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Poster display

1783 - Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and tertiary lymphoid structures in paired primary tumors and metastases from breast cancer patients


10 Oct 2016


Poster display


Cinzia Solinas


Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (6): 545-551. 10.1093/annonc/mdw393


C. Solinas1, A. Boisson1, D. Brown2, R. de Wind3, G. van den Eynden1, S. Garaud1, L. Buisseret1, C. Naveaux1, C. Sotiriou2, D. Larsimont3, M. Piccart4, K. Willard-Gallo1

Author affiliations

  • 1 Molecular Immunology Unit, Institute Jules Bordet, 1000 - Brussels/BE
  • 2 Bctl - Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory, Institute Jules Bordet, 1000 - Brussels/BE
  • 3 Department Of Pathology, Institute Jules Bordet, 1000 - Brussels/BE
  • 4 Medicine Department, Institute Jules Bordet, 1000 - Brussels/BE


Abstract 1783


In primary tumors (P), infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) have been associated with better clinical outcomes, in HER2+ and triple negative breast cancer (BC). The temporal and spatial heterogeneity of TIL and TLS between P and their matched metastases (M) is currently unknown.


We analyzed formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue samples from a retrospective cohort of BC patients who underwent adjuvant surgery for the P and metastasectomy or biopsy for their metachronous M at a distant site(s) (n = 51). Immunohistochemistry stained sections using anti-CD3 (T cells) and anti-CD20 (B cells) antibodies in a double stain were scored by two trained pathologists blinded to the clinical data. TIL were scored as the percent (%) of stroma plus tumor surface area infiltrated with CD3+ plus CD20+ cells. The number of TLS were normalized to the tumor area.


The extent of TIL in P (range 1-35%) was significantly higher with respect to the corresponding M (p = 0.04). Interestingly, when the extent of TIL in P was ≥10% (=TIL+) there was a significant decrease in the %TIL detected in M (p 


These preliminary data suggest that tumors can alter their immunogenicity during disease progression by their production of neoantigens and/or immunosuppressive factors, which potentially accounts for our observed differences between P and M. In metastatic disease, the extent of immune infiltration is globally lower than in early disease with almost no TLS found in M, signifying that the composition and organization of the immune infiltrate varies between disease stages. The extent of the immune infiltrate may also depend upon the organ site of relapse, further complicating the heterogeneity of both the tumor and the anti-tumor immune response.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Universitè Libre de Bruxelles


Les Amis de l'Institut Jules Bordet


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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