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Poster Display session 2

3266 - Morphology of tumor-associated macrophages dictates the prognosis of patients with colorectal liver metastases.


29 Sep 2019


Poster Display session 2


Tumour Site

Colon and Rectal Cancer


Matteo Donadon


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v198-v252. 10.1093/annonc/mdz246


M. Donadon1, L. Di Tommaso2, N. Cortese3, C. Soldani4, B. Franceschini4, R. Carriero5, M. Barbagallo6, A. Rigamonti6, A. Anselmo6, F. Colombo6, G. Maggi6, M. Roncalli2, G. Torzilli1, A. Mantovani6, F. Marchesi6

Author affiliations

  • 1 Department Of Hepatobiliary And General Surgery, Humanitas University, 20090 - Milan/IT
  • 2 Department Of Pathology, Humanitas University, 20090 - Milan/IT
  • 3 Department Of Immunology And Inflammation, Huomanitas Clinical and Research Center, 20089 - Rozzano - Milan/IT
  • 4 Hepatobiliary Immunopathology Unit, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, 20089 - Rozzano - Milan/IT
  • 5 Bioinformatics Unit, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, 20089 - Rozzano - Milan/IT
  • 6 Department Of Immunology And Inflammation, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, 20089 - Rozzano - Milan/IT


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Abstract 3266


Colorectal liver metastases (CLM) display a high heterogeneity, responsible for a wide array of clinical presentations and responsiveness to treatments. In the era of precision medicine, there is a critical need of reliable prognostic markers to improve patient stratification and, for their predominance in metastatic tissues, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) emerge as promising candidates. The aim of this study was to test the presence of discrete TAM populations in CLM patients on the basis of morphology, and to test the impact of TAMs morphology on recurrence-free survival (RFS).


NCT038888638 is a single-center study conducted in a tertiary-referral university hospital that examined a cohort of patients with CLMs that underwent hepatectomy between 2005 and 2017. TAMs cell density, cell area and cell perimeter were systematically quantified in 3 non-contiguous and non-overlapping areas of CLM sections by means of immuno-reactive area of CD163+ macrophages. The association of TAMs metrics and RFS was tested by using receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves, multivariate Cox regression analysis and survival analysis.


A cohort of 101 CLM patients resected between 2005 and 2017 was considered. Among density (AUC=0.555; 95%CI=0.410-0.701; P = 0.449), perimeter (AUC=0.526; 95%CI=0.383-0.671; P = 0.708) and area (AUC=0.791; 95%CI=0.572-0.841; P = 0.006) ofCD163+ TAMs, only the latter was significantly associated with differences in survival time. Small and large TAMs, as defined by using the best cutoff value extrapolated from the ROC curve (area: 60.39 μm2; Se = 0.79; Sp = 0.44), were clearly associated with significantly different 5-year RFS rates of 27.8% and 0.2% respectively (P < 0.001). At the multivariate analysis, including TAMs area and several prognostic factors, only TAMs area was found to be independently statistically associated with RFS (HR = 3.41; 95%CI=1.13-5.43; P = 0.001).


Macrophage morphology is critically associated with prognosis of CLM patients. The results reported here support that accurate quantitative morphometric characterization of TAMs can serve as an easily quantifiable correlate of functional diversity with prognostic significance.

Clinical trial identification


Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC).


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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