Development of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in breast cancer after neoadjuvant paclitaxel chemotherapy

S Demaria, M D Volm, R L Shapiro, H T Yee, R Oratz, S C Formenti, F Muggia, W F Symmans
2001 Clinical Cancer Research  
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer creates new possibilities for the analysis of biological factors in the tumor and/or host, which may play a role in the response to treatment. In this study we analyzed whether changes in local antitumor immunity take place after neoadjuvant paclitaxel therapy and if they correlate with response to treatment. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (paclitaxel, 200 mg/m2 q2w, 4 treatments) was followed by definitive surgical management. Histological sections from the
more » ... l sections from the pre- and post-treatment surgical specimens of 25 patients were analyzed for the extent of lymphocytic infiltration and presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). The cumulative apoptotic response in the tumor after the first dose of paclitaxel was also studied in 10 of 25 patients. Pretreatment lymphocytic infiltrate in the tumor was minimal in the majority of patients and showed no relationship with clinical response. In the patients without TILs before treatment, development of TILs after treatment was noted in 0/3 (0%) patients with stable disease, 3/12 (25%) patients with clinical partial response, and 4/6 (67%) patients with clinical complete response and pathological residual disease. These correlated with the tumor cell apoptotic response to the first dose of paclitaxel. These results suggest that development of TILs after treatment correlates with clinical response to neoadjuvant paclitaxel therapy. The possible mechanism(s) whereby neoadjuvant chemotherapy may lead to induction of antitumor T cells is discussed. Immunological processes may influence the response of breast cancer patients to neoadjuvant treatment.
pmid:11595690 fatcat:ya7kbqolw5aoleq65op3mpomem