Prognostic implications of the expression levels of different immunoglobulin heavy chain-encoding RNAs in early breast cancer
NPJ BREAST CANCER
Authors: Larsson, Christer; Ehinger, Anna; Winslow, Sofia; Leandersson, Karin; Klintman, Marie; Dahl, Ludvig; Vallon-Christersson, Johan; Hakkinen, Jari; Hegardt, Cecilia; Manjer, Jonas; Saal, Lao; Ryden, Lisa; Malmberg, Martin; Borg, Ake; Loman, Niklas
The extent and composition of the immune response in a breast cancer is one important prognostic factor for the disease. The aim of the current work was to refine the analysis of the humoral component of an immune response in breast tumors by quantifying mRNA expression of different immunoglobulin classes and study their association with prognosis. We used RNA-Seq data from two local population-based breast cancer cohorts to determine the expression of IGJ and immunoglobulin heavy (IGH) chain-encoding RNAs. The association with prognosis was investigated and public data sets were used to corroborate the findings. Except for IGHE and IGHD, mRNAs encoding heavy chains were generally detected at substantial levels and correlated with other immune-related genes. High IGHGT mRNA was associated with factors related to poor prognosis such as estrogen receptor negativity, HER2 amplification, and high grade, whereas high IGHA2 mRNA levels were primarily associated with lower age at diagnosis. High IGHA2 and IGJ mRNA levels were associated with a more favorable prognosis both in univariable and multivariable Cox models. When adjusting for other prognostic factors, high IGHG1 mRNA levels were positively associated with improved prognosis. To our knowledge, these results are the first to demonstrate that expression of individual Ig class types has prognostic implications in breast cancer.
High Densities of Tumor-Associated Plasma Cells Predict Improved Prognosis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer
FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY
Authors: Yeong, Joe; Lim, Jeffrey Chun Tatt; Lee, Bernett; Li, Huihua; Chia, Noel; Ong, Clara Chong Hui; Lye, Weng Kit; Putti, Thomas Choudary; Dent, Rebecca; Lim, Elaine; Thike, Aye Aye; Tan, Puay Hoon; Iqbal, Jabed
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy affecting women, but the heterogeneity of the condition is a significant obstacle to effective treatment. Triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) do not express HER2 or the receptors for estrogen or progesterone, and so often have a poor prognosis. Tumor-infiltrating T cells have been well-characterized in TNBC, and increased numbers are associated with better outcomes; however, the potential roles of B cells and plasma cells have been large. Here, we conducted a retrospective correlative study on the expression of B cell/plasma cell-related genes, and the abundance and localization of B cells and plasma cells within TNBCs, and clinical outcome. We analyzed 269 TNBC samples and used immunohistochemistry to quantify tumor-infiltrating B cells and plasma cells, coupled with NanoString measurement of expression of immunoglobulin metagenes. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients bearing TNBCs with above median densities of CD38(+) plasma cells had significantly better disease-free survival (DFS) (HR = 0.44; 95% CI 0.26-0.77; p = 0.004) but not overall survival (OS), after adjusting for the effects of known prognostic factors. In contrast, TNBCs with higher immunoglobulin gene expression exhibited improved prognosis (OS p = 0.029 and DFS p = 0.005). The presence of B cells and plasma cells was positively correlated (p < 0.0001, R = 0.558), while immunoglobulin gene IGKC, IGHM, and IGHG1 mRNA expression correlated specifically with the density of CD38 plasma cells (IGKC p < 0.0001,R=0.647; IGHM p < 0.0001,R=0.580; IGHG1 p < 0.0001,R=0.655). Interestingly, after adjusting the multivariate analysis for the effect of intratumoral CD38(+) plasma cell density, the expression levels of all three genes lost significant prognostic value, suggesting a biologically important role of plasma cells. Last but not least, the addition of intratumoral CD38+ plasma cell density to clinicopathological features significantly increased the prognostic value for both DFS (Delta LR chi(2) = 17.28, p = 1.71E-08) and OS (Delta LR chi(2) = 10.03, p = 6.32E-08), compared to clinicopathological features alone. The best combination was achieved by integrating intratumoral CD38 plasma cell density and IGHG1 which conferred the best added prognostic value for DFS (Delta LR chi(2) = 27.38, p = 5.22E-10) and OS (Delta LR chi(2) = 21.29, p = 1.03E-08). Our results demonstrate that the role of plasma cells in TNBC warrants further study to elucidate the relationship between their infiltration of tumors and disease recurrence.