The Association of Intratumoral Germinal Centers with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

INTRODUCTION: Lung cancers can display immune cell infiltration although the role of an adaptive immune response in disease pathogenesis is unknown. To investigate the possibility of a functional humoral response to the tumor, we surveyed histologic sections from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors for germinal centers (GCs) and assessed whether there was an association between the presence of GCs and tumor stage. METHODS: Tumor sections from 91 patients with all stages of NSCLC were examined by a pathologist blinded to clinical data. GCs were identified by hematoxylin and eosin staining patterns and confirmed by immunohistochemical staining for B-cell markers, BCL-6 and CD21. The distribution of GCs within the tumor or the tumor margin was recorded. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the association between stage and presence of GCs. RESULTS: Thirty-five percent of all tumors evaluated contained GCs, and sections evaluated by immunohistochemistry showed positive staining for both B-cell markers. GCs were seen both within the tumor and the tumor margin, consistent with an immune response to antigen stimulation. Patients with stage I NSCLC had a higher prevalence of intratumoral GCs than patients with stages II to IV (Cochran-Armitage Trend Test p = 0.02011). There was no association of stage with GCs in the tumor margin. CONCLUSIONS: Intratumoral GCs are associated with early-stage NSCLC. Further characterization of intratumoral GCs may lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies based on manipulation of the adaptive immune response.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gottlin, EB; Bentley, RC; Campa, MJ; Pisetsky, DS; Herndon, JE; Patz, EF

Published Date

  • October 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1687 - 1690

PubMed ID

  • 21642860

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1556-1380

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3182217bec


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States