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Distinct immune signatures in peripheral blood predict chemosensitivity in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma patients

Authors: Wu, Tong; Yang, Ying-Cheng; Zheng, Bo; Shi, Xue-Bing; Li, Wei; Ma, Wen-Cong; Wang, Shan; Li, Zhi-Xuan; Zhu, Yan-Jing; Wu, Jian-Min; Wang, Kai-Ting; Zhao, Yan; Wu, Rui; Sui, Cheng-Jun; Shen, Si-Yun; Wu, Xuan; Chen, Lei; Yuan, Zhen-Gang; Wang, Hong-Yang

Online: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2095809921003209

Issue: Engineering. Volume 7, Issue 10, pp. 1381-1392


Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is the second most common liver cancer. Chemotherapy remains the main therapeutic strategy for advanced ICC patients, but chemosensitivity varies individually. Here, we applied cytometry by time-of-flight (CyTOF) to establish the immune profile of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) on the single-cell level at indicated time points before, during, and after chemotherapy. Multiplex immunofluorescence staining was applied to examine the spatial distribution of certain immune clusters. Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were used for prognostic evaluation. A total of 20 ICC patients treated with gemcitabine (GEM) were enrolled in our study, including eight cases with good response (R) and 12 cases with non-response (NR). Tremendous changes in PBMC composition, including an increased level of CD4/CD8 double-positive T cells (DPT), were observed after chemotherapy. Patients with higher levels of CD4+CD45RO+CXCR3+ T cells, CD8+CD45RO+CXCR3+ T cells, and CD4+CXCR3+PD1+ T cells before treatment had a favorable response to chemotherapy. Our study identified a positive correlation between the percentage of T cell subpopulations and clinical response after chemotherapy, which suggests that it is practical to predict the potential response before treatment by evaluating the proportions of the cell population in PBMCs.