The association of immune markers and clinicopathologic features and patient outcome has not been extensively studied in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). We correlated tumoral PD-L1 and IDO1 expression, and intratumoral CD8+ and FoxP3+ lymphocytes count with clinicopatho-logic variables, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) status, and patient outcomes in a series of 132 MCC. By univariate analyses, tumoral PD-L1 expression >1% and combined tumoral PD-L1 >1% and high intratumoral FoxP3+ lymphocyte count correlated with improved overall survival (OS) (p = 0.016, 0.0072), MCC-specific survival (MSS) (p = 0.019, 0.017), and progression-free survival (PFS) (p = 0.043, 0.004, respectively). High intratumoral CD8+ and FoxP3+ lymphocyte count correlated with longer MSS (p = 0.036) and improved PFS (p = 0.047), respectively. Ulceration correlated with worse OS and worse MSS. Age, male gender, and higher stage (3 and 4) significantly correlated with worse survival. MCPyV positivity correlated with immune response. By multivariate analyses, only ulceration and age remained as independent predictors of worse OS; gender and stage remained for shorter PFS. Tumoral PD-L1 expression and increased density of intratumoral CD8+ lymphocytes and FoxP+ lymphocytes may represent favorable prognosticators in a subset of MCCs. Tumoral PD-L1 expression correlated with intratumoral CD8+ and FoxP3+ lymphocytes, which is supportive of an adaptive immune response.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry