Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte infiltration and chemokine predict long-term patient survival independently of tumor mutational burden in triple-negative breast cancer

Eriko Katsuta, Li Yan, Mateusz Opyrchal, Pawel Kalinski, Kazuaki Takabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) infiltration into tumor is a positive prognostic factor in breast cancer. High tumor mutational burden (TMB) is also considered as a predictor of tumor immunogenicity and response to immunotherapy. However, it is unclear whether the infiltration of functional CTL simply reflects the TMB or represents an independent prognostic value. Methods: Utilizing The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) breast cancer cohort, we established the Functional Hotness Score (FHS). The associations of FHS and breast cancer patient prognosis as well as distinct immunity markers were analyzed in a total of 3011 breast cancer patients using TCGA, METABRIC and metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cohort GSE110590. Results: We established FHS, based on CD8A, GZMB and CXCL10 gene expression levels of bulk tumors, which delivered the best prognostic value among some gene combinations. Breast cancer patients with the high-FHS tumors showed significantly better survival. FHS was lower in the MBCs. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) showed the highest FHS among subtypes. FHS predicted patient survival in hormone receptor (HR)-negative, especially in TNBC, but not in HR-positive breast cancer. FHS predicted patient prognosis independently in TNBC. The high-FHS TNBCs showed not only higher CD8+ T cell infiltration, but also enhanced broader type-1 anti-cancer immunity. The patients with the high-FHS tumors showed better prognosis not only in high-TMB tumors but also in low-TMB TNBCs. The combination of high-TMB with high-FHS identified a unique subset of patients who do not recur over time in TNBC. Conclusion: TNBCs with high FHS based on the expression levels of CD8A, GZMB and CXCL10 showed improved prognosis with enhanced anti-cancer immunity regardless of TMB. FHS constitutes an independent prognostic marker of survival, particularly robustly when combined with TMB in TNBC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • T-cell infiltration
  • breast cancer
  • cytokine profile
  • triple-negative breast cancer
  • tumor microenvironment
  • tumor mutational burden

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