Prognostic effect of intratumoral neutrophils across histological subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer
AuthorRakaee, Mehrdad; Busund, Lill-Tove; Paulsen, Erna-Elise; Richardsen, Elin; Al-Saad, Samer; Andersen, Sigve; Dønnem, Tom; Bremnes, Roy M.; Kilvær, Thomas Karsten
Recent data indicate that tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs) serve a dual role in tumor progression and regression. CD66b is a neutrophil marker and has been associated with patient outcome in various cancers. However, its clinical impact in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains controversial. 536 NSCLC patients, of which 172 harbored lymph node metastases, were included in this study. Tissue microarrays were constructed and multiplexed immunohistochemistry of CD66b, CD34 and pan-keratin was performed to evaluate the localization and quantity of CD66b+ TANs. High intratumoral CD66b+ TANs density in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) subgroup was an independent positive prognosticator for disease-specific survival (P = 0.038). In contrast, high intratumoral TANs density was an independent negative prognostic factor in the adenocarcinoma (ADC) subgroup (P= 0.032). Likewise, in ADC patients with lymph node metastases, high level of intratumoral TANs was associated with poor prognosis (P = 0.003). Stromal CD66b+ TANs were not associated with outcome of NSCLC patients. In conclusion, CD66b+ TANs show diverging prognostic effect in NSCLC patients according to histological subgroups. The presence of CD66b+ TANs could prove pivotal for development of an immunoscore in ADC NSCLC patients.