CD70 expression correlates with a worse prognosis in malignant pleural mesothelioma patients via immune evasion and enhanced invasiveness.

The Journal of Pathology 2019 October 22 [Link]

Inaguma S, Lasota J, Czapiewski P, Langfort R, Rys J, Szpor J, Waloszczyk P, Okoń K, Biernat W, Schrump DS, Hassan R, Kasai K, Miettinen M, Ikeda H


Diffuse malignant mesothelioma of the pleura (MPM) is a highly aggressive tumour that typically is associated with short survival. CD70 and CD27 belong to the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and the TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamily, respectively. Under physiological conditions, the tightly regulated interaction between CD70 and CD27 plays a co-stimulatory role in promoting T-cell expansion and differentiation through the NFκB pathway. Aberrantly high CD70 expression has been documented in haematological and solid malignancies in association with immune evasion in malignant cells. In this study, 172 well-characterized primary diffuse MPM tumours including epithelioid (n = 145), biphasic (n = 15), and sarcomatoid (n = 12) histotypes were evaluated immunohistochemically for CD70, CD27, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD56, PDCD1 (PD-1) and FOXP3 expression. Twenty percent (34/172) of the mesothelioma cells expressed CD70 on the cell membrane. Overall survival was significantly decreased in the cohort of patients with CD70-expressing tumour cells (P < 0.01). Patients with MPM containing higher number of CD3+ (P < 0.01), CD4+ (P < 0.01), CD8+ (P < 0.01), or FOXP3+ (P < 0.01) tumour-infiltrating lymphoid cells (TILs) showed significantly worse clinical outcomes. As potential independent risk factors for MPM patients, multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis revealed CD70 expression on mesothelioma cells (hazard ratio (HR), 2.25; P = 0.010), higher FOXP3+ TILs (HR, 2.81; P = 0.004), and higher CD3+ TIL accumulation (HR, 6.12; P < 0.001). In contrast, as a potential independent favourable factor, higher CD27+ TIL accumulation (HR, 0.48; P = 0.037) was identified. In vitro experiments and an immunodeficient mouse model revealed that CD70 enhances the invasiveness of MPM cells through MET-ERK axis activation. Further analyses in syngeneic mouse models demonstrated possible roles for CD70 in immune evasion. Collectively, these findings suggest that the CD70-CD27 pathway enhances the malignant phenotypes of MPM and diminishes antitumor immune response in patients with these neoplasms. These markers might be useful in MPM for prognostic evaluations as well as targeted therapeutics.