The immune status of tumors varies, and this may affect the overall survival (OS) of patients. We examined tumors from 120 patients with lung adenocarcinomas with a tissue microarray for T-cell infiltration and the expression of PD-L1 and Galectin-9 (both ligands for inhibitory receptors on T cells), and cancer/testis (CT) antigen XAGE1 (GAGED2a; a tumor antigen often found on lung tumors) expression, to determine their relevance to OS. Patients defined as pStage I–IIIA could be grouped, based on the expression profiles of PD-L1, Galectin-9, and XAGE1, into cluster A, who had prolonged survival, and cluster B, who had shorter survival. The difference in survival of the clusters was confirmed separately for pStage I and pStage II–IIIA patients. Cluster A patients who also had CD4 and CD8 T-cell infiltration showed even better survival, as expected. The findings were confirmed by examining an independent validation cohort of 68 pStage I lung adenocarcinoma patients. Our data showed that PD-L1 expression was a positive indicator, whereas Galectin-9 and XAGE1 expression was negative. In vitro analyses suggested that PD-L1 expression was upregulated by IFNγ secreted from activated T cells in the tumor and Galectin-9 expression was counteracting those T cells. Thus, use of these immune markers enables the creation of a discriminant function with which to classify tumors and predict survival. Cancer Immunol Res; 4(12); 1–12. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
Clinical Trials Registry, UMIN-CTR number, 000016678
- Received October 27, 2015.
- Revision received September 7, 2016.
- Accepted September 21, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.