Tumor-expressed B7-H1 and B7-DC in relation to PD-1+ T-cell infiltration and survival of patients with cervical carcinoma

Rezaul Karim, Ekaterina S. Jordanova, Sytse J. Piersma, Gemma G. Kenter, Lieping Chen, Judith M. Boer, Cornelis J.M. Melief, Sjoerd H. Van Der Burg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The interaction between programmed cell death 1 (PD-1), expressed by activated effector or regulatory T cells, and B7-H1 (PD-L1) and B7-DC (PD-L2) results in the inhibition of T-cell function. The aim of this study was to determine B7-H1, B7-DC, and PD-1 expression in cervical carcinoma. Experimental Design: A tissue microarray of a well-defined groupof 115 patients was stained with antibodies against B7-H1 and B7-DC. Three-color fluorescent immunohistochemistry was used to study the number and phenotype of tumor-infiltrating T cells expressing PD-1. Additional analyses consisted of in vitro T-cell suppression assays. Results: B7-H1 was expressed in 19%, and B7-DC was expressed by 29% of the 115 tumors. PD-1 was expressed by more than half of both the infiltrating CD8+ T cells and CD4+Foxp3+ T cells, irrespective of B7-H1 or B7-DC expression by tumors. The expression of B7-H1 did not show a direct impact on patient survival. However, subgroup analysis revealed that patients with a relative excess of infiltrating regulatory T cells displayed a better survival when the tumor was B7-H1 positive (P = 0.033). Additional studies showed that the presence of B7-H1 during the activation of CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells impaired their suppressive function in a functional in vitro assay. Conclusions: B7-H1 is expressed on only a minority of cervical cancers and does not influence the survival of patients with cervical cancer. PD-1 is expressed by a vast number of infiltrating CD8 T cells, suggesting that blocking of PD-1 could have therapeutic potential in cervical cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6341-6347
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume15
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009

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