Characterization of infiltrating lymphocytes in human benign and malignant prostate tissue

Immune checkpoint blockade has shown promising results in numerous cancer types. However, in prostate cancer (PC), absent or limited responses have been reported. To investigate further, we compared the phenotype of infiltrating T-cells isolated from prostate tissue from patients with PC (n = 5), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (n = 27), BPH with concurrent PC (n = 4) and controls (n = 7). The majority of T-cells were CD8+ and had a CCR7-CD45RO+ effector memory phenotype. However, the yield of T-cells isolated from PC lesions was on average 20-fold higher than that obtained from control prostates. Furthermore, there were differences between the prostate conditions regarding the percentage of T-cells expressing several activation markers and co-inhibitory receptors. In conclusion, many prostate-infiltrating T-cells express co-inhibitory receptors PD-1 and LAG-3, regardless of prostate condition. Despite the observed increase in counts and percentages of PD-1+ T-cells in PC, the concomitant demonstration of high percentage of PD-1+ T-cells in control prostates suggests that PD-1 may play a role in controlling the homeostasis of the prostate rather than in contributing to PC-associated immune-suppression. Thus, PD-1 may not be a good candidate for checkpoint blockade in PC and these data are relevant for evaluation of clinical trials and in designing future immunotherapeutic approaches of PC.

Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 24 [Epub ahead of print]

Emelie Rådestad, Lars Egevad, Carl Jorns, Jonas Mattsson, Berit Sundberg, Silvia Nava, Bo-Göran Ericzon, Lars Henningsohn, Victor Levitsky, Michael Uhlin

Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden., Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden., Molecular Partners AG, Schlieren-Zurich, Switzerland.