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30.07.2016 | Research Paper | Ausgabe 8/2016

Clinical & Experimental Metastasis 8/2016

CD4+FOXP3+ T regulatory cells decrease and CD3+CD8+ T cells recruitment in TILs from melanoma metastases after electrochemotherapy

Clinical & Experimental Metastasis > Ausgabe 8/2016
P. Di Gennaro, G. Gerlini, C. Urso, S. Sestini, P. Brandani, N. Pimpinelli, L. Borgognoni


Electrochemotherapy (ECT) represents an effective local treatment for skin unresectable melanoma metastases with high overall objective response rate. ECT is based on the combination of anti-neoplastic drugs administration and cancer cells electroporation. Whether ECT can also activate the immune system is a matter of debate, however a significant recruitment of dendritic cells in melanoma treated metastases has been described. Herein we investigated immediate and late effects of ECT treatment on T cell subsets in ECT-treated lesions by fluorescent immunohistochemistry. Biopsies from melanoma patients (n = 10) were taken before ECT (t0), at d1 and d14 from treatment. At t0, CD3+CD4+ T cells were the most represented T cells, well detected in the perilesional dermis, particularly at tumour margin, while CD3+CD8+ T cells were less represented. CD4+FOXP3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells were present in the perilesional dermis and within the lesion. ECT induced a significant decrease of CD4+FOXP3+ Treg cells percentage in the perilesional dermis, observed at d1 and at d14 (p < 0.001). CD3+CD8+ T cells frequency significantly increased at d14 from treatment in the perilesional dermis (p < 0.001). Furthermore calreticulin translocation to the plasma membrane, a hallmark of immunogenic cell death, was observed in metastatic cells after ECT. The data reported here confirm that ECT induces a local response, with a lymphoid infiltrate characterized by CD4+FOXP3+ Treg cells decrease and CD3+CD8+ T cells recruitment in the treated lesions. These results might contribute to design novel combinational therapeutic approaches with ECT and immunotherapy in order to generate a systemic long-lasting anti-melanoma immunity.

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