Questionable relevance of gamma delta T lymphocytes in renal cell carcinoma.
Adoptive gammadelta T cell immunotherapy has moved briskly into clinical trials prompted by several small studies suggesting abundant accumulation of gammadelta T cells within renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In this study, we re-examined levels of gammadelta T cells within RCC tumors and correlated levels of these cells with pathologic features and outcome associated with this form of cancer. Tissues from 248 consecutive clear cell RCC tumors obtained from 2000 to 2003 were stained and quantified for total CD3+ and gammadelta T cells per mm2. Wilcoxon rank sum and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to evaluate associations between T cell amounts and prognostic factors (age, gender, tumor size, stage, grade, tumor necrosis). Cox models were used to assess associations with RCC-specific death. Median numbers of total CD3+ and gammadelta T cells were 281/mm2 (interquartile range (IQR): 149-536) and 2.6/mm2 (IQR: 1.3-4.6), respectively. The median percentage of CD3+ T cells that were gammadelta T cells was 1.0% (IQR: 0.4-1.9). This low percentage of intratumoral gammadelta T cells was diluted even further with rising CD3+ T cell infiltration. Percentages of gammadelta T cells were not associated with even one single clinicopathologic feature examined. Median follow-up for this study was 3.1 years (48 patients died of RCC) and Cox analysis failed to demonstrate that gammadelta T cells (hazard ratio=1.02, p=0.25) were predictive of RCC-specific death. gammadelta T cells are rare and not recruited nor expanded within RCC tumors. Percentages of gammadelta T cells fail to correlate with any prognostic features of RCC nor specific death. As such, the role of gammadelta T cells in RCC immunobiology remains questionable.
Inman, BA; Frigola, X; Harris, KJ; Kuntz, SM; Lohse, CM; Leibovich, BC; Kwon, ED
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