The spatial context of tumor-infiltrating immune cells associates with improved ovarian cancer survival

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Abstract

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic malignancy. Multiomics techniques have provided a platform for improved predictive modeling of therapy response and patient outcomes. While high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSOC) tumors are immunogenic and numerous studies have defined positive correlation to immune cell infiltration, immunotherapies in clinical trials have exhibited low efficacy rates. There is a significant need to better comprehend the role and composition of immune cells in mediating ovarian cancer therapeutic response and progression. We performed multiplex IHC with an HGSOC tissue microarray (n ¼ 127) to characterize the immune cell composition within tumors. After analyzing the composition and spatial context of T cells (CD4/CD8), macrophages (CD68), and B cells (CD19) within the tumor, we found that increased B-cell and CD4 T-cell presence correlated with overall survival. More importantly, we observed that the proximity between tumor-associated macrophages and B cells or CD4 T cells significantly correlated with overall survival.

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Steinhart, B., Jordan, K. R., Bapat, J., Post, M. D., Brubaker, L. W., Bitler, B. G., & Wrobel, J. (2021). The spatial context of tumor-infiltrating immune cells associates with improved ovarian cancer survival. Molecular Cancer Research, 19(12), 1973–1979. https://doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-21-0411

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