Author(s): Gilbert DC, SerupHansen E, Linnemann D, Hgdall E, Bailey C,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The majority (90\%) of anal cancers are human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven, identified using immunochemistry for p16. Compared with HPV- patients, those with HPV+ disease generally show improved survival, although relapse rates around 25\% indicate a need for further stratification of this group. METHODS: Using two cohorts of anal cancer, previously characterised for p16, we assessed the prognostic value of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). RESULTS: Tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte scores were used to stratify p16+ cases, where tumours with absent/low levels of TIL had a relapse-free rate of 63\%, as opposed to 92\% with high levels of TIL (log rank P=0.006). CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of TIL adds to p16 status in the prognosis of anal cancer following chemo-radiotherapy and provides evidence of the clinical importance of the immune response.
This article was published in Br J Cancer
and referenced in Translational Medicine