Tumour-Infiltrating FoxP3+ and IL-17-Producing T Cells Affect the Progression and Prognosis of Gallbladder Carcinoma after Surgery

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Abstract

Tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) have been found to play crucial roles in a series of cancers. However, the impact of these cells on gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) remains poorly understood. In this study, we examined infiltrating FoxP3+, IL-17+, CD4+ and CD8+ cells by immunohistochemistry in specimens of 104 patients with GBC and evaluated the association of these cells with clinicopathological features and prognosis. The number of FoxP3+ cells was increased in a stepwise manner from CC to GA and GBC (GA versus CC,= 0.036; early GBC versus GA,= 0.032; advanced versus early GBC,= 0.025). Both intratumoral FoxP3+ and IL-17+ cells correlated with nodal metastasis and TNM stage. Additionally, there were more infiltrating FoxP3+ cells in specimens with distant metastasis (= 0.014). The group with high FoxP3+ cells showed poor overall survival (OS,< 0.001) and disease-free survival (DFS,< 0.001), and high infiltration of IL-17-producing cells was also a predictor of poor OS (= 0.024). Multivariate analysis revealed that the presence of intratumoral FoxP3+ cells was an independent prognostic indicator for poor DFS (< 0.01). In summary, these findings indicate that FoxP3+ and IL-17+ cells cooperatively facilitate pathogenesis and progression of GBC and show prognostic significance for OS or DFS.

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