Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells and are thought to reflect the interaction between the host immune system and tumor cells. In a retrospective study, we analyzed the presence of DCs and memory lymphocytes in tumor biopsy specimens of 18 patients with ovarian cancer. These patients were followed up for 10 to 37 months. Within this period, 9 patients had no evidence of disease (NED, group A), and 9 patients had recurrence (group B). In group A, 5 cases were stage III, 1 was stage I, and 1 was stage II. In group B, 5 cases were stage III, 1 was stage III-IV, and 3 were stage IV. Our results show that the mean number of cells expressing the DC phenotype, HLA-DR+ CD1a+, in tumor biopsies was substantially higher in group A than in group B (HLA-DR+: 37.8 ± 18.2 ν 10.7 ± 2.2, respectively; P < .005; CD1a+: 9.5 ± 11.3 ν 2.1 ± 3.7). On the other hand, the number of cells expressing the DC phenotype S-100 protein was substantially lower in group A than in group B (S-100+: 9.7 ± 9.9 ν 16.2 ± 12.7), although the difference was not statistically significant. There was no difference in the number of tumor-infiltrating CD45RO+ cells between groups A and B (CD45RO+: 39.1 ± 28.5 ν 34.2 ± 19.1). Our results show that the presence of relatively high numbers of defined DC subpopulations may have prognostic value in ovarian tumors.
- Dendritic cells
- Ovarian tumors