In melanoma, the lymphocytic infiltrate is a prognostic parameter classified morphologically into 'brisk', 'non-brisk' and 'absent' entailing a functional association that has never been proved. Recently, it has been shown that lymphocytic populations can be very heterogeneous, and that anti-PD-1 immunotherapy supports activated T cells. Here, we characterize the immune landscape in primary melanoma by high-dimensional single cell multiplex analysis in tissue sections (MILAN technique) followed by image analysis, RT-PCR and shotgun proteomics. We observed that the brisk and non-brisk patterns are heterogeneous functional categories that can be further sub-classified into active, transitional or exhausted. The classification of primary melanomas based on the functional paradigm also shows correlation with spontaneous regression, and an improved prognostic value when compared to that of the brisk classification. Finally, the main inflammatory cell subpopulations that are present in the microenvironment associated with activation and exhaustion and their spatial relationships are described using neighbourhood analysis.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the submission as source data files. We also included the codes to ease the review in process.
TCGA-SKCMTCGA, TCGSKCM phs000178.
- Francesca Maria Bosisio
- Asier Antoranz
- Maddalena Maria Bolognesi
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethical Committee/IRB OG032 of the University Hospital of Leuven. After the approval, the study was identified with the number S57266. According to the Clinical Trial regalement no informed consent was needed due to the use of post-diagnostic left-over material.
- C Daniela Robles-Espinoza, International Laboratory for Human Genome Research, Mexico
© 2020, Bosisio et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) to drive metastatic dissemination in experimental cancer models. However, tumour cells undergoing EMT have not been observed disseminating into the tissue surrounding human tumour specimens, leaving the relevance to human cancer uncertain. We have previously identified both EpCAM and CD24 as CSC markers that, alongside the mesenchymal marker Vimentin, identify EMT CSCs in human oral cancer cell lines. This afforded the opportunity to investigate whether the combination of these three markers can identify disseminating EMT CSCs in actual human tumours. Examining disseminating tumour cells in over 12,000 imaging fields from 74 human oral tumours, we see a significant enrichment of EpCAM, CD24 and Vimentin co-stained cells disseminating beyond the tumour body in metastatic specimens. Through training an artificial neural network, these predict metastasis with high accuracy (cross-validated accuracy of 87-89%). In this study, we have observed single disseminating EMT CSCs in human oral cancer specimens, and these are highly predictive of metastatic disease.
Esophageal cancer (EC) is a fatal digestive disease with a poor prognosis and frequent lymphatic metastases. Nevertheless, reliable biomarkers for EC diagnosis are currently unavailable. Accordingly, we have performed a comparative proteomics analysis on cancer and paracancer tissue-derived exosomes from eight pairs of EC patients using label-free quantification proteomics profiling and have analyzed the differentially expressed proteins through bioinformatics. Furthermore, nano-flow cytometry (NanoFCM) was used to validate the candidate proteins from plasma-derived exosomes in 122 EC patients. Of the 803 differentially expressed proteins discovered in cancer and paracancer tissue-derived exosomes, 686 were up-regulated and 117 were down-regulated. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (CD54) was identified as an up-regulated candidate for further investigation, and its high expression in cancer tissues of EC patients was validated using immunohistochemistry, real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and western blot analyses. In addition, plasma-derived exosome NanoFCM data from 122 EC patients concurred with our proteomic analysis. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis demonstrated that the AUC, sensitivity, and specificity values for CD54 were 0.702, 66.13%, and 71.31%, respectively, for EC diagnosis. Small interference (si)RNA was employed to silence the CD54 gene in EC cells. A series of assays, including cell counting kit-8, adhesion, wound healing, and Matrigel invasion, were performed to investigate EC viability, adhesive, migratory, and invasive abilities, respectively. The results showed that CD54 promoted EC proliferation, migration, and invasion. Collectively, tissue-derived exosomal proteomics strongly demonstrates that CD54 is a promising biomarker for EC diagnosis and a key molecule for EC development.