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Title: Tumour necrosis factor-alpha expression in tumour islets confers a survival advantage in non-small cell lung cancer
Authors: Ohri, Chandra M.
Shikotra, Aarti
Green, Ruth H.
Waller, David A.
Bradding, Peter
First Published: 23-Jun-2010
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: BMC Cancer 2010, 10:323
Abstract: Background: The role of TNFα in cancer is complex with both pro-tumourigenic and anti-tumourigenic roles proposed. We hypothesised that anatomical microlocalisation is critical for its function. Methods: This study used immunohistochemistry to investigate the expression of TNFα in the tumour islets and stroma with respect to survival in 133 patients with surgically resected NSCLC. Results: TNFα expression was increased in the tumour islets of patients with above median survival (AMS) compared to those with below median survival (BMS)(p = 0.006), but similar in the stroma of both groups. Increasing tumour islet TNFα density was a favorable independent prognostic indicator (p = 0.048) while stromal TNFα density was an independent predictor of reduced survival (p = 0.007). Patients with high TNFα expression (upper tertile) had a significantly higher 5-year survival compared to patients in the lower tertile (43% versus 22%, p = 0.01). In patients with AMS, 100% of TNFα[superscript +] cells were macrophages and mast cells, compared to only 28% in the islets and 50% in the stroma of BMS patients (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The expression of TNFα in the tumour islets of patients with NSCLC is associated with improved survival suggesting a role in the host anti-tumour immunological response. The expression of TNFα by macrophages and mast cells is critical for this relationship.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-323
eISSN: 1471-2407
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Published Article
Rights: Copyright © 2010 Ohri et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

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