Objectives: To evaluate the association of tumor-associated neutrophils (TANs) with malignant progression in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) and to study the cyst fluid from these lesions for biomarkers of the inflammation-carcinogenesis association. Background: There is a strong link between TANs and malignant progression. Inflammatory mediators released by these cells may be a measurable surrogate marker of this progression. Methods: We evaluated 78 resected IPMNs (2004-2013). Lesions were divided into the low-risk (low-and intermediate-grade dysplasia: n=48) and high-risk (high-grade dysplasia and invasive carcinoma: n=30) groups. TANs were assessed and categorized (negative, low, and high). A multiplexed assay was performed to evaluate 87 different cyst fluid proteins, including cyst fluid inflammatory markers (CFIMs), as possible surrogate markers for parenchymal inflammation. Results: Significant positive correlation between grade of dysplasia and TANs was found. High levels of TANs were identified in 2%, 33%, and 89% of the lesions when stratified by grade of dysplasia into low/intermediate-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia, and invasive carcinoma, respectively (P<0.001). Higher grades of dysplasia were also found to have positive correlation with 29 of the measured proteins, of which 23 (79%) were CFIMs. Higher levels of TANs correlated with higher levels of 18 CFIMs, of which 16 (89%) were also found to be associated with higher grades of dysplasia. Conclusions: In this study, TANs were strongly associated with malignant progression in IPMNs. Measurement of CFIMs may be a surrogate marker for IPMN progression and allow for the identification of high-risk disease.
- Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms
- Malignant progression