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Keywords:

  • B7H4;
  • cervical cancer;
  • RCAS1

Introduction

The presence of the aggressive phenotype of the tumor seems to be indicated by the local infiltration of cancer cells and by the development of metastases in the lymph nodes. This phenotype is related to the intensity of the suppressive profile of the tumor microenvironment. The aim of our study has been to gather information about the expression of both RCAS1 and B7H4 proteins in the macrophages and fibroblasts present within both the microenvironment of cervical cancer tumors and the cancer cells present on the front of the cancer nest.

Methods

We analyzed the immunoreactivity levels of such antigens as B7H4 and RCAS1 in the macrophages and fibroblasts of the cancer microenvironment and within the cancer nest in the tissue samples derived from patients on whom both a radical hysterectomy and a lymphadenectomy had been performed following a diagnosis of uterine cervical carcinoma. These patients were then divided into two subgroups according to the extent of the local and distant advancement of the cancer – that is, according to the FIGO stage and the presence or absence of lymph node metastases.

Results

RCAS1 immunoreactivity levels on the front of the cancer nest statistically significantly increase according to the FIGO stage or the extent of the local spread of the disease while B7H4 immunoreactivity levels on the tumor front increase in relation to the extent of the distant spread of the disease or the presence of lymph nodes metastases.

Conclusion

The intensity of the suppressive profile of the cervical cancer microenvironment indicated by the presence of both RCAS1 and B7H4 on the front of the tumor and in the macrophages and fibroblasts infiltrating the cancer stroma seems to correlate with the extent of both the local and distant advancement of the disease.