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Tumoral PD-1hiCD8+ T cells are partially exhausted and predict favorable outcome in triple-negative breast cancer

Prior to this publication it was known that dysfunctional PD-1hi CD8+ T cells infiltrated tumors, although it was unknown if this phenotype played a role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Guo et al set out to explore this phenotype in triple-negative breast cancer and using HALO and HALO AI demonstrated using both quantitative multiplexed immunohistochemistry and multispectral fluorescence imaging that PD-1hi CD8+ T cells were found in TNBC patient tissue biopsy core analysis but largely absent from peripheral blood. Molecular analysis of these cells revealed expression of biomarkers associated with T-cell exhaustion and the authors hypothesize that this cellular phenotype could be useful for future stratification and as a prognostic marker in TNBC patients as the presence of PD-1hi CD8+ T cells are associated with favorable outcomes. In addition, future research with this cellular phenotype may provide opportunity for therapeutic advancement in TNBC, a challenging subtype of breast cancer to treat.

Guo L, Cao C, Goswami S, Huang X, Ma L, Guo Y, Yang B, Li T, Chi Y, Zhang X, Wu J

Clinical Science | First published 03 April 2020| DOI https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20191261