Objective we investigate the prognostic role of pre-treatment ratio between Type 1 (M1) and Type 2 (M2) tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) patients treated with chemoradiation (CT/RT). Methods 84 consecutive LACC patients treated with cisplatin-based CT/RT for a total dose of 50.0 Gy, followed by radical surgery were analysed. Double-staining immunohistochemistry of CD163/p-STAT, CD68/pSTAT1, CD163/c-MAF, and CD68/c-MAF was performed on tumor samples taken at the time of diagnosis. TAMs with CD163+pSTAT1+, or CD68+pSTAT1+ were defined M1; CD163+c-MAF+ or CD68+c-MAF+ defined the M2 phenotype. The number of M1 and M2 cells was counted at low magnification by evaluating for each case the same tumour area. The ratio between M1 and M2 (M1/M2) was finally calculated. Results At diagnosis, we observed a direct correlation between the number of circulating monocytes and of TAMs (p-value = 0.001). Patients with high M1/M2 experienced more frequently complete pathologic response (no residual tumor) to CT/RT, compared to cases with low M1/M2 (55.0% Vs 29.5%; p-value = 0.029). At multivariate analysis M1/M2 (OR = 2.067; p-value = 0.037) emerged as independent predictor of pathologic response to CT/RT. Women with high M1/M2 showed a longer 5-yrs Disease-free (67.2% Vs. 44.3%; p-value = 0.019), and 5-yrs Overall (69.3% Vs. 46.9%; p-value = 0.037) survival, compared to cases with low M1/M2. The presence of a high M1/M2 ratio was independently associated with an unfavourable survival outcome in multivariate analysis. Conclusions polarisation of TAMs toward a M2 phenotype, as reflected by a lower M1/M2 ratio, is an independent predictor of poor response to CT/RT, and shorter survival in LACC.
- cervical cancer
- tumor associated macrophages