T-Helper 1 Immune Response in Metastatic Lymph Nodes of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: A Marker For Prolonged Survival

Eran Nizri*, Neta Sternbach, Shoshi Bar-David, Amir Ben-Yehuda, Fabian Gerstenhaber, Tali Ofir, Ido Wolf, Gilad Weiner, Guy Lahat, Joseph Klausner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although lymph node (LN) metastases is considered a grave prognostic sign in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), patients with positive lymph nodes (PLN) constitute a heterogeneous group. Our purpose was to identify morphological and immune parameters in the primary tumor and in PLN of resected PDAC patients, which could further stratify these patients to different subgroups. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated histological and immunohistochemical characteristics of 66 patients with PDAC who were operated at our institution. These were subsequently correlated to clinical outcome. Results: Mean patient age and number of LN harvested was 65.5 ± 10.3 and 12.3 ± 6.5 years, respectively. Tumor size (T stage) and perineural invasion had no effect on clinical outcome. High-grade tumor was associated with decreased survival [overall survival (OS) = 19.6 ± 2.7 months for poorly differentiated PDAC vs. 31.2 ± 4 for well and moderately differentiated, p = 0.03]. Patients with ≥ 8 PLN had significantly worse outcome (OS = 7.3 ± 0.8 months for PLN ≥ 8 vs. OS = 30.1 ± 3.2 months for PLN < 8, p < 0.0001). T helper (Th) 1 immune response was measured both by its effector cells (CD8 + ) and expression of its main transcription factor, T-bet. CD8 + high patients had significantly increased OS compared with CD8 + low (OS = 36.8 ± 5.3 months for CD8 + high vs. OS = 24.3 ± 3.5 for CD8 + low, p = 0.03) Similarly, Th1 predominant immune response measured by T-bet expression was associated with improved OS compared with non-Th1 (OS = 32.8 ± 3.2 vs. OS = 19.5 ± 2.9, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Our data indicate an association between Th1-type immune response and increased survival. Future research is needed to exploit Th1 immune response as a biological marker for immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018


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