Immunological status of peripheral blood is associated with prognosis in patients with bone and soft-tissue sarcoma

Oncol Lett. 2021 Mar;21(3):212. doi: 10.3892/ol.2021.12473. Epub 2021 Jan 18.


Immune-checkpoint inhibitors have shown promising antitumor effects against certain types of cancer. However, specific immune-checkpoint inhibitors for patients with sarcoma have yet to be identified, whereas the immunological status of peripheral blood in patients with bone sarcoma and soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) remains unknown. In addition, it is unclear whether the immunological status from the peripheral blood could be used as a prognostic indicator. Therefore, the present study aimed to clarify the immunological status of peripheral blood samples derived from patients with bone sarcoma and STS. Immune monitoring was performed using the peripheral blood samples of 61 patients with no metastasis of high-grade sarcoma. A total of 25 patients with metastatic sarcoma were used for comparison. A total of 41 immune cell subsets were analyzed using multicolor-flow cytometry. The patients that did not have metastasis demonstrated higher quantities of monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSCs) and T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-3 (Tim-3)+ CD8+ T cells, which were significantly associated with poor disease-free survival (DFS) time, while higher quantities of NKG2D+ CD8+ T cells were significantly associated with improved DFS time. Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that the number of Tim-3+ CD8+ T cells was associated with lower DFS time. A significant association was also found between the number of M-MDSCs and progression-free survival (PFS) time in patients with metastasis. The results suggested the occurrence of immune surveillance, which indicated that the host immune reaction against cancer existed in patients with bone sarcoma and STS. Notably, a high number of M-MDSCs was associated with both DFS and PFS time, suggesting a strong prognostic value. The data suggested that the immune status of peripheral blood was associated with the prognosis in patients with sarcoma, as previously reported in patients with other cancer types. In summary, the results may assist with the development of novel strategies for sarcoma treatment, based on the use of biomarkers or immunotherapy.

Keywords: T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3; bone and soft-tissue sarcoma; immunological status; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; natural killer group 2 member D.