Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Ovarian Cancer

  • Gasparri, Maria Luisa (Department of Gynecologic-Obstetrical and Urologic Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome) ;
  • Attar, Rukset (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yeditepe University Medical Faculty) ;
  • Palaia, Innocenza (Department of Gynecologic-Obstetrical and Urologic Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome) ;
  • Perniola, Giorgia (Department of Gynecologic-Obstetrical and Urologic Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome) ;
  • Marchetti, Claudia (Department of Gynecologic-Obstetrical and Urologic Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome) ;
  • Donato, Violante Di (Department of Gynecologic-Obstetrical and Urologic Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome) ;
  • Farooqi, Ammad Ahmad (Laboratory for Translational Oncology and Personalized Medicine, Rashid Latif Medical College) ;
  • Papadia, Andrea (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Berne and University of Berne) ;
  • Panici, Pierluigi Benedetti (Department of Gynecologic-Obstetrical and Urologic Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome)
  • Published : 2015.05.18


Several improvements in ovarian cancer treatment have been achieved in recent years, both in surgery and in combination chemotherapy with targeting. However, ovarian tumors remain the women's cancers with highest mortality rates. In this scenario, a pivotal role has been endorsed to the immunological environment and to the immunological mechanisms involved in ovarian cancer behavior. Recent evidence suggests a loss of the critical balance between immune-activating and immune-suppressing mechanisms when oncogenesis and cancer progression occur. Ovarian cancer generates a mechanism to escape the immune system by producing a highly suppressive environment. Immune-activated tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in ovarian tumor tissue testify that the immune system is the trigger in this neoplasm. The TIL mileau has been demonstrated to be associated with better prognosis, more chemosensitivity, and more cases of optimal residual tumor achieved during primary cytoreduction. Nowadays, scientists are focusing attention on new immunologically effective tumor biomarkers in order to optimize selection of patients for recruitment in clinical trials and to identify relationships of these biomarkers with responses to immunotherapeutics. Assessing this point of view, TILs might be considered as a potent predictive immunotherapy biomarker.


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