• colon cancer;
  • KP-1;
  • MRP14;
  • MRP8;
  • MRP8/14;
  • PG-M1;
  • tissue microarray;
  • tumour-associated macrophages

Aims : To determine the pattern of macrophage infiltration in colon cancers and its correlation with clinicopathological characteristics.

Methods and results : Colon cancers from 100 patients were arrayed into a tissue microarray (TMA). Four cores per tumour were taken: three from the invasion front (IF) and one from the tumour surface (TS). Macrophages were quantified by immunohistochemistry with antibodies to the PG-M1, KP-1, MRP8, MRP14 and MRP8/14 antigens. The number of macrophages was significantly higher in the TS cores than in the IF cores and both tumour sites showed a higher number of macrophages than the normal mucosa. The number of macrophages decreased in higher stage tumours. The different tumour-associated macrophage (TAM) subpopulations were positively correlated with each other.

Conclusions : The increased number of macrophages in cancers compared with normal colon mucosa indicates that macrophages are attracted to the tumour site. However, decreasing macrophages in higher stage colon cancers suggest that this attraction decreases with tumour progression.