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Is the Tumor Infiltrating Natural Killer Cell (NK-TILs) Count in Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma of Breast Prognostically Significant?

  • Published : 2014.04.30

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic significance of the CD56+NK-TIL count in infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) of breast. Material and Methods: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed using antibodies specific for CD56 on formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 175 infiltrating ductal carcinomas (IDC) of breast. Distribution of intratumoral and stromal CD56+NK-TILs was assessed semi-quantitatively. Results: A low intratumoral CD56+count showed significant and inverse associations with tumor grade, stage, and lymph node status, whereas it had significant and direct association with response to treatment indicating good prognosis. These patients had better survival (${\chi}^2$=4.80, p<0.05) and 0.52 fold lower death rate (HR=0.52, 95% CI=0.28-0.93) as compared to patients with high CD56+ intratumoral count. The association of survival was insignificant with low CD56 stromal count as compared to high CD56 stromal count (${\chi}^2$=1.60, p>0.05). Conclusion: To conclude, although NK-TIL count appeared as a significant predictor of prognosis, it alone may not be sufficient for predicting the outcome considering the fact that there exists a crosstalk between NK-TILs and the other immune infiltrating TILs.

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