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Background: Shifts in CD8+ T-cell subsets that are hallmarks of immunosenescence are observed in ageing and in conditions of chronic immune stimulation. Presently, there is limited documentation of such changes in lung cancer and other malignancies affecting the lungs. Methods: Changes in CD8+ T-cell subsets, based on the expression of CD28 and CD57, were analysed in patients with various forms of cancer affecting the lungs, undergoing chemotherapy and in a control group over six months, using multi-colour flow cytometry. Results: The differences between patients and controls, and the changes in the frequency of CD8+ T-cell subpopulations among lung cancer patients corresponded to those seen in immunosenescence: lower CD8-/CD8+ ratio, lower proportions of CD28+CD57- cells consisting of naïve and central memory cells, and higher proportions of senescent-enriched CD28-CD57+ cells among the lung cancer patients, with the stage IV lung cancer patients showing the most pronounced changes. Also observed was a tendency of chemotherapy to induce the formation of CD28+CD57+ cells, which, in line with the capacity of chemotherapy to induce the formation of senescent cells, might provide more evidence supporting CD28+CD57+ cells as senescent cells. Conclusion: Immunosenescence was present before the start of the treatment; it appeared to be pronounced in patients with advanced cases of malignancies affecting the lungs, and might not be averted by chemotherapy.
Onyema, O. O., Decoster, L., Njemini, R., Forti, L. N., Bautmans, I., De Waele, M., & Mets, T. (2015). Shifts in subsets of CD8+ T-cells as evidence of immunosenescence in patients with cancers affecting the lungs: An observational case-control study. BMC Cancer, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-015-2013-3