Aim: CD11c is a marker for dendritic cells which help initiating adaptive antitumor immunity. The study was designed to investigate correlation between the frequency of CD11c+ cells in the gastric cancer tissue and the clinical and pathological parameters of gastric cancer patients.

Methods: CD11c expression in gastric cancer tissues was examined by immunohistochemistry. Surface CD11c expression on the leukocytes within cancer tissues was examined by flow cytometry.

Results: The number of CD11c+ cells was higher in gastric cancer tissues than that in gastritis or gastric polyps tissues. The number of CD11c+ cells in tumor specimens from the early-stage gastric cancer was significantly higher than that in specimens from the late-stage gastric cancer (t=2.77,P=0.0064). Flow cytometry found that CD11c surface expression was stronger in specimens from the early stages than those from the late stages of gastric cancer. The Univariate analysis revealed that the frequency of intratumoral CD11c+ cells showed association with gender and tumor location, and was reversely correlated with tumor size, depth of infiltration, nodal metastasis, tumor histological grade and cancer stages. The median survival time (MST) for the subgroups of patients with stronger and weaker CD11c expression were 67.0 months (95%CI, 39.0-112.0 months) and 29.0 months (95%CI, 21.0-39.0 months), respectively. And MSTs were significantly different between the CD11c higher and lower subgroups (χ2=11.6425,P=0.0006). Among patients who suffered from late-stage diseases, those with higher numbers of intratumoral CD11c cells had a significantly lower risk of death than those with lower numbers of CD11c cells (χ2=8.549,P=0.0035), and the lowered risk of death was statistically significant after adjusting gender, age, tumor size and infiltrating depth (RR=0.52,95%CI=0.29-0.94).

Conclusions: The number of CD11c+ cells within gastric cancer tissue is a favorable prognostic marker for gastric cancer. Our study suggests gradual elimination of dendritic cells is characteristic of gastric cancer progression.

Citation Format: Jingting Jiang, Changping Wu, Binfeng Lu. The frequency of CD11c+ cells within the gastric cancer tissue is associated with favorable prognosis. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 1258. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-1258

Note: This abstract was not presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 because the presenter was unable to attend.