Background and objectives: A number of studies have investigated the role of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in cancer, yet the local immune response to hepatic colorectal cancer metastasis remains unclear. As the tumor doubling time (DT) of hepatic colorectal cancer metastases is a good index of tumor growth, we examined the correlation between tumor DT and the local immune response by phenotype in hepatic colorectal cancer metastases.
Methods: Tumor DT and local immune response were examined in 20 patients with hepatic colorectal cancer metastases by analyzing tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes using flow cytometry or immunohistochemical studies. Tumor proliferative activity was also investigated by determining the expression levels of Ki-67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA).
Results: Locally abundant populations of CD83(+) dendritic cells (DCs) and CD8(+) T cells were positively related to longer tumor DT (P < 0.05), as were abundant CD8(+) T cells having interferon-gamma-producing potentials (P < 0.05). There was no significant correlation between tumor cell expression levels of Ki-67 or PCNA and tumor DT.
Conclusions: Longer DT tumors have increased local populations of CD8(+) T cells and CD83(+) DCs even in hepatic colorectal cancer metastases.