The tumor microenvironment is shaped by interactions between malignant cells and host cells representing an integral component of solid tumors. Host cells, including elements of the innate and adaptive immune system, can exert both positive and negative effects on the outcome of the disease. In melanoma, studies on the prognostic impact of the lymphoid infiltrate in general, and that of T cells, yielded controversial results. According to our studies and data in the literature, a high peritumoral density of activated T cells, increased amount of B lymphocytes and mature dendritic cells (DCs) predicted longer survival, while intense infiltration by plasmacytoid DCs or neutrophil granulocytes could be associated with poor prognosis. Besides its prognostic value, evaluation of the components of immune infiltrate could provide biomarkers for predicting the efficacy of the treatment and disease outcome in patients treated with immunotherapy or other, non-immune-based modalities as chemo-, radio-, or targeted therapy.
Keywords: dendritic cells; lymphocytes; melanoma; predictive marker; prognostic marker; tumor-infiltrating immune cells.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.