Clinical importance of B7-H3 expression in human pancreatic cancer

Br J Cancer. 2009 Nov 17;101(10):1709-16. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605375. Epub 2009 Oct 20.


Background: B7-H3 is a new member of the B7 ligand family and regulates T-cell responses in various conditions. However, the role of B7-H3 in tumour immunity is largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical significance of B7-H3 expression in human pancreatic cancer and the therapeutic potential for cancer immunotherapy.

Methods: We investigated B7-H3 expression in 59 patients with pancreatic cancer by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR. Furthermore, we examined the anti-tumour effect of B7-H3-blocking monoclonal antibody in vivo in a murine pancreatic cancer model.

Results: Tumour-related B7-H3 expression was abundant in most human pancreatic cancer tissues and was significantly higher compared with that in non-cancer tissue or normal pancreas. Moreover, its expression was significantly more intense in cases with lymph node metastasis and advanced pathological stage. B7-H3 blockade promoted CD8(+) T-cell infiltration into the tumour and induced a substantial anti-tumour effect on murine pancreatic cancer. In addition, the combination of gemcitabine with B7-H3 blockade showed a synergistic anti-tumour effect without overt toxicity.

Conclusion: Our data show for the first time that B7-H3 may have a critical role in pancreatic cancer and provide the rationale for developing a novel cancer immunotherapy against this fatal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • B7 Antigens
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Immunologic / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • B7 Antigens
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD276 protein, human
  • Receptors, Immunologic