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08.05.2020 | Original Article

Aberrant peripheral blood CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+ regulatory T cells/T helper-17 number is associated with the outcome of patients with lymphoma

Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Mehdi Dehghani, Mehdi Kalani, Hossein Golmoghaddam, Mani Ramzi, Nargess Arandi
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Little is known about the clinical significance of the peripheral blood CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and T helper-17 (Th17) cells in lymphoma patients. In this study, the prognostic and clinical significance of peripheral blood Tregs and Th17 cells were evaluated in lymphoma patients during different phases. The frequency of Tregs and Th17 lymphocytes was measured by flow cytometry method in 47 classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL) and 48 diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients. Our results showed that the frequency of Tregs and absolute Treg count was significantly reduced in relapsed patients compared to patients at the remission phase, as well as with newly diagnosed untreated patients in both groups. Patients who reached complete remission had elevated frequency of CD4+ FOXP3+ lymphocytes, Tregs, absolute Treg count, Treg/CD4 and Treg/Th17 ratio in the cHL group and CD4+ CD25+ cells in DLBCL group. The frequency of Tregs, absolute Treg count and Treg/Th17 ratio in cHL patients and CD4+ FOXP3+ and CD4+ CD25+ cells in DLBCL patients positively associated with survival rate. Moreover, the percentage of Tregs and absolute Treg count positively correlated with white blood cell, platelet count and ESR level in cHL patients and with white blood cell count in DLBCL patients. The initial number of Tregs/Th17 cells and also the Treg/Th17 ratio was not associated with changes in disease-free survival (DFS) in both groups. Therefore, higher frequency of peripheral blood Tregs and Treg/Th17 ratio might be associated with a favorable outcome in lymphoma patients, better response to chemotherapy and lower rate of relapse.

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