The majority of patients with Follicular Lymphoma (FL) experience subsequent phases of remission and relapse, making the disease “virtually” incurable. To predict the outcome of FL patients at diagnosis, various clinical-based prognostic scores have been proposed; nonetheless, they continue to fail for a subset of patients. Gene expression profiling has highlighted the pivotal role of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in the FL prognosis; nevertheless, there is still a need to standardize the assessment of immune-infiltrating cells for the prognostic classification of patients with early or late progressing disease. We studied a retrospective cohort of 49 FL lymph node biopsies at the time of the initial diagnosis using pathologist-guided analysis on whole slide images, and we characterized the immune repertoire for both quantity and distribution (intrafollicular, IF and extrafollicular, EF) of cell subsets in relation to clinical outcome. We looked for the natural killer (CD56), T lymphocyte (CD8, CD4, PD1) and macrophage (CD68, CD163, MA4A4A)-associated markers. High CD163/CD8 EF ratios and high CD56/MS4A4A EF ratios, according to Kaplan–Meier estimates were linked with shorter EFS (event-free survival), with the former being the only one associated with POD24. In contrast to IF CD68+ cells, which represent a more homogeneous population, higher in non-progressing patients, EF CD68+ macrophages did not stratify according to survival. We also identify distinctive MS4A4A+CD163-macrophage populations with different prognostic weights. Enlarging the macrophage characterization and combining it with a lymphoid marker in the rituximab era, in our opinion, may enable prognostic stratification for low-/high-grade FL patients beyond POD24. These findings warrant validation across larger FL cohorts.

Follicular Lymphoma Microenvironment Traits Associated with Event-Free Survival

Gentilini D.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The majority of patients with Follicular Lymphoma (FL) experience subsequent phases of remission and relapse, making the disease “virtually” incurable. To predict the outcome of FL patients at diagnosis, various clinical-based prognostic scores have been proposed; nonetheless, they continue to fail for a subset of patients. Gene expression profiling has highlighted the pivotal role of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in the FL prognosis; nevertheless, there is still a need to standardize the assessment of immune-infiltrating cells for the prognostic classification of patients with early or late progressing disease. We studied a retrospective cohort of 49 FL lymph node biopsies at the time of the initial diagnosis using pathologist-guided analysis on whole slide images, and we characterized the immune repertoire for both quantity and distribution (intrafollicular, IF and extrafollicular, EF) of cell subsets in relation to clinical outcome. We looked for the natural killer (CD56), T lymphocyte (CD8, CD4, PD1) and macrophage (CD68, CD163, MA4A4A)-associated markers. High CD163/CD8 EF ratios and high CD56/MS4A4A EF ratios, according to Kaplan–Meier estimates were linked with shorter EFS (event-free survival), with the former being the only one associated with POD24. In contrast to IF CD68+ cells, which represent a more homogeneous population, higher in non-progressing patients, EF CD68+ macrophages did not stratify according to survival. We also identify distinctive MS4A4A+CD163-macrophage populations with different prognostic weights. Enlarging the macrophage characterization and combining it with a lymphoid marker in the rituximab era, in our opinion, may enable prognostic stratification for low-/high-grade FL patients beyond POD24. These findings warrant validation across larger FL cohorts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1498529
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