Authors: Jonghwa Ahn1, Meihua Jin1, Eyun Song1 2, Yeon-Mi Ryu3, Dong Eun Song4, Sang-Yeob Kim3 5, Tae Yong Kim1, Won Bae Kim1, Young Kee Shong1, Min Ji Jeon1, Won Gu Kim1
Issue: Thyroid. 2020 Jul 28. doi: 10.1089/thy.2020.0312.
Background: Advanced thyroid cancers, including differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) with distant metastasis, and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC), are associated with poor clinical outcomes and limited treatment options. This study aimed to determine the immune profiles of advanced thyroid cancers using fluorescent multiplex immunohistochemistry (F-MIHC) and multispectral imaging (MSI). Methods: Twenty-eight tissue samples were collected from 12 patients who had DTC with distant metastasis and from 16 with ATC. The samples were assessed using F-MIHC and MSI with antibodies against the cell surface molecules, cluster of differentiation (CD)4, CD8, programmed cell death-1 (PD-1), PD ligand 1 (PD-L1), forkhead box protein 3, and cytokeratin (CK). The expression of PD-L1 was evaluated using tumor proportion score (TPS) and combined positive score (CPS). Results: Significantly, more PD-L1-positive tumor cells (CK+PD-L1+) per mm2 were found in ATC samples than in DTC samples (183.5 vs. 0.03, p < 0.001). Lymphocyte infiltration was significantly increased in ATC compared with DTC, with significantly more PD-L1- or PD-1-positive lymphocytes in ATC samples than in DTC samples. The TPS and CPS for PD-L1 expression were negative in all DTC samples but positive in 81% and 94% of ATC samples, respectively. Conclusions: Immune profiling revealed significant differences between advanced DTC and ATC, particularly in terms of PD-L1 expression and lymphocyte infiltration. Therefore, immune profiling using F-MIHC and MSI can provide invaluable information regarding tumor microenvironments, which could help select candidates for immunotherapy.
Keywords: anaplastic; immune system; immunohistochemistry; immunotherapy; thyroid carcinoma; thyroid neoplasm.