Increased NY-ESO-1 expression and reduced infiltrating CD3+ T cells in cutaneous melanoma

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NY-ESO-1 is a cancer-testis antigen aberrantly expressed in melanomas, which may serve as a robust and specific target in immunotherapy. NY-ESO-1 antigen expression, tumor features, and the immune profile of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were assessed in primary cutaneous melanoma. NY-ESO-1 protein was detected in 20% of invasive melanomas (16/79), rarely in in situ melanoma (1/10) and not in benign nevi (0/20). Marked intratumoral heterogeneity of NY-ESO-1 protein expression was observed. NY-ESO-1 expression was associated with increased primary tumor thickness (P = 0.007) and inversely correlated with superficial spreading melanoma (P < 0.02). NY-ESO-1 expression was also associated with reduced numbers and density of CD3<inf>+</inf>tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (P = 0.017). When NY-ESO-1 protein was expressed, CD3<inf>+</inf> T cells were less diffusely infiltrating the tumor and were more often arranged in small clusters (P = 0.010) or as isolated cells (P = 0.002) than in large clusters of more than five lymphocytes. No correlation of NY-ESO-1 expression with gender, age, tumor site, ulceration, lymph node sentinel status, or survival was observed. NY-ESO-1 expression in melanoma was associated with tumor progression, including increased tumor thickness, and with reduced tumor infiltrating lymphocytes.




Giavina-Bianchi, M., Giavina-Bianchi, P., Sotto, M. N., Muzikansky, A., Kalil, J., Festa-Neto, C., & Duncan, L. M. (2015). Increased NY-ESO-1 expression and reduced infiltrating CD3+ T cells in cutaneous melanoma. Journal of Immunology Research, 2015.

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