.20; P = 0.033). Interestingly, almost all platinum-resistant cases showed a significantly low rate of intraepithelial CTL infiltration in the χ2 test (positive vs. negative: 9.0% vs. 97.7%; P < 0.001). Results from a logistic regression model revealed that low CTL infiltration rate was an independent factor of platinum resistance in multivariate analysis (OR, 3.77; 95% CI, 1.08–13.12; P = 0.037). Platinum-resistant EOCs show poor immunologic responses. The immune escape system of EOCs may be one of the mechanisms of platinum resistance. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(12); 1–10. ©2014 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received May 22, 2014.
- Revision received September 1, 2014.
- Accepted September 23, 2014.
- ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.