Proliferating macrophages associated with high grade, hormone receptor negative breast cancer and poor clinical outcome.
ABSTRACT Macrophages, a key cell in the inflammatory cascade, have been associated with poor prognosis in cancers, including breast cancer. In this study, we investigated the relationship of a subset of macrophages-proliferating macrophages (promacs)-with clinico-pathologic characteristics of breast cancer, including tumor size, grade, stage, lymph node metastases, hormone receptor status, subtype, as well as early recurrence, and survival. This study included a discovery and validation set that was conducted at two institutions and laboratories (University of California, San Francisco and University of Chicago) using two independent cohorts of patients with breast cancer. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections and/or tissue microarrays were double-stained with anti-CD68 (a macrophage marker) and anti-PCNA (a proliferation marker) antibodies. The presence of intratumoral promacs was significantly correlated with high grade, hormone receptor negative tumors, and a basal-like subtype. In contrast, there was no correlation between promacs and tumor size, stage, or the number of the involved lymph nodes. These findings were consistent between the two study cohorts. Finally, promac numbers were a significant predictor of recurrence and survival. In the pooled analysis, elevated promac levels were associated with a 77% increased risk of dying (P = 0.015). The presence of promacs in human breast cancer may serve as a prognostic indicator for poor outcomes and early recurrence and serve as a potential cellular target for novel therapeutic interventions.
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ABSTRACT: Triple-negative breast cancers need to be refined in order to identify therapeutic subgroups of patients. We conducted an unsupervised analysis of microarray gene-expression profiles of 107 triple-negative breast cancer patients and undertook robust functional annotation of the molecular entities found by means of numerous approaches including immunohistochemistry and gene-expression signatures. A triple-negative external cohort (n = 87) was used for validation. Fuzzy clustering separated triple-negative tumours into three clusters: C1 (22.4%), C2 (44.9%) and C3 (32.7%). C1 patients were older (mean = 64.6 years) than C2 (mean = 56.8 years; P = 0.03) and C3 patients (mean = 51.9 years; P = 0.0004). Histological grade and Nottingham prognostic index were higher in C2 and C3 than in C1 (P < 0.0001 for both comparisons). Significant event-free survival (P = 0.03) was found according to cluster membership: patients belonging to C3 had a better outcome than patients in C1 (P = 0.01) and C2 (P = 0.02). Event-free survival analysis results were confirmed when our cohort was pooled with the external cohort (n = 194; P = 0.01). Functional annotation showed that 22% of triple-negative patients were not basal-like (C1). C1 was enriched in luminal subtypes and positive androgen receptor (luminal androgen receptor). C2 could be considered as an almost pure basal-like cluster. C3, enriched in basal-like subtypes but to a lesser extent, included 26% of claudin-low subtypes. Dissection of immune response showed that high immune response and low M2-like macrophages were a hallmark of C3, and that these patients had a better event-free survival than C2 patients, characterized by low immune response and high M2-like macrophages: P = 0.02 for our cohort, and P = 0.03 for pooled cohorts. We identified three subtypes of triple-negative patients: luminal androgen receptor (22%), basal-like with low immune response and high M2-like macrophages (45%), and basal-enriched with high immune response and low M2-like macrophages (33%). We noted out that macrophages and other immune effectors offer a variety of therapeutic targets in breast cancer, and particularly in triple-negative basal-like tumours. Furthermore, we showed that CK5 antibody was better suited than CK5/6 antibody to subtype triple-negative patients.Breast cancer research: BCR 12/2015; 17(1):43. DOI:10.1186/s13058-015-0550-y · 5.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: How neoplastic cells respond to therapy is not solely dependent on the complexity of the genomic aberrations they harbor but is also regulated by numerous dynamic properties of the tumor microenvironment. Identifying and targeting critical pathways that improve therapeutic efficacy by bolstering anti-tumor immune responses holds great potential for improving outcomes and impacting long-term patient survival. Macrophages are key regulators of homeostatic tissue and tumor microenvironments. Therefore, therapeutics impacting macrophage presence and/or bioactivity have shown promise in preclinical models and are now being evaluated in the clinic. This review discusses the molecular/cellular pathways identified so far whereby macrophages mediate therapeutic responses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Cancer cell 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ccell.2015.02.015 · 23.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Radiation therapy (RT) and chemotherapy (CTX) following surgery are mainstays of treatment for breast cancer (BC). While multiple studies have recently revealed the significance of immune cells as mediators of CTX response in BC, less is known regarding roles for leukocytes as mediating outcomes following RT. To address this, we utilized a syngeneic orthotopic murine model of mammary carcinogenesis to investigate if response to RT could be improved when select immune cells or immune-based pathways in the mammary microenvironment were inhibited. Treatment of mammary tumor-bearing mice with either a neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) to colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) or a small molecule inhibitor of the CSF-1 receptor kinase (i.e., PLX3397), resulting in efficient macrophage depletion, significantly delayed tumor regrowth following RT. Delayed tumor growth in this setting was associated with increased presence of CD8+ T cells, and reduced presence of CD4+ T cells, the main source of the TH2 cytokine interleukin (IL)-4 in mammary tumors. Selective depletion of CD4+ T cells or neutralization of IL-4 in combination with RT, phenocopied results following macrophage depletion, whereas depletion of CD8+ T cells abrogated improved response to RT following these therapies. Analogously, therapeutic neutralization of IL-4 or IL-13, or IL-4 receptor alpha deficiency, in combination with the CTX paclitaxel resulted in slowed primary mammary tumor growth by CD8+ T cell-dependent mechanisms. These findings indicate that clinical responses to cytotoxic therapy in general can be improved by neutralizing dominant TH2-based programs driving protumorigenic and immune suppressive pathways in mammary (breast) tumors to improve outcomes. Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.02/2015; 3(5). DOI:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-14-0232