Objectives. The understanding of the mechanisms underlying thyroid cancer immune escape can lead to the identification of new molecular targets and/or efficacy biomarkers. For this purpose, we performed immune expression profiling in thyroid cancers to obtain a comprehensive view on immune mechanisms activated during cancer progression. Methods. The study was conducted retrospectively in 25 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC), 14 poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas (PDTC), 13 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC) and 7 normal thyroid tissue samples (NT). Gene expression profiling was obtained on RNA samples using the Nanostring platform and its nCounter PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel. Results. Gene expression comparison of ATC, PTC and PDTC vs NT showed high number of regulated genes in cancer samples. In detail, immune-related gene sets were significantly up-regulated (ATC > PTC >> PDTC). Most ATC and about half of PTC showed a microenvironment infiltrated by macrophages and T-cells with CD8+ effector phenotype, part of which appeared to be functionally exhausted. Conversely, most PDTC, as NT samples, as the remaining part of PTC, displayed a poor or absent infiltration by immune cells. Interestingly, an up-regulation of inhibitory immune checkpoint mediators, including PDL1, PDL2, PD1, LAG-3, TIM-3, PVR and TIGIT, could be detected in ATC and PTC. Conclusions. These data indicated the existence of two major immune phenotypes in thyroid carcinoma: an ATC-like one, including hot and altered–immunosuppressed tumors and a PDTC-like one, including altered–excluded and cold tumors. Confirmation of the findings in locally advanced or metastatic cancer tissues is expected to have important immunotherapeutic implications.

Immune Profiling of Thyroid Carcinomas Suggests the Existence of Two Major Phenotypes: an ATC-like and a PDTC-like

Giannini, Riccardo;Ugolini, Clara;Macerola, Elisabetta;Basolo, Fulvio;
2019

Abstract

Objectives. The understanding of the mechanisms underlying thyroid cancer immune escape can lead to the identification of new molecular targets and/or efficacy biomarkers. For this purpose, we performed immune expression profiling in thyroid cancers to obtain a comprehensive view on immune mechanisms activated during cancer progression. Methods. The study was conducted retrospectively in 25 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC), 14 poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas (PDTC), 13 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC) and 7 normal thyroid tissue samples (NT). Gene expression profiling was obtained on RNA samples using the Nanostring platform and its nCounter PanCancer Immune Profiling Panel. Results. Gene expression comparison of ATC, PTC and PDTC vs NT showed high number of regulated genes in cancer samples. In detail, immune-related gene sets were significantly up-regulated (ATC > PTC >> PDTC). Most ATC and about half of PTC showed a microenvironment infiltrated by macrophages and T-cells with CD8+ effector phenotype, part of which appeared to be functionally exhausted. Conversely, most PDTC, as NT samples, as the remaining part of PTC, displayed a poor or absent infiltration by immune cells. Interestingly, an up-regulation of inhibitory immune checkpoint mediators, including PDL1, PDL2, PD1, LAG-3, TIM-3, PVR and TIGIT, could be detected in ATC and PTC. Conclusions. These data indicated the existence of two major immune phenotypes in thyroid carcinoma: an ATC-like one, including hot and altered–immunosuppressed tumors and a PDTC-like one, including altered–excluded and cold tumors. Confirmation of the findings in locally advanced or metastatic cancer tissues is expected to have important immunotherapeutic implications.
Giannini, Riccardo; Moretti, Sonia; Ugolini, Clara; Macerola, Elisabetta; Menicali, Elisa; Nucci, Nicole; Morelli, Silvia; Colella, Renato; Mandarano, Martina; Sidoni, Angelo; Panfili, Matteo; Basolo, Fulvio; Puxeddu, Efisio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/974342
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