The Prognostic Impact of Gender, Therapeutic Strategies, Molecular Background, and Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Glioblastoma: A Still Unsolved Jigsaw.
Innocenti L., Ortenzi V., Scarpitta R., Montemurro N., Pasqualetti F., Asseri R., Lazzi S., Szumera-Cieckiewicz A., De Ieso K., Perrini P., Naccarato AG., Scatena C., Fanelli GN.
Despite the adoption of novel therapeutical approaches, the outcomes for glioblastoma (GBM) patients remain poor. In the present study, we investigated the prognostic impact of several clinico-pathological and molecular features as well as the role of the cellular immune response in a series of 59 GBM. CD4+ and CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were digitally assessed on tissue microarray cores and their prognostic role was investigated. Moreover, the impact of other clinico-pathological features was evaluated. The number of CD4+ and CD8+ is higher in GBM tissue compared to normal brain tissue (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.0005 respectively). A positive correlation between CD4+ and CD8+ in GBM is present (rs = 0.417-p = 0.001). CD4+ TILs are inversely related to overall survival (OS) (HR = 1.79, 95% CI 1.1-3.1, p = 0.035). The presence of low CD4+ TILs combined with low CD8+ TILs is an independent predictor of longer OS (HR 0.38, 95% CI 0.18-0.79, p = 0.014). Female sex is independently related to longer OS (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.22-0.77, p = 0.006). Adjuvant treatment, methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation, and age remain important prognostic factors but are influenced by other features. Adaptive cell-mediated immunity can affect the outcomes of GBM patients. Further studies are needed to elucidate the commitment of the CD4+ cells and the effects of different TILs subpopulations in GBM.