Histopathological growth patterns correlate with the immunoscore in colorectal cancer liver metastasis patients after hepatectomy

Abstract

Various scoring systems have been proposed to predict the postoperative prognosis of colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM), including the clinical risk score (CRS), the immunoscore and so on. Recently, histopathological growth patterns (HGPs) have been recognized. However, the correlation between HGPs and the immunoscore, and their prognostic values in patients with CRLM after liver resection remain undetermined. In this study, HGPs were retrospectively evaluated in H&E-stained slides from 166 CRLM patients. The immunoscore was calculated according to the densities of immunostained CD3 + and CD8 + cells. A risk score combining HGPs, the immunoscore and the CRS was defined and divided patients into the low-, medium- and high-risk group. Our results showed that the densities of CD3 + and CD8 + cells were higher in the desmoplastic HGP (dHGP) group than in the non-dHGP group, and the proportion of high immunoscores was also higher in the dHGP group (51.9% vs. 33.0%, respectively, P = 0.020). Patients with the dHGP had significantly longer relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) than those with the non-HGP. The low-risk group showed significantly higher 2-year RFS and 5-year OS rates than the other two groups (RFS: 76.2%, 43.7% and 33.1%, respectively; P < 0.001; OS: 89.7%, 54.4% and 33.3%, respectively; P < 0.001). In conclusion, the dHGP correlates with relatively high immunoscores, predicting a favorable prognosis independent of the immunoscore and CRS. A novel risk score combining HGPs, the immunoscore and the CRS may be used for the stratification of CRLM patients’ survival.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by a grant from Science and Technology Foundation of Guangzhou City (201704020121)

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LYH and XRH were involved in the study design, protocol development, and data interpretation. LJY was involved in data analysis, interpretation and wrote the original draft. XSY and SQ performed the immunohistochemical staining and evaluated the HGPs. WDS was involved in the study design and analysis. YYF, LBK, ZY, WXJ, DPR, CG, LLR, WFH, WZQ, PZZ contributed to data collection. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript for submission.

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Correspondence to Rui-hua Xu or Yu-hong Li.

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Liang, J., Xi, S., Shao, Q. et al. Histopathological growth patterns correlate with the immunoscore in colorectal cancer liver metastasis patients after hepatectomy. Cancer Immunol Immunother (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00262-020-02632-6

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Keywords

  • Histopathological growth patterns
  • Immunoscore
  • Colorectal cancer liver metastasis