Clinical significance of tumor-associated inflammatory cells in metastatic neuroblastoma.
PURPOSE: Children diagnosed at age ≥ 18 months with metastatic MYCN-nonamplified neuroblastoma (NBL-NA) are at high risk for disease relapse, whereas those diagnosed at age < 18 months are nearly always cured. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that expression of genes related to tumor-associated inflammatory cells correlates with the observed differences in survival by age at diagnosis and contributes to a prognostic signature. METHODS: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in localized and metastatic neuroblastomas (n = 71) were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Expression of 44 genes representing tumor and inflammatory cells was quantified in 133 metastatic NBL-NAs to assess age-dependent expression and to develop a logistic regression model to provide low- and high-risk scores for predicting progression-free survival (PFS). Tumors from high-risk patients enrolled onto two additional studies (n = 91) served as independent validation cohorts. RESULTS: Metastatic neuroblastomas had higher infiltration of TAMs than locoregional tumors, and metastatic tumors diagnosed in patients at age ≥ 18 months had higher expression of inflammation-related genes than those in patients diagnosed at age < 18 months. Expression of genes representing TAMs (CD33/CD16/IL6R/IL10/FCGR3) contributed to 25% of the accuracy of a novel 14-gene tumor classification score. PFS at 5 years for children diagnosed at age ≥ 18 months with NBL-NA with a low- versus high-risk score was 47% versus 12%, 57% versus 8%, and 50% versus 20% in three independent clinical trials, respectively. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that interactions between tumor and inflammatory cells may contribute to the clinical metastatic neuroblastoma phenotype, improve prognostication, and reveal novel therapeutic targets.
Asgharzadeh, S; Salo, JA; Ji, L; Oberthuer, A; Fischer, M; Berthold, F; Hadjidaniel, M; Liu, CW-Y; Metelitsa, LS; Pique-Regi, R; Wakamatsu, P; Villablanca, JG; Kreissman, SG; Matthay, KK; Shimada, H; London, WB; Sposto, R; Seeger, RC
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