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      High levels of tumor-associated neutrophils are associated with improved overall survival in patients with stage II colorectal cancer

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          Abstract

          Conflicting reports regarding whether high tumor-associated neutrophils (TAN) are associated with outcomes in colorectal cancer (CRC) exist. Previous investigators have counted TAN using non-neutrophil-specific immunohistochemistry (IHC) stains. We examined whether TAN levels as determined by multi-field manual counting would predict prognosis. IRB approval was obtained and two pathologists, blinded to stage/outcome, counted TAN in 20 high power fields (HPF) per specimen. TAN score was defined as the mean of these counts. High TAN was defined as at or greater than the median score for that stage. Demographics, tumor characteristics, and overall survival (OS) were obtained from the records and examined for association with TAN score. IHC for arginase expression was performed in a subset of samples. 221 patients were included. Stage II patients with high TAN scores had an OS of 232 months as compared to those with low TAN (OS = 85 months, p = 0.03). The survival benefit persisted in multivariable analysis (HR 0.48, CI 0.25–0.91, p = 0.026) controlling for age and sex. Women had increased survival as compared to men, and there were no significant prognostic associations with TAN count in stage III/IV patients, although there were only 12 stage IV patients. Arginase staining did not provide additional information. Stage II colorectal cancer patients with high TAN live nearly 3 times longer than those with low TAN. Women with stage II disease and high TAN counts appear to be driving the survival benefit seen in the stage II patients and have increased overall survival in all stages.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Increased Intratumoral Neutrophil in Colorectal Carcinomas Correlates Closely with Malignant Phenotype and Predicts Patients' Adverse Prognosis

          Background Substantial evidence suggests that the presence of inflammatory cells plays a critical role in the development and/or progression of human tumors. Neutrophils are the common inflammatory cells in tumors; however, the infiltration of intratumoral neutrophils in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and its effect on CRC patients' prognosis are poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, the methods of tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were used to investigate the prognostic significance of intratumoral CD66b+ neutrophil in CRC. According to receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the cutoff score for high intratumoral CD66b+ neutrophil in CRC was defined when the mean counts were more than 60 per TMA spot. In our study, high intratumoral CD66b+ neutrophil was observed in 104/229 (45.4%) of CRCs and in 29/229 (12.7%) of adjacent mucosal tissues. Further correlation analysis showed that high intratumoral neutrophil was positively correlated with pT status, pM status and clinical stage (P<0.05). In univariate survival analysis, a significant association between high intratumoral neutrophil and shortened patients' survival was found (P<0.0001). In different subsets of CRC patients, intratumoral neutrophil was also a prognostic indicator in patients with stage II, stage III, grade 2, grade 3, pT1, pT2, pN0 and pN1 (P<0.05). Importantly, high intratumoral neutrophil was evaluated as an independent prognostic factor in multivariate analysis (P<0.05). Conclusions/Significance Our results provide evidence that increased intratumoral neutrophil in CRC may be important in the acquisition of a malignant phenotype, indicating that the presence of intratumoral neutrophil is an independent factor for poor prognosis of patients with CRC.
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            Polymorphonuclear granulocytes in human head and neck cancer: enhanced inflammatory activity, modulation by cancer cells and expansion in advanced disease.

            The progression of epithelial cancer is associated with an intense immunological interaction between the tumor cells and immune cells of the host. However, little is known about the interaction between tumor cells and polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMNs) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In our study, we investigated systemic PMN-related alterations in HNSCC, the role of tumor-infiltrating PMNs and their modulation by the tumor microenvironment. We assessed the infiltration of HNSCC tissue by PMNs (retrospectively) and systemic PMN-related alterations in blood values (prospectively) in HNSCC patients (n = 99 and 114, respectively) and control subjects (n = 41). PMN recruitment, apoptosis and inflammatory activity were investigated in an in vitro system of peripheral blood PMNs and a human HNSCC cell line (FaDu). HNSCC tissue exhibited considerable infiltration by PMNs, and strong infiltration was associated with poorer survival in advanced disease. PMN count, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and serum concentrations of CXCL8 (interleukin-8), CCL4 (MIP-1β) and CCL5 (RANTES) were significantly higher in the peripheral blood of HNSCC patients than in that of controls. In vitro, HNSCC-conditioned medium inhibited apoptosis of PMNs, increased chemokinesis and chemotaxis of PMNs, induced release of lactoferrin and matrix metalloproteinase 9 by PMNs and enhanced the secretion of CCL4 by PMN. Our findings demonstrate alterations in PMN biology in HNSCC patients. In vitro, tumor-derived factors modulate cellular functions of PMNs and increase their inflammatory activity. Thus, the interaction between HNSCC and PMNs may contribute to host-mediated changes in the tumor microenvironment. Copyright © 2011 UICC.
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              The Prognostic Value of Tumor-Infiltrating Neutrophils in Gastric Adenocarcinoma after Resection

              Background Several pieces of evidence indicate that tumor-infiltrating neutrophils (TINs) are correlated to tumor progression. In the current study, we explore the relationship between TINs and clinicopathological features of gastric adenocarcinoma patients. Furthermore, we investigated the prognostic value of TINs. Patients and Methods The study was comprised of two groups, training group (115 patients) and test group (97 patients). Biomarkers (intratumoral CD15+ neutrophils) were assessed by immunohistochemistry. The relationship between clinicopathological features and patient outcome were evaluated using Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results Immunohistochemical detection showed that the tumor-infiltrating neutrophils (TINs) in the training group ranged from 0.00–115.70 cells/high-power microscopic field (HPF) and the median number was 21.60 cells/HPF. Based on the median number, the patients were divided into high and low TINs groups. Chi-square test analysis revealed that the density of CD15+ TINs was positively associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.024), distance metastasis (p = 0.004) and UICC (International Union Against Cancer) staging (p = 0.028). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that patients with a lower density of TINs had a better prognosis than patients with a higher density of TINs (p = 0.002). Multivariate Cox's analysis showed that the density of CD15+ TINs was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival of gastric adenocarcinoma patients. Using another 97 patients as a test group and basing on the median number of TINs (21.60 cells/HPF) coming from the training group, Kaplan-Meier analysis also showed that patients with a lower density of TINs had a better prognosis than patients with a higher density of TINs (p = 0.032). The results verify that the number of CD15+ TINs can predict the survival of gastric adenocarcinoma surgical patients. Conclusions The presence of CD15+ TINs is an independent and unfavorable factor in the prognosis of gastric adenocarcinoma patients. Targeting CD15+ TINs may be a potential intervenient therapy in the future.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SoftwareRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ValidationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                6 December 2017
                2017
                : 12
                : 12
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Departments of Dermatology and Laboratory Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania, United States of America
                [2 ] Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America
                [3 ] Department of Surgery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America
                [4 ] University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America
                [5 ] Department of Surgery, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America
                [6 ] Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America
                National Cancer Center, JAPAN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                ‡ Joint Senior Authors

                Article
                PONE-D-17-31639
                10.1371/journal.pone.0188799
                5718511
                29211768
                © 2017 Berry et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, Pages: 12
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000048, American Cancer Society;
                Award ID: MRSG-15-136-01-CCE
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002, National Institutes of Health;
                Award ID: 5U54GM104944-03
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by National Institute of Health 5U54GM104944-03 (KTM), and Mentored Research Scholar Grant, MRSG-15-136-01-CCE from the American Cancer Society (KTM). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
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                Biology and Life Sciences
                Cell Biology
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                Animal Cells
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                Neutrophils
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                Animal Cells
                Immune Cells
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