Colorectal cancer is associated with a clear decline in circulating central memory T cells that extends beyond age-related immunosenescence

Sven de Mey, Soumaya Bouzakoura, Hui Wang, Inès Dufait, Lun Law Ka, Heng Jiang, Joeri Aerts, Mark De Ridder

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


Background and Purpose: Over the last decade, profiling of intratumoral lymphocytes with regard to CD3 and CD8 T cells has become a new paradigm of risk assessment next to the standard TNM tumor classification. In colorectal cancer is an increased T-cell infiltration an indicator of favorable prognosis, this is the basis for the immunoscore system [1]. The role of circulating immune cells and their implications for clinical outcome however is poorly understood. This study gives detailed analysis of circulating lymphocytes along their differentiation from memory to effector subsets.

Material and Methods: Peripheral blood was collected in EDTA-tubes and PBMCs were isolated after gradient centrifugation. Following staining, cells were used for flow cytometric analysis and cell types were defined as follow: CD45RA+CD27+CCR7+CD62L+ (naïve T cells), CD45RA+CD27+CCR7-CD62L- (effector T cells), CD45RA-CD27+CCR7+CD62L+ (central memory T cells) and CD45RA-CD27+CCR7-CD62L- (effector memory T cells). T cell senescence was defined by loss of CD28 and gain of CD57.

Results: Memory T cells were increased in aged HDs compared to young HDs, but were reduced in CRC patients. This difference was even stronger in the central memory subset. Moreover, we observed an increase in senescent T cells and concomitantly a decrease in young cells (CD28+ CD57-) in aged HDs, and even more in CRC patients, when compared to young HDs.

Conclusion: CD8+ memory T cells are decreased and CD8+ senescent T cells are increased in CRC patients compared to healthy donors and might feature a prognostic value.

[1] Pages F, Mlecnik B, Marliot F, Bindea G, Ou FS, Bifulco C, et al. International validation of the consensus Immunoscore for the classification of colon cancer: a prognostic and accuracy study. Lancet. 2018;391:2128-39.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
EventBACR meeting 2019 - university of antwerp
Duration: 1 Feb 20191 Mar 2019


ConferenceBACR meeting 2019

Cite this