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  • 1.
    Edin, Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Gylling, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Li, Xingru
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Stenberg, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Löfgren Burström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Zingmark, Carl
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    van Guelpen, Bethany
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM).
    Ljuslinder, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Opposing roles by KRAS and BRAF mutation on immune cell infiltration in colorectal cancer: possible implications for immunotherapy2024In: British Journal of Cancer, ISSN 0007-0920, E-ISSN 1532-1827, Vol. 130Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The immune response has important clinical value in colorectal cancer (CRC) in both prognosis and response to immunotherapy. This study aims to explore tumour immune cell infiltration in relation to clinically well-established molecular markers of CRC.

    Methods: Multiplex immunohistochemistry and multispectral imaging was used to evaluate tumour infiltration of cytotoxic T cells (CD8+), Th1 cells (T-bet+), T regulatory cells (FoxP3+), B cells (CD20+), and macrophages (CD68+) in a cohort of 257 CRC patients.

    Results: We found the expected association between higher immune-cell infiltration and microsatellite instability. Also, whereas BRAF-mutated tumours displayed increased immune-cell infiltration compared to BRAF wild-type tumours, the opposite was seen for KRAS-mutated tumours, differences that were most prominent for cytotoxic T cells and Th1 cells. The opposing relationships of BRAF and KRAS mutations with tumour infiltration of cytotoxic T cells was validated in an independent cohort of 608 CRC patients. A positive prognostic importance of cytotoxic T cells was found in wild-type as well as KRAS and BRAF-mutated CRCs in both cohorts.

    Conclusion: A combined evaluation of MSI status, KRAS and BRAF mutational status, and immune infiltration (cytotoxic T cells) may provide important insights to prognosis and response to immunotherapy in CRC.

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  • 2.
    Kerdreux, Maïwenn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Löwenmark, Thyra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Bronnec, Vicky
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Löfgren Burström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Zingmark, Carl
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ljuslinder, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Porphyromonas gingivalis in colorectal cancer and its association to patient prognosis2023In: Journal of Cancer, E-ISSN 1837-9664, Vol. 14, no 9, p. 1479-1485Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Microbiota dysbiosis may affect both the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). Large metagenomic studies have highlighted specific oral bacteria linked to CRC including Porphyromonas gingivalis. Few studies have however analysed the implications of this bacterium in CRC progression and survival. In this study, we investigated the intestinal presence of P. gingivalis by qPCR in both faecal and mucosal samples from two different patient cohorts, including patients with precancerous dysplasia or CRC, as well as controls. P. gingivalis was detected in 2.6-5.3% of CRC patients and significantly different levels of P. gingivalis were found in faeces of CRC patients compared to controls (P = 0.028). Furthermore, an association was found between the presence of P. gingivalis in faeces and tumour tissue (P < 0.001). Our findings further suggested a potential link between mucosal P. gingivalis and tumours of MSI subtype (P = 0.040). Last but not least, patients with faecal P. gingivalis were found to have a significantly decreased cancer-specific survival (P = 0.040). In conclusion, P. gingivalis could be linked to patients with CRC and to a worse patient prognosis. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of P. gingivalis in CRC pathogenesis.

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  • 3.
    Li, Xingru
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Larsson, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ljuslinder, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Löfgren Burström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Zingmark, Carl
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    A modified protein marker panel to identify four consensus molecular subtypes in colorectal cancer using immunohistochemistry2021In: Pathology, Research and Practice, ISSN 0344-0338, E-ISSN 1618-0631, Vol. 220, article id 153379Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous disease with different genetic and molecular backgrounds, leading to a diverse patient prognosis and treatment response. Four consensus molecular subtypes (CMS 1–4) have recently been proposed based on transcriptome profiling. A clinically practical immunohistochemistry (IHC) based CMS classifier consisting of the four markers FRMD6, ZEB1, HTR2B, and CDX2 was then demonstrated. However, the IHC-CMS classifier did not distinguish between CMS2 and CMS3 tumours. In this study, we have applied the proposed transcriptome based and IHC-based CMS classifiers in a CRC cohort of 65 patients and found a concordance of 77.5 %. Further, we modified the IHC-CMS classifier by analysing the differentially expressed genes between CMS2 and CMS3 tumours using RNA-sequencing data from the TCGA dataset. The result showed that WNT signalling was among the most upregulated pathways in CMS2 tumours, and the expression level of CTNNB1 (encoding β-catenin), a WNT pathway hallmark, was significantly upregulated (P = 1.15 × 10−6). We therefore introduced nuclear β-catenin staining to the IHC-CMS classifier. Using the modified classifier in our cohort, we found a 71.4 % concordance between the IHC and RNA-sequencing based CMS classifiers. Moreover, β-catenin staining could classify 16 out of the 19 CMS2/3 tumours into CMS2 or CMS3, thereby showing an 84.2 % concordance with the RNA-sequencing-based classifier. In conclusion, we evaluated CMS classifiers based on transcriptome and IHC analysis. We present a modified IHC panel that categorizes CRC tumours into the four CMS groups. To our knowledge, this is the first study using IHC to identify all four CMS groups.

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  • 4.
    Li, Xingru
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Larsson, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ljuslinder, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Öhlund, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Myte, Robin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Löfgren Burström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Zingmark, Carl
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ex Vivo Organoid Cultures Reveal the Importance of the Tumor Microenvironment for Maintenance of Colorectal Cancer Stem Cells2020In: Cancers, ISSN 2072-6694, Vol. 12, no 4, article id 923Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous disease, with varying clinical presentations and patient prognosis. Different molecular subgroups of CRC should be treated differently and therefore, must be better characterized. Organoid culture has recently been suggested as a good model to reflect the heterogeneous nature of CRC. However, organoid cultures cannot be established from all CRC tumors. The study examines which CRC tumors are more likely to generate organoids and thus benefit from ex vivo organoid drug testing. Long-term organoid cultures from 22 out of 40 CRC tumor specimens were established. It was found that organoid cultures were more difficult to establish from tumors characterized as microsatellite instable (MSI), BRAF-mutated, poorly differentiated and/or of a mucinous type. This suggests that patients with such tumors are less likely to benefit from ex vivo organoid drug testing, but it may also suggest biological difference in tumor growth. RNA sequencing analysis of tumor sections revealed that the in vivo maintenance of these non-organoid-forming tumors depends on factors related to inflammation and pathogen exposure. Furthermore, using TCGA data we could show a trend towards a worse prognosis for patients with organoid-forming tumors, suggesting also clinical differences. Results suggest that organoids are more difficult to establish from tumors characterized as MSI, BRAF-mutated, poorly differentiated and/or of a mucinous type. We further suggest that the maintenance of cell growth of these tumors in vivo may be promoted by immune-related factors and other stromal components within the tumor microenvironment.

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  • 5.
    Li, Xingru
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Kellgren, Therese G.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Lundholm, Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Löfgren Burström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Zingmark, Carl
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Rutegård, Martin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM).
    Ljuslinder, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    A Detailed Flow Cytometric Analysis of Immune Activity Profiles in Molecular Subtypes of Colorectal Cancer2020In: Cancers, ISSN 2072-6694, Vol. 12, no 11, article id 3440Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The local anti-tumour immune response has important prognostic value in colorectal cancer (CRC). In the era of immunotherapy, a better understanding of the immune response in molecular subgroups of CRC may lead to significant advances in personalised medicine. On this note, microsatellite instable (MSI) tumours have been characterised by increased immune infiltration, suggesting MSI as a marker for immune inhibitor checkpoint therapy. Here, we used flow cytometry to perform a comprehensive analysis of immune activity profiles in tumour tissues, adjacent non-malignant tissues and blood, from a cohort of 69 CRC patients. We found several signs of immune suppression in tumours compared to adjacent non-malignant tissues, including T cells more often expressing the immune checkpoint molecules programmed cell death protein (PD-1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4). We further analysed immune cell infiltration in molecular subgroups of CRC. MSI tumours were indeed found to be associated with increased immune infiltration, including increased fractions of PD-1+ T cells. No correlation was, however, found between MSI and the fraction of CTLA-4+ T cells. Interestingly, within the group of patients with microsatellite stable (MSS) tumours, some also presented with increased immune infiltration, including comparably high portions of PD-1+ T cells, but also CTLA-4+ T cells. Furthermore, no correlation was found between PD-1+ and CTLA-4+ T cells, suggesting that different tumours may, to some extent, be regulated by different immune checkpoints. We further evaluated the distribution of immune activity profiles in the consensus molecular subtypes of CRC. In conclusion, our findings suggest that different immune checkpoint inhibitors may be beneficial for selected CRC patients irrespective of MSI status. Improved predictive tools are required to identify these patients.

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  • 6.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Immune cell infiltration and prognosis in colorectal cancer2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is globally the second most common form of cancer among women, and third in men. It is also one of the most common causes of cancer-related death in high-income countries. Surgical resection is the basis for curative therapy but still almost half of the patients die from metastatic disease. It is therefore imperative to strive on in the search for more efficient strategies to improve patient survival. The success scores for accurate prediction of patient prognosis remain discouraging and novel markers to identify high-risk patients are called for.

    The tumour immune response has proven critical to prognosis in CRC. A high amount of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes have in studies been found to significantly improve patient outcome. The opposite has been seen in patients with sparsely infiltrated tumours. Findings in this area have driven forth the design of the Immunoscore® system, which may be implemented in clinic as a complement to the TNM staging system. Ongoing research is also focusing on which immune evading mechanisms CRC might deploy in order to progress and metastasize.

    Aim: To study immune cell infiltration in relation to prognosis in CRC. More specifically the aim has been to investigate the prognostic importance of different subsets of immune cells infiltrating the tumour, not only according to quantity but also to intratumoural subsite (tumour invasive front, tumour centre and within the tumour epithelium). The tumour immune response was also evaluated in different molecular subgroups of CRC. Another part of this thesis concerns possible molecular mechanisms involved in tumour immune escape in CRC.

    Methods: CRC cases in the Colorectal Cancer in Umeå Study (CRUMS) were evaluated using immunohistochemistry, gene expression analyses as well as methylation analyses. Cytokine and chemokine expression was evaluated in CRC tumour tissues and one CRC cell line (Caco2) and derivatives using semi-quantitative real-time PCR. Methylation was analysed using methylation-specific pyrosequencing.

    Results: We found high quantities of both cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) as well as of regulatory T cells (Tregs) to associate with a better patient outcome. The infiltration of CTLs within the tumour epithelium provided the strongest prognostic information, whilst Tregs withheld the strongest association to prognosis at the tumour invasive front and tumour centre. We could further show that a high Th1 lymphocyte infiltration was strongly associated with a better prognosis in patients with CRC, independently of intratumoural subsite. Another finding was that the extent of Th1 infiltration and patient outcome differed in different molecular subgroups of CRC. We also found down-regulation of TAP1, a protein involved in antigen presentation by MHC class I, to be significantly associated with low infiltration of various subtypes of immune cells. Down-regulation of TAP1 was also correlated to poor prognosis in patients with early stages of CRC. Furthermore, we found TAP1 expression to be inversely correlated with methylation at sites close to the TAP1 promoter region.

    Conclusion: Tumour infiltrating T lymphocytes have a significant positive impact on prognosis in CRC patients. Different subsets of T lymphocytes vary in their dependency on intratumoural subsite, in to what extent they exert their prognostic influence. We moreover found varying Th1 lymphocyte infiltration rates as well as prognostic impact thereof, in different molecular subgroups of CRC. Our results also show down-regulation of TAP1 to be a mechanism of tumour immune escape in CRC. Further findings suggest methylation of the TAP1 gene to be a putative mechanism for TAP1 down-regulation.

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  • 7.
    Ling, Agnes
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Wikberg, Maria L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Öberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    The intratumoural subsite and relation of CD8(+) and FOXP3(+) T lymphocytes in colorectal cancer provide important prognostic clues2014In: British Journal of Cancer, ISSN 0007-0920, E-ISSN 1532-1827, Vol. 110, no 10, p. 2551-2559Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: To find improved tools for prognostic evaluation in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), we have analysed how infiltration of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CD8(+)) and regulatory T lymphocytes (FoxP3(+)) correlates to prognosis, not only according to quantity and relation, but also to subsite within tumours of different molecular characteristics (microsatellite instability and CpG island methylator phenotype status).

    Methods: CD8 and FOXP3 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 426 archival tumour tissue samples from patients surgically resected for CRC. The average infiltration of CD8(+) and FOXP3(+) cells was assessed along the tumour invasive front, in the tumour centre and within the tumour epithelium (intraepithelial).

    Results: We found that infiltration of CD8(+) T lymphocytes within the tumour epithelium provided the strongest prognostic information (P < 0.001). At the tumour invasive front and tumour centre, FOXP3 expression withheld the strongest association to prognosis (P < 0.001), suggesting FOXP3(+) T-lymphocyte infiltration to be a better prognostic tool than CD8(+) T lymphocytes at these intratumoural subsites. We further analysed the possible prognostic impact of the relation between these T-cell subsets, finding that a high intraepithelial CD8 expression was associated with a better patient outcome, independent of FOXP3 infiltration. In groups of low intraepithelial CD8 expression, however, a high infiltration rate of FOXP3(+) cells at the tumour invasive front, significantly improved prognosis.

    Conclusions: Analyses of intraepithelial infiltration of CD8(+) T lymphocytes, infiltration of FOXP3(+) T lymphocytes at the tumour front or centre, and the relation between these subsets, may be a valuable tool for predicting prognosis in colon cancer.

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  • 8.
    Ling, Agnes
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Lundberg, Ida V.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Eklöf, Vincy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Wikberg, Maria L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Öberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    The infiltration, and prognostic importance, of Th1 lymphocytes vary in molecular subgroups of colorectal cancer2016In: The Journal of Pathology: Clinical Research, ISSN 2056-4538, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 21-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Giving strong prognostic information, T-cell infiltration is on the verge of becoming an additional component in the routine clinical setting for classification of colorectal cancer (CRC). With a view to further improving the tools for prognostic evaluation, we have studied how Th1 lymphocyte infiltration correlates with prognosis not only by quantity, but also by subsite, within CRCs with different molecular characteristics (microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator phenotype status, and BRAF and KRAS mutational status). We evaluated the Th1 marker T-bet by immunohistochemistry in 418 archival tumour tissue samples from patients who underwent surgical resection for CRC. We found that a high number of infiltrating Th1 lymphocytes is strongly associated with an improved prognosis in patients with CRC, irrespective of intratumoural subsite, and that both extent of infiltration and patient outcome differ according to molecular subgroup. In brief, microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator phenotype-high and BRAF mutated tumours showed increased infiltration of Th1 lymphocytes, and the most pronounced prognostic effect of Th1 infiltration was found in these tumours. Interestingly, BRAF mutated tumours were found to be more highly infiltrated by Th1 lymphocytes than BRAF wild-type tumours whereas the opposite was seen for KRAS mutated tumours. These differences could be explained at least partly by our finding that BRAF mutated, in contrast to KRAS mutated, CRC cell lines and tumour specimens expressed higher levels of the Th1-attracting chemokine CXCL10, and reduced levels of CCL22 and TGFB1, stimulating Th2/Treg recruitment and polarisation. In conclusion, the strong prognostic importance of Th1 lymphocyte infiltration in CRC was found at all subsites evaluated, and it remained significant in multivariable analyses, indicating that T-bet may be a valuable marker in the clinical setting. Our results also indicate that T-bet is of value when analysed in molecular subgroups of CRC, allowing identification of patients with especially poor prognosis who are in need of extended treatment.

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  • 9.
    Ling, Agnes
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Löfgren-Burström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Larsson, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Li, Xingru
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Wikberg, Maria L
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Öberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Stenling, Roger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    TAP1 down-regulation elicits immune escape and poor prognosis in colorectal cancer2017In: Oncoimmunology, ISSN 2162-4011, E-ISSN 2162-402X, Vol. 6, no 11, article id e1356143Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The anti-tumor immune response has been shown to be of great prognostic importance in colorectal cancer (CRC) and so has the tumors ability for immune evasion. Our aim of this study was to investigate tumor factors that influence immunity. We used a gene expression array to search for potential mechanisms of tumor immune escape. One candidate gene identified was TAP1, involved in antigen presentation by MHC class I. TAP1 protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 436 CRC patients of the Colorectal Cancer in Umeå Study cohort. We found a significant association between a downregulated expression of TAP1 and low infiltration of various subtypes of lymphocytes as well as macrophages. A downregulated expression of TAP1 was further found to be independent of molecular characteristics, suggesting TAP1 down-regulation to reach beyond the well described highly immunogenic MSI CRCs. A low expression of TAP1 was also significantly associated with poor prognosis in patients with CRC, a result that stayed significant in tumor front of early stage tumors (stage I-II) through multivariable analyses. Furthermore, we found that TAP1 expression was inversely correlated with methylation at sites in close proximity to the promoter region. In summary, our results show down-regulation of TAP1 to be a general mechanism of tumor immune escape in CRC and a poor prognostic factor in stage I-II CRC patients. We also suggest that methylation of the TAP1 gene may be a putative mechanism for TAP1 downregulation.

  • 10.
    Löwenmark, Thyra
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Li, Xingru
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Löfgren Burström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Zingmark, Carl
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Kellgren, Therese G.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine.
    Larsson, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ljuslinder, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Parvimonas micra is associated with tumour immune profiles in molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer2022In: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, ISSN 0340-7004, E-ISSN 1432-0851, Vol. 71, p. 2565-2575Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The importance of the tumour microbiome in different aspects of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been increasingly recognised, but many questions remain. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of specific CRC associated microbes on the tumour immune response, which has a considerable prognostic value in CRC. We applied specific qPCR to detect Parvimonas micra and Fusobacterium nucleatum in tumour tissues from an immunologically well-characterised cohort of 69 CRC patients. This cohort included detailed analyses of immune profiles based on flow cytometry and transcriptomics in tumour tissue and blood, along with comprehensive analyses of molecular subtypes. P. micra and F. nucleatum were detected in 24% and 64% of tumour tissues, respectively. We found a significant association of P. micra with high-grade tumours and tumours of CMS1 subtype. F. nucleatum was significantly associated with right-sided tumours, microsatellite instability, and CMS1 tumours. The immunological analyses revealed significant associations of P. micra with activated CD69+ T lymphocytes and increased antigen-presenting HLA-DR+ B lymphocytes. P. micra was also positively associated with M1 and M2 macrophage traits. The impact of P. micra tumour colonisation on the immune response was further assessed using transcriptomics in validation of our findings. No associations were found between F. nucleatum and immune profiles in this study. Our findings support novel associations between P. micra and the immune response in CRC. A better understanding of these interactions might help to identify important predictive and prognostic tools as well as new targets for therapy.

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  • 11.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Wikberg, Maria L
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    The assiciation of immune cell infiltration and prognosis in colorectal cancer2013In: Current colorectal cancer reports, ISSN 1556-3790, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 372-379Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The tumor microenvironment is of great biological importance in cancer development and progression and harbors several different immune cells representing both the innate and the adaptive immune response. These inflammatory cells may have both tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing effects, and they have been shown to be of prognostic importance. This review summarizes the recent evidence regarding the prognostic significance of the host response to colorectal cancer.

  • 12.
    Wikberg, Maria L.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Ling, Agnes
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Li, Xingru
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Öberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Edin, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Palmqvist, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Neutrophil infiltration is a favorable prognostic factor in early stages of colon cancer2017In: Human Pathology, ISSN 0046-8177, E-ISSN 1532-8392, Vol. 68, p. 193-202Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The tumor immune response has been proven critical to prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC), but studies on the prognostic role of neutrophil infiltration have shown contradictory results. The aim of this study was to elucidate the prognostic role of infiltrating neutrophils at different intratumoral subsites and in different molecular subgroups of CRC. The relations between neutrophil infiltration and infiltration of other immune cells (T-cell and macrophage subsets) were also addressed. Expression of the neutrophil marker CD66b was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 448 archival human tumor tissue samples from patients surgically resected for CRC. The infiltration of CD66b-positive cells was semi-quantitatively evaluated along the tumor invasive front, in the tumor center, and within the tumor epithelium (intraepithelial expression). We found that poor infiltration of CD66b-positive cells in the tumor front indicated a worse patient prognosis. The prognostic significance of CD66b infiltration was found to be mainly independent of tumor molecular characteristics and maintained significance in multivariable analysis of stage I-II colon cancers. We further analyzed the prognostic impact of CD66b-positive cells in relation to other immune markers (NOS2, CD163, Tbet, FOXP3, and CD8) and found that neutrophil infiltration, even though strongly correlated to infiltration of other immune cell subsets, had additional prognostic value. In conclusion, we find that low infiltration of neutrophils in the tumor front is an independent prognostic factor for a poorer patient prognosis in early stages of colon cancers. Further studies are needed to elucidate the biological role of neutrophils in colorectal carcinogenesis.

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