A Breast Cancer Tumor's Immune Signature Could Predict Response to Neoadjuvant Therapy

“In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Denkert et al found that increased tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and the presence of lymphocyte-predominant breast cancer were associated with increased rates of pathologic complete response in patients receiving neoadjuvant anthracycline-taxane treatment with or without carboplatin. Higher rates were observed with carboplatin, with treatment interactions being significant among all patients and among those with HER2-positive disease but not among those with triple-negative disease. mRNA profiles for immune-related genes also distinguished pathologic complete response rates.

“The study involved 580 tumors from patients in the GeparSixto trial, which assessed the effects on pathologic complete response rates of adding carboplatin to neoadjuvant anthracycline plus taxane treatment. The current analysis assessed the effects on pathologic complete response of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte levels, the presence of lymphocyte–predominant disease, and levels of immune-activating (CXCL9, CCL5, CD8A, CD80, CXCL13, IGKC, CD21) and immunosuppressive genes (IDO1, PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA4, FOXP3).”


Anti-CCR4 mAb Selectively Depletes Effector-Type FoxP3+CD4+ Regulatory T Cells, Evoking Antitumor Immune Responses in Humans

“Regulatory T (Treg) cells expressing the transcription factor FOXP3 play a critical role in suppressing antitumor immune responses. Here we found that, compared with peripheral blood T cells, tumor-infiltrating T cells contained a higher frequency of effector Tregs, which are defined as FOXP3hi and CD45RA, terminally differentiated, and most suppressive. Effector Treg cells, but not FOXP3lo and CD45RA+ naïve Treg cells, predominantly expressed C-C chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) in both cancer tissues and peripheral blood. In vivo or in vitro anti-CCR4 mAb treatment selectively depleted effector Treg cells and efficiently induced tumor-antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Thus, cell-depleting anti-CCR4 mAb therapy is instrumental for evoking and enhancing tumor immunity in humans via selectively removing effector-type FOXP3+ Treg cells.”