Gene Summary

Gene:ICOS; inducible T-cell co-stimulator
Aliases: AILIM, CD278, CVID1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the CD28 and CTLA-4 cell-surface receptor family. It forms homodimers and plays an important role in cell-cell signaling, immune responses, and regulation of cell proliferation. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:inducible T-cell costimulator
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (7)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Antigens, CD28
  • CD Antigens
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • Vulvar Cancer
  • Receptors, OX40
  • Tumor Markers
  • Haplotypes
  • Poland
  • Melanoma
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Genotype
  • Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Protein
  • Staging
  • Survival Rate
  • Antigens, CD80
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Phenotype
  • Chromosome 2
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Polymorphism
  • Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Ligand
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Disease Progression
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Skin Cancer
  • Alleles
  • Flow Cytometry
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ICOS (cancer-related)

Wu D, Tang R, Qi Q, et al.
Five functional polymorphisms of B7/CD28 co-signaling molecules alter susceptibility to colorectal cancer.
Cell Immunol. 2015; 293(1):41-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polymorphisms within the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of genes have been proved to contribute to the risk of cancers. Here, we determined 16 putatively functional polymorphisms in the 3'-UTR of 11 B7/CD28 genes in 382 colorectal cancer patients and 714 healthy controls. Statistical analysis revealed that ICOS rs4404254-C-allele carriers (p=0.0014), rs1559931-A-allele carriers (p=0.0027), and rs4675379-C-allele carriers (p=0.026) were significantly fewer in patients than those in controls. B7-H4-rs13505-GG homozygotes were more prevalent in patients (p=0.03). CD80-rs7628626-GT was apparently less in the patients with lymph node metastasis (p=0.004) or in advanced stage (p=0.037). Furthermore, we found that these polymorphisms impacted the regulatory role of miR-21-3p, miR-186-5p, miR-323b-5p, miR-1207-5p, miR-1279, miR-2117, and miR-3692-3p in the expression of the B7/CD28 molecules. Our findings suggest that rs7628626, rs13505, rs4404254, rs1559931, and rs4675379, through disrupting the regulatory role of miRNAs in the expression of B7/CD28 molecules, contribute to the occurrence and progress of colorectal cancer.

Ahearne MJ, Allchin RL, Fox CP, Wagner SD
Follicular helper T-cells: expanding roles in T-cell lymphoma and targets for treatment.
Br J Haematol. 2014; 166(3):326-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Follicular helper T-cells (Tfh cells) are a subset of CD4(+) T-cells that are essential for normal production of high affinity antibodies. Tfh cells characteristically produce IL21 and IL4 and show high expression of surface markers CXCR5, ICOS, PDCD1 (PD-1) and the chemokine CXCL13. In this review we will focus on the emerging links between Tfh cells and subtypes of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) and ~20% of peripheral T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) have surface marker features of Tfh cells and share a spectrum of genetic abnormalities. The recurrent genetic abnormalities associated with AITL include mutations in epigenetic modifiers such as TET2 and DNMT3A and the motility and adhesion gene, RHOA, is mutated in up to 70% of cases. ~20% of PTCL-NOS demonstrate RHOA mutations and have other characteristics suggesting an origin in Tfh cells. The recognition that specific genetic and surface markers are associated with malignant Tfh cells suggests that the next few years will bring major changes in diagnostic and treatment possibilities. For example, antibodies against IL21, PDCD1 and ICOS are already in clinical trials for autoimmune disease or other malignancies and antibodies against CXCL13 are in pre-clinical development.

Bie Q, Zhang P, Su Z, et al.
Polarization of ILC2s in peripheral blood might contribute to immunosuppressive microenvironment in patients with gastric cancer.
J Immunol Res. 2014; 2014:923135 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Newly identified nuocytes or group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) play an important role in Th2 cell mediated immunity such as protective immune responses to helminth parasites, allergic asthma, and chronic rhinosinusitis. However, the contributions of ILC2s in the occurrence and development of cancer remain unknown. Our previous study found that there was a predominant Th2 phenotype in patients with gastric cancer. In this study, the ILC2s related genes or molecules in PBMC from patients with gastric cancer were measured, and the potential correlation between them was analyzed. The expression levels of RORα, GATA3, T1/ST2, IL-17RB, CRTH2, IL-33, IL-5, and IL-4 mRNA were significantly increased in patients, but no significant changes were found in ICOS, CD45, and IL-13 expression, and there was a positive correlation between RORα or IL-13 and other related factors, such as ICOS and CD45. The increased frequency of ILC2s was also found in PBMC of patients by flow cytometry. In addition, the mRNA of Arg1 and iNOS were also significantly increased in patients. These results suggested that there are polarized ILC2s in gastric cancer patients which might contribute to immunosuppressive microenvironment and closely related to the upregulation of MDSCs and M2 macrophages.

Ally MS, Prasad Hunasehally RY, Rodriguez-Justo M, et al.
Evaluation of follicular T-helper cells in primary cutaneous CD4+ small/medium pleomorphic T-cell lymphoma and dermatitis.
J Cutan Pathol. 2013; 40(12):1006-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CD4+ small/medium-sized pleomorphic T-cell lymphoma (SMPTCL) is a controversial primary cutaneous lymphoma, in which the candidate neoplastic cells express a follicular T-helper phenotype. We describe 16 cases of SMPTCL and compare expression of PD-1, CXCL-13 and ICOS in these tumors with 40 dermatitis cases.
METHODS: Histopathologic examination and immunocytochemistry were performed for 16 tumors and 40 assorted dermatitis cases.
RESULTS: All but one patient presented with solitary lesions. Each biopsy revealed a dense nodular non-epitheliotropic infiltrate of atypical T-cells. Neoplastic cells were CD3+/CD4+/CD8(-)/CD30(-). Cutaneous recurrence occurred in one patient over a median follow up of 8 months (range 5-36). All tumors widely expressed PD-1 and ICOS to a lesser extent. CXCL-13 stained much fewer cells. Of the dermatitis cases, PD-1 (most numerous) and ICOS labeled lymphoid cells in all cases, albeit fewer than in the tumors, and CXCL-13 was negative in 32. A rosette pattern of PD-1 expression was identified in all the SMPTCL cases but not in dermatitis.
CONCLUSIONS: There remains uncertainty about the appropriate nosological status of SMPTCL, which some authors consider to be a pseudolymphoma. However, this study suggests a significant difference in the prevalence and pattern of follicular T-helper cell markers between this tumor and lymphoid proliferations known to be reactive.

Auguste T, Travert M, Tarte K, et al.
ROQUIN/RC3H1 alterations are not found in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e64536 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma (AITL) is one of the most frequent T-cell lymphoma entities. Follicular helper T lymphocytes (TFH) are recognized as the normal cellular counterpart of the neoplastic component. Despite a clonal T-cell feature and few described recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities, a driving oncogenic event has not been identified so far. It has been recently reported that in mice, heterozygous inactivation of Roquin/Rc3h1, a RING type E3 ubiquitine ligase, recapitulates many of the clinical, histological, and cellular features associated with human AITL. In this study we explored whether ROQUIN alterations could be an initial event in the human AITL oncogenic process. Using microarray and RT-PCR analyses, we investigated the levels of ROQUIN transcripts in TFH tumor cells purified from AITL (n = 8) and reactive tonsils (n = 12) and found similar levels of ROQUIN expression in both. Moreover, we also demonstrated that ROQUIN protein was expressed by AITL TFH (PD1+) cells. We then analysed ROQUIN coding sequence in 12 tumor cell-rich AITL samples and found no mutation in any of the samples. Finally, we analysed the expression of MiR101, a putative partner of ROQUIN involved in the modulation of ICOS expression and found similar levels of expression in tumor and reactive TFH. Altogether, this study shows that neither alteration of ROQUIN gene nor deregulation of miR101 expression is likely to be a frequent recurrent event in AITL.

Ramos RN, de Moraes CJ, Zelante B, Barbuto JA
What are the molecules involved in regulatory T-cells induction by dendritic cells in cancer?
Clin Dev Immunol. 2013; 2013:806025 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential for the maintenance of homeostasis in the organism, and they do that by modulating lymphocyte priming, expansion, and response patterns according to signals they receive from the environment. The induction of suppressive lymphocytes by DCs is essential to hinder the development of autoimmune diseases but can be reverted against homeostasis when in the context of neoplasia. In this setting, the induction of suppressive or regulatory T cells contributes to the establishment of a state of tolerance towards the tumor, allowing it to grow unchecked by an otherwise functional immune system. Besides affecting its local environment, tumor also has been described as potent sources of anti-inflammatory/suppressive factors, which may act systemically, generating defects in the differentiation and maturation of immune cells, far beyond the immediate vicinity of the tumor mass. Cytokines, as IL-10 and TGF-beta, as well as cell surface molecules like PD-L1 and ICOS seem to be significantly involved in the redirection of DCs towards tolerance induction, and recent data suggest that tumor cells may, indeed, modulate distinct DCs subpopulations through the involvement of these molecules. It is to be expected that the identification of such molecules should provide molecular targets for more effective immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer.

Bisig B, de Reyniès A, Bonnet C, et al.
CD30-positive peripheral T-cell lymphomas share molecular and phenotypic features.
Haematologica. 2013; 98(8):1250-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified is a heterogeneous group of aggressive neoplasms with indistinct borders. By gene expression profiling we previously reported unsupervised clusters of peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified correlating with CD30 expression. In this work we extended the analysis of peripheral T-cell lymphoma molecular profiles to prototypical CD30(+) peripheral T-cell lymphomas (anaplastic large cell lymphomas), and validated mRNA expression profiles at the protein level. Existing transcriptomic datasets from peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified and anaplastic large cell lymphomas were reanalyzed. Twenty-one markers were selected for immunohistochemical validation on 80 peripheral T-cell lymphoma samples (not otherwise specified, CD30(+) and CD30(-); anaplastic large cell lymphomas, ALK(+) and ALK(-)), and differences between subgroups were assessed. Clinical follow-up was recorded. Compared to CD30(-) tumors, CD30(+) peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified were significantly enriched in ALK(-) anaplastic large cell lymphoma-related genes. By immunohistochemistry, CD30(+) peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified differed significantly from CD30(-) samples [down-regulated expression of T-cell receptor-associated proximal tyrosine kinases (Lck, Fyn, Itk) and of proteins involved in T-cell differentiation/activation (CD69, ICOS, CD52, NFATc2); upregulation of JunB and MUM1], while overlapping with anaplastic large cell lymphomas. CD30(-) peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified tended to have an inferior clinical outcome compared to the CD30(+) subgroups. In conclusion, we show molecular and phenotypic features common to CD30(+) peripheral T-cell lymphomas, and significant differences between CD30(-) and CD30(+) peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified, suggesting that CD30 expression might delineate two biologically distinct subgroups.

Simon-Keller K, Paschen A, Hombach AA, et al.
Survivin blockade sensitizes rhabdomyosarcoma cells for lysis by fetal acetylcholine receptor-redirected T cells.
Am J Pathol. 2013; 182(6):2121-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cellular immunotherapy may provide a strategy to overcome the poor prognosis of metastatic and recurrent rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) under the current regimen of polychemotherapy. Because little is known about resistance mechanisms of RMS to cytotoxic T cells, we investigated RMS cell lines and biopsy specimens for expression and function of immune costimulatory receptors and anti-apoptotic molecules by RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, IHC, and cytotoxicity assays using siRNA or transfection-modified RMS cell lines, together with engineered RMS-directed cytotoxic T cells specific for the fetal acetylcholine receptor. We found that costimulatory CD80 and CD86 were consistently absent from all RMSs tested, whereas inducible T-cell co-stimulator ligand (ICOS-L; alias B7H2) was expressed by a subset of RMSs and was inducible by tumor necrosis factor α in two of five RMS cell lines. Anti-apoptotic survivin, along with other inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family members (cIAP1, cIAP2, and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein), was overexpressed by RMS cell lines and biopsy specimens. Down-regulation of survivin by siRNA or pharmacologically in RMS cells increased their susceptibility toward a T-cell attack, whereas induction of ICOS-L did not. Treatment of RMS-bearing Rag(-/-) mice with fetal acetylcholine receptor-specific chimeric T cells delayed xenograft growth; however, this happened without definitive tumor eradication. Combined blockade of survivin and application of chimeric T cells in vivo suppressed tumor proliferation during survivin inhibition. In conclusion, survivin blockade provides a strategy to sensitize RMS cells for T-cell-based therapy.

Greaves P, Gribben JG
The role of B7 family molecules in hematologic malignancy.
Blood. 2013; 121(5):734-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The B7 family consists of structurally related, cell-surface proteins that regulate immune responses by delivering costimulatory or coinhibitory signals through their ligands. Eight family members have been identified to date including CD80 (B7-1), CD86 (B7-2), CD274 (programmed cell death-1 ligand [PD-L1]), CD273 (programmed cell death-2 ligand [PD-L2]), CD275 (inducible costimulator ligand [ICOS-L]), CD276 (B7-H3), B7-H4, and B7-H6. B7 ligands are expressed on both lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues. The importance of the B7 family in regulating immune responses is clear from their demonstrated role in the development of immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases. Manipulation of the signals delivered by B7 ligands shows great potential in the treatment of cancers including leukemias and lymphomas and in regulating allogeneic T-cell responses after stem cell transplantation.

Dolen Y, Esendagli G
Myeloid leukemia cells with a B7-2(+) subpopulation provoke Th-cell responses and become immuno-suppressive through the modulation of B7 ligands.
Eur J Immunol. 2013; 43(3):747-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
Expression of the B7 family molecules in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been demonstrated by independent clinical studies. Intriguingly, the expression of the most potent costimulatory molecules B7-2 (CD86) and B7-H2 (ICOS Ligand) on AML cells has been associated with poor prognosis and disease severity. Here, this phenomenon was modeled in vitro with the myeloid leukemia cell line HL-60, which is capable of differentiating through the FAB M2/M3 and M4/M5 immunophenotypes. These derivatives of HL-60 harbored a B7-2(+) subpopulation and recapitulated the distribution of B7 ligands previously reported in primary AML cases. B7-2(+) AML cells significantly contributed to T-cell responses. This costimulatory activity enabled helper (Th)-cell activation, proliferation, and production of Th1-associated cytokines. Conversely, even a short-term incubation with stimulated T cells resulted in upregulation of inhibitory B7-H1 (PD-L1) and B7-DC (PD-L2), and downregulation of stimulatory B7-H2 molecules on leukemia cells. Purified from iHL-60-T-cell co-cultures, these myeloid leukemia cells severely suppressed Th-cell responses specifically through the PD-1 pathway. In conclusion, Th-cell responses can be directly supported by B7-2(+) leukemia subpopulations. However, this interaction can facilitate the acquisition of a suppressive character that may contribute to immune evasion in myeloid leukemia.

Moroch J, Copie-Bergman C, de Leval L, et al.
Follicular peripheral T-cell lymphoma expands the spectrum of classical Hodgkin lymphoma mimics.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2012; 36(11):1636-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected B cells with Reed-Sternberg-like cell (RS) features may occur in peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs), especially in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. Here, we report 5 patients presenting with lymphadenopathy whose first biopsies demonstrated nodular lymphoid proliferations containing scattered CD30+, CD15+, EBV+ Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg-like cells, which led to an initial diagnosis of lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin lymphoma. However, the uncommon clinical features and/or the occurrence of relapse as PTCL prompted review of the biopsies with expanded immunohistologic and molecular studies and revision of the diagnoses to follicular variant of PTCL (F-PTCL). All cases had atypical small to medium-sized CD3+ T cells that expressed CD10 (4/5) and the follicular helper T-cell (TFH) antigens BCL6, PD1, CXCL13, and ICOS. All demonstrated clonal T cells with a similar pattern in multiple samples from 4 patients. In 2 cases, flow cytometry demonstrated circulating lymphocytes with an abnormal sCD3+, CD4+, ICOS+ immunophenotype. Two patients had a skin rash at presentation, and 1 had B symptoms. Two of the 4 patients treated with polychemotherapy are alive at 3 and 6 years after first diagnosis. These cases highlight how some F-PTCLs may closely mimic lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin lymphoma requiring careful assessment of the T cells before rendering the latter diagnosis. The functional properties of TFH cells might lead to the presence of EBV-positive B blasts with RS-like features in TFH-derived PTCL such as angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and F-PTCL.

Severa M, Giacomini E, Gafa V, et al.
EBV stimulates TLR- and autophagy-dependent pathways and impairs maturation in plasmacytoid dendritic cells: implications for viral immune escape.
Eur J Immunol. 2013; 43(1):147-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) are crucial mediators in the establishment of immunity against most viruses, given their extraordinary capacity to produce a massive quantity of type I IFN. In this study we investigate the response of pDCs to infection with EBV, a γ-herpes virus that persists with an asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent hosts, although in certain conditions it can promote development of cancers or autoimmune diseases. We show that high amounts of type I IFNs were released from isolated pDCs after exposure to EBV by a mechanism requiring TLRs and a functional autophagic machinery. We next demonstrate that EBV can infect pDCs via viral binding to MHC class II molecule HLA-DR and that pDCs express EBV-induced latency genes. Furthermore, we observe that EBV is able to induce activation but not maturation of pDCs, which correlates with an impaired TNF-α release. Accordingly, EBV-infected pDCs are unable to mount a full T-cell response, suggesting that impaired pDC maturation, combined with a concomitant EBV-mediated upregulation of the T-cell inhibitory molecules B7-H1 and ICOS-L, could represent an immune-evasion strategy promoted by the virus. These mechanisms might lead to persistence in immunocompetent hosts or to dysregulated immune responses linked to EBV-associated diseases.

Wang W, Yu D, Sarnaik AA, et al.
Biomarkers on melanoma patient T cells associated with ipilimumab treatment.
J Transl Med. 2012; 10:146 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ipilimumab induces long-lasting clinical responses in a minority of patients with metastatic melanoma. To better understand the mechanism(s) of action and to identify novel biomarkers associated with the clinical benefit and toxicity of ipilimumab, baseline characteristics and changes in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from melanoma patients receiving ipilimumab were characterized by gene profiling and flow cytometry.
METHODS: Microarray analysis of flow-cytometry purified CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells was employed to assess gene profiling changes induced by ipilimumab. Selected molecules were further investigated by flow cytometry on pre, 3-month and 6-month post-treatment specimens.
RESULTS: Ipilimumab up-regulated Ki67 and ICOS on CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells at both 3- and 6-month post ipilimumab (p ≤ 0.001), decreased CCR7 and CD25 on CD8(+) at 3-month post ipilimumab (p ≤ 0.02), and increased Gata3 in CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells at 6-month post ipilimumab (p ≤ 0.001). Increased EOMES(+)CD8(+), GranzymeB(+)EOMES(+)CD8(+) and decreased Ki67(+)EOMES(+)CD4(+) T cells at 6 months were significantly associated with relapse (all p ≤ 0.03). Decreased Ki67(+)CD8(+) T cells were significantly associated with the development of irAE (p = 0.02). At baseline, low Ki67(+)EOMES(+)CD8(+) T cells were associated with relapse (p ≤ 0.001), and low Ki67(+)EOMES(+)CD4(+) T cells were associated with irAE (p ≤ 0.008).
CONCLUSIONS: Up-regulation of proliferation and activation signals in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were pharmacodynamic markers for ipilimumab. Ki67(+)EOMES(+)CD8(+) and Ki67(+)EOMES(+)CD4(+)T cells at baseline merit further testing as biomarkers associated with outcome and irAEs, respectively.

Xiao H, Luo Y, Lai X, et al.
Genetic variations in T-cell activation and effector pathways modulate alloimmune responses after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with hematologic malignancies.
Haematologica. 2012; 97(12):1804-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, several important polymorphisms have been identified in T-cell activation and effector pathway genes and have been reported to be associated with inter-patient variability in alloimmune responses. The present study was designed to assess the impact of these genetic variations on the outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We first investigated ten single nucleotide polymorphisms in six genes, CD28, inducible co-stimulator, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4, granzyme B, Fas and Fas ligand, in 138 pairs of patients and their unrelated donors and a second cohort of 102 pairs of patients and their HLA-identical sibling donors.
RESULTS: We observed that patients receiving stem cells from a donor with the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 gene CT60 variant allele (AA genotype) had a reduced incidence of grades II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease; however, they experienced early cytomegalovirus infection and relapsed more frequently, which suggested an interaction between the donor cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 gene CT60 AA genotype and reduced T-cell alloreactivity. Furthermore, an unrelated donor with the granzyme B +55 variant genotype (AA) was an independent risk factor for development of grades II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (P=0.024, RR=1.811). Among patients with acute myelogenous leukemia, those with the Fas -670 TT genotype were at higher risk of relapse (P=0.003, RR=3.823). The presence of these susceptible alleles in the donor and/or patient resulted in worse overall survival (54.9% versus 69.5%, P=0.029).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that genotype analysis of T-cell activation and effector pathway genes can be used for risk assessment for patients with hematologic malignancies before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Baruah P, Lee M, Odutoye T, et al.
Decreased levels of alternative co-stimulatory receptors OX40 and 4-1BB characterise T cells from head and neck cancer patients.
Immunobiology. 2012; 217(7):669-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Head and neck cancers (HNC) are aggressive tumours. Tumour-specific T cells are frequently identified in patients with cancer, although they fail to control tumour progression. A family of proteins called co-stimulatory receptors regulate the function of T cells and may account for T cell dysfunction in cancer. Our aim was to characterise co-stimulatory receptors on T cells in HNC patients to identify novel targets for immunotherapy.
METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from HNC patients and healthy controls and the expression of co-stimulatory (OX40, 4-1BB, ICOS) and co-inhibitory (CTLA-4, PD1) receptors was analysed on CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells using flow cytometry.
RESULTS: We found that the levels of co-stimulatory receptors OX40 and 4-1BB were significantly lower on CD4(+) T cells from HNC patients. This was more pronounced in locally advanced tumours (T3/T4) compared to early carcinomas (T1/T2). PD-1 levels were higher on CD8(+) T cells in HNC patients compared to controls. Human papilloma virus (HPV)-specific CD8(+) T cells appeared to be more affected than Influenza-specific T cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that expression of co-stimulatory receptors on T cells from HNC patients is imbalanced with a preponderance of inhibitory signals, and reduction of stimulatory signals, especially in advanced disease. Restoring this balance could improve T cell therapy outcomes in HNC.

Amé-Thomas P, Le Priol J, Yssel H, et al.
Characterization of intratumoral follicular helper T cells in follicular lymphoma: role in the survival of malignant B cells.
Leukemia. 2012; 26(5):1053-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Accumulating evidences indicate that the cellular and molecular microenvironment of follicular lymphoma (FL) has a key role in both lymphomagenesis and patient outcome. Malignant FL B cells are found admixed to specific stromal and immune cell subsets, in particular CD4(pos) T cells displaying phenotypic features of follicular helper T cells (T(FH)). The goal of our study was to functionally characterize intratumoral CD4(pos) T cells. We showed that CXCR5(hi)ICOS(hi)CD4(pos) T cells sorted from FL biopsies comprise at least two separate cell populations with distinct genetic and functional features: (i) CD25(pos) follicular regulatory T cells (T(FR)), and (ii) CD25(neg) T(FH) displaying a FL-B cell supportive activity without regulatory functions. Furthermore, despite their strong similarities with tonsil-derived T(FH), purified FL-derived T(FH) displayed a specific gene expression profile including an overexpression of several genes potentially involved directly or indirectly in lymphomagenesis, in particular TNF, LTA, IL4 or CD40LG. Interestingly, we further demonstrated that these two last signals efficiently rescued malignant B cells from spontaneous and rituximab-induced apoptosis. Altogether, our study demonstrates that tumor-infiltrating CD4(pos) T cells are more heterogeneous than previously presumed, and underlines for the first time the crucial role of T(FH) in the complex set of cellular interactions within FL microenvironment.

Xu F, Li D, Zhang Q, et al.
ICOS gene polymorphisms are associated with sporadic breast cancer: a case-control study.
BMC Cancer. 2011; 11:392 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inducible costimulator (ICOS), a costimulatory molecular of the CD28 family, provides positive signal to enhance T cell proliferation. Its abnormal expression can disturb the immune response and entail an increased risk of cancer. To investigate whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ICOS gene are associated with sporadic breast cancer susceptibility and progression in Chinese women, a case-control study was conducted.
METHODS: In the study cohort, we genotyped five SNPs (rs11889031, rs10932029, rs4675374, rs10183087 and rs10932037) in ICOS gene among 609 breast cancer patients and 665 age-matched healthy controls. Furthermore, the positive results were replicated in an independent validation cohort of 619 patients and 682 age-matched healthy controls. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) was used to determine the genotypes.
RESULTS: In rs10932029, compared with TT genotype and T allele, the CT genotype and C allele showed a significantly increased risk of breast cancer (P = 0.030, OR = 1.467, 95% CI 1.037-2.077; P = 0.017, OR = 1.481, 95% CI 1.070-2.049, respectively), and the associations were also significant in the validation cohort (P = 0.002, OR = 1.693, 95% CI 1.211-2.357; P = 0.003, OR = 1.607, 95% CI 1.171-2.204, respectively). Haplotype analysis showed that CTCAC haplotype containing rs10932029 T allele had a lower frequency in cases than in controls (P = 0.015), whereas haplotype CCCAC containing rs10932029 C allele was more common in cases than in controls (P = 0.013). In the analysis of clinicopathologic features, rs11889031 CT genotype and T allele were associated with progesterone receptor (PR) status and lymph node metastasis, which were further supported by our validation cohort. Moreover, some haplotypes were associated with estrogen receptor (ER) and PR statuses.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that ICOS gene polymorphisms may affect the risk of breast cancer and show that some SNPs are associated with breast cancer characteristics in a northern Chinese population.

Karabon L, Pawlak E, Tomkiewicz A, et al.
CTLA-4, CD28, and ICOS gene polymorphism associations with non-small-cell lung cancer.
Hum Immunol. 2011; 72(10):947-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polymorphisms in genes encoding CD28, ICOS, and CTLA-4 were demonstrated to be associated with susceptibility to malignancies. To the best of our knowledge, no study on this association has been performed in a Caucasian population for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the present work, we investigated the polymorphisms CTLA-4c.49A>G (rs231775), CTLA-4g.319C>T (rs5742909), CTLA-4g.*642AT(8_33), CTLA-4g.*6230G>A (CT60) (rs3087243), CTLA-4g.*10223G>T (Jo31) (rs11571302), CD28c.17+3T>C (rs3116496), and ICOSc.1554+4GT(8_15) in 208 NSCLC patients and 326 controls. The distributions of the allele and genotype were similar in both groups for CTLA-4, CD28, and ICOS gene polymorphisms. However, we noted a tendency toward overrepresentation of individuals possessing the CTLA-4c.49A>G[A] allele in NSCLC patients compared with controls (0.84 vs 0.79, p = 0.09). The association became significant compared with controls in women for the CTLA-4c.49A>G[A] allele and CTLA-4c.49A>G[AA] genotype (0.67 vs 0.54, p = 0.01, and 0.47 vs 0.30, p = 0.02; respectively). Moreover, the constellation of alleles CTLA-4c.49A>G[A]/CT60[G]/CD28c.17+3T>C[T]/ICOSc.1554+4GT(8_15)[>10] increased the risk of NSCLC about 2-fold (p = 0.002). The same constellation of alleles combined with smoking, CTLA-4g.319C>T[T], and ICOSc.1554+4GT(8_15)[>10] was associated with a decreased overall survival rate. In conclusion, the constellation of specific alleles in CTLA-4, CD28, and ICOS genes contributes to the susceptibility and clinical course of NSCLC.

Karabon L, Jedynak A, Tomkiewicz A, et al.
ICOS gene polymorphisms in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the Polish population.
Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2011; 49(1):49-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
There is strong evidence that altered immunological function entails an increased risk of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). The main mechanism of an anti-tumor response depends on T-cell activation. Unlike the constitutively expressed CD28, inducible costimulatory molecule (ICOS) is expressed on the T-cell surface after activation. ICOS enhances all the basic T-cell responses to a foreign antigen, namely proliferation, secretion of lymphokines, the upregulation of molecules that mediate cell-cell interaction, and effective help for antibody secretion by B cells. ICOS is essential for both efficient interaction between T and B cells and normal antibody responses to T cell-dependent antigens. It does not upregulate the production of interleukin-2, but superinduces the synthesis of interleukin-10. Our previous results indicated the ICOS gene has a role as a susceptibility locus to B-CLL. Therefore an extended study was undertaken to evaluate the association between four ICOS polymorphisms (which were recently described as functional ones) and susceptibility to B-CLL in the Polish population. A case-control study of 296 individuals, including 146 B-CLL patients, was conducted on four polymorphisms in the ICOS gene. Genotyping of the polymorphisms ICOS ISV1+173T>C (rs10932029), ICOSc.1624C>T (rs10932037), ICOSc.2373G>C (rs4675379), and ICOSc.602A>C (rs10183087) was carried out using allelic discrimination methods with the TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assay. There were no statistically significant differences in the allele, genotype, or haplotype distributions between B-CLL patients and healthy controls for any of the investigated polymorphic markers in the ICOS gene. However, we noted that patients carrying genotype ICOS ISV1+173T>C [TT], ICOSc.602A>C [AA], ICOSc.1624C>T [CC], and ICOSc.2373G>C [GG] have a decreased frequency of progression to a higher Rai stage during 60-month follow-up (21.35% vs. 40.8%, p = 0.013) compared to other individuals. This indicates that the investigated polymorphisms do not modulate the risk of B-CLL in the Polish population, but are associated with disease dynamics, in particular with the time to Rai stage progression.

Hamoudi RA, Appert A, Ye H, et al.
Differential expression of NF-kappaB target genes in MALT lymphoma with and without chromosome translocation: insights into molecular mechanism.
Leukemia. 2010; 24(8):1487-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is characterized by t(11;18)(q21;q21)/API2-MALT1, t(1;14)(p22;q32)/BCL10-IGH and t(14;18)(q32;q21)/IGH-MALT1, which commonly activate the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB pathway. Gastric MALT lymphomas harboring such translocations usually do not respond to Helicobacter pylori eradication, while most of those without translocation can be cured by antibiotics. To understand the molecular mechanism of these different MALT lymphoma subgroups, we performed gene expression profiling analysis of 21 MALT lymphomas (13 translocation-positive, 8 translocation-negative). Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of the NF-kappaB target genes and 4394 additional gene sets covering various cellular pathways, biological processes and molecular functions have shown that translocation-positive MALT lymphomas are characterized by an enhanced expression of NF-kappaB target genes, particularly toll like receptor (TLR)6, chemokine, CC motif, receptor (CCR)2, cluster of differentiation (CD)69 and B-cell CLL/lymphoma (BCL)2, while translocation-negative cases were featured by active inflammatory and immune responses, such as interleukin-8, CD86, CD28 and inducible T-cell costimulator (ICOS). Separate analyses of the genes differentially expressed between translocation-positive and -negative cases and measurement of gene ontology term in these differentially expressed genes by hypergeometric test reinforced the above findings by GSEA. Finally, expression of TLR6, in the presence of TLR2, enhanced both API2-MALT1 and BCL10-mediated NF-kappaB activation in vitro. Our findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism of MALT lymphomas with and without translocation, potentially explaining their different clinical behaviors.

Kämmerer PW, Toyoshima T, Schöder F, et al.
Association of T-cell regulatory gene polymorphisms with oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Oral Oncol. 2010; 46(7):543-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Costimulatory molecules have complementary effects on T-cell activation and their balance may control the development of oral cancer. The aim of this study was to determine the relevance of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), CD28 and inducible costimulator (ICOS) polymorphisms in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Genotyping for CTLA-4 (-1661 A/G and +49 A/G), CD28 (0 C/G and +3160 G/T) and ICOS (+637 A/C and +1599 C/T) was performed in the 83 patients with OSCC, compared to the 40 unrelated healthy volunteers as controls. The genotype CTLA-4 -1661 was significantly different between the patient group and the control group. The allele CTLA-4 -1661 G was significantly found more frequent in patients with OSCC (p=0.001). In bivariate analysis, noticeable differences between OSCC and controls were seen. The combinations CTLA-4 -1661 G/G and CTLA-4 +49 A/G, ICOS +1559 C/T and ICOS +1559 C/C each with CTLA-4 -1661 G/G, ICOS +637 C/C and ICOS +637 A/C each with CTLA-4 -1661, CTLA-4 -1661 A/G and ICOS +637 C/C, CD28 +3160 G/T and CTLA-4 -1661 A/A and CD28 +3160 G/T and CTLA-4 -1661 A/G were seen in the patient group only. Especially the polymorphisms of the CTLA-4 -1661-genotype - alone and in combination with other T cell regulator polymorphisms - seem to be possible predisposing factors for OSCC. Therefore, they might be future targets for a primary prophylaxis or an individualised therapy.

Lee H, Kim JH, Yang SY, et al.
Peripheral blood gene expression of B7 and CD28 family members associated with tumor progression and microscopic lymphovascular invasion in colon cancer patients.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2010; 136(9):1445-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To associate the global gene expression of B7/CD28 family transcripts with pathologic features of colon cancer, we determined the B7/CD28 family transcripts in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from normal subjects and patients with adenomatous polyps and colon cancer, and correlated the results with pathologic features of colon cancer.
METHODS: PBMCs from age-matched normal subjects and patients with adenomatous polyps and colon cancer were analyzed for peripheral blood transcripts (PBTs) of B7/CD28 family using real-time PCR. Differences in expression levels of B7/CD28 PBTs across all cancer stages and between colon cancer patients with or without microscopic lymphovascular invasion (LVI) were analyzed.
RESULTS: The results showed a significant upregulation of PBTs of co-inhibitory molecules such as B7-H3 and PD-1 and a significant PBT downregulation of co-stimulatory molecules including CD28 and ICOS in colon cancer patients. Furthermore, the increase of B7-H3 PBT was strongly associated with tumor invasion (P = 0.025) and advanced TNM stages (P = 0.019), whereas the decline of co-stimulatory ligand B7-H2 PBT was related to regional lymph node metastasis (P = 0.028) and aggressive tumor invasion (P = 0.031). In addition, the ratios of PBT expression of CD28 family to B7 family such as CTLA-4 to B7-H2 and PD-1 to B7-H2 were significantly higher in colon cancer patients with microscopic LVI than in those without LVI (P = 0.001 and P = 0.016, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that B7/CD28 family PBTs may serve as valuable markers reflecting the pathological features of colon cancer.

Ivansson EL, Juko-Pecirep I, Gyllensten UB
Interaction of immunological genes on chromosome 2q33 and IFNG in susceptibility to cervical cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2010; 116(3):544-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infection with human papillomavirus and genetic susceptibility factors may augment disease risk. The immune response consists of complex interactions and it was recently proposed that the association of combinations of genotypes at several genes should be examined. In support of this the combination CD28+17(TT)/IFNG+874(AA) was shown to increase cervical cancer risk in a Brazilian population (VB Guzman et al. New approach reveals CD28 and IFNG gene interaction in the susceptibility to cervical cancer. Hum Mol Genet 2008;17:1838-44) and our aim was to replicate this finding.
METHODS: We re-examined the proposed associations by analysis of polymorphisms at CD28, IFNG, TNF, PDCD1, ICOS and CTLA4 in 1306 Swedish cases and 811 controls.
RESULTS: Logistic regression analysis detected association at single SNP level for CD28+17 (p=0.01), IFNG+874 (p=0.02), and PDCD1+7785 (p=0.04). The two locus combination CD28+17(TT)/IFNG+874(AA) (OR=0.76 (0.60-0.96, empirical p=0.03) and the three-locus combination CD28+17(TT)/IFNG+874(AA)/ICOS+1564(TT) (OR=0.65(0.49-0.87), empirical p=0.006) were associated with decreased risk. The strongest association was detected for the combination CTLA4-319 (CC)/IFNG (AA) (OR=0.67(0.53-0.84), empirical p=0.0007).
CONCLUSION: The observation that these combinations of loci are associated in different populations supports their importance in cervical cancer development although the opposite directions of the effect call for clarification. The polymorphisms studied might not be the functional variants per se, but linked to those exerting a functional effect. The opposite associations in the two populations could then be explained by differences in linkage disequilibrium and population structure.

Liao YL, Chang ST, Kuo SY, et al.
Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma of cytotoxic T-cell phenotype containing a large B-cell proliferation with an undersized B-cell clonal product.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2010; 18(2):185-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma is a nodal peripheral T-cell lymphoma considered to be derived from CD4 follicular helper T cells. It is characterized by the proliferation of arborizing vessels, hyperplastic follicular dendritic cells, and a polymorphous lymphoid infiltrate including large B immunoblasts, which could be polyclonal, oligoclonal, or monoclonal. The polymerase chain reaction-based clonality study of lymphoproliferations is increasingly popular in the diagnostic workup. With the commercially available Biomed-2 protocols, lymphoproliferations with amplicons in the expected size ranges are considered clonal, whereas clonal products outside the expected ranges are extremely rare. We presented the case of a 60-year-old male patient with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, in which the neoplastic T cells expressed CD8, bcl-6, and programmed death-1. Furthermore, there was a proliferation of large B cells in this tumor. The results of T-cell receptor gene rearrangement study using the Biomed-2 protocols showed clonal rearrangement with amplicons falling within the expected size ranges. Interestingly, the size of the amplicons detected by the Biomed-2 immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) rearrangement using FR2/JH primers was around 240 bp, slightly smaller than the expected size ranges. Through cloning, sequencing, and BLAST searches, we confirmed that the FR2/JH amplicon was derived from the IgH rearrangement with a deletion of a short segment. Our case illustrates that polymerase chain reaction amplicons outside the expected size ranges may still be clonal products.

Bogunovic D, O'Neill DW, Belitskaya-Levy I, et al.
Immune profile and mitotic index of metastatic melanoma lesions enhance clinical staging in predicting patient survival.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009; 106(48):20429-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although remission rates for metastatic melanoma are generally very poor, some patients can survive for prolonged periods following metastasis. We used gene expression profiling, mitotic index (MI), and quantification of tumor infiltrating leukocytes (TILs) and CD3+ cells in metastatic lesions to search for a molecular basis for this observation and to develop improved methods for predicting patient survival. We identified a group of 266 genes associated with postrecurrence survival. Genes positively associated with survival were predominantly immune response related (e.g., ICOS, CD3d, ZAP70, TRAT1, TARP, GZMK, LCK, CD2, CXCL13, CCL19, CCR7, VCAM1) while genes negatively associated with survival were cell proliferation related (e.g., PDE4D, CDK2, GREF1, NUSAP1, SPC24). Furthermore, any of the 4 parameters (prevalidated gene expression signature, TILs, CD3, and in particular MI) improved the ability of Tumor, Node, Metastasis (TNM) staging to predict postrecurrence survival; MI was the most significant contributor (HR = 2.13, P = 0.0008). An immune response gene expression signature and presence of TILs and CD3+ cells signify immune surveillance as a mechanism for prolonged survival in these patients and indicate improved patient subcategorization beyond current TNM staging.

Pawlak E, Karabon L, Wlodarska-Polinska I, et al.
Influence of CTLA-4/CD28/ICOS gene polymorphisms on the susceptibility to cervical squamous cell carcinoma and stage of differentiation in the Polish population.
Hum Immunol. 2010; 71(2):195-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
Abnormal expressions of the costimulatory molecules CD28, "inducible co-stimulator" (ICOS), and inhibitory molecule cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) lead to disturbances of immune response and entail an increased risk of cancer. This study was undertaken to evaluate the association between the polymorphisms CTLA-4c.49A>G, CTLA-4g.319C>T, CTLA-4g.*642AT(8_33), CTLA-4g.*6230G>A (CT60), CD28c.17+3T>C, and ICOSc.1554+4GT(8_15), and susceptibility to CSCC. The association between CTLA-4g.319C>T[T] allele and [TT+CT] genotype and susceptibility to CSCC was observed (OR = 1.99, p = 0.003, and OR = 2.07, p = 0.005, respectively). The CTLA-4g.319C>T[T] allele and [TT+CT] genotype increased the risk of well-differentiated CSCC by a factor of 3.84 and 4.44 (p = 0.00001, and p = 0.00001, respectively). In patients with moderately differentiated CSCC, a trend toward increased frequency of CTLA-4g.319C>T[T] allele and CTLA-4g.319C>T[TT+CT] genotype was noticed (OR = 1.68, p = 0.09, and OR = 1.75, p = 0.09, respectively), whereas in low differentiated CSCC such relation was not observed. Both CTLA-4g.*642AT(8_33) [(AT)(8)]/[(AT)(8)] homozygote and [(AT)(8)] allele were overrepresented in CSCC patients in comparison with healthy women (p = 0.004, OR = 1.93, and p = 0.03, OR = 1.41, respectively) but this polymorphism was not related to histologic grade of tumor. CD28c.17+3T>C polymorphism was not associated with susceptibility to CSCC in whole group of patients, but CD28c.17+3T>C[C] allele and CD28c.17+3T>C[CC+TC] genotype were more frequently observed among well differentiated CSCC patients compared with controls (OR = 1.89, p = 0.05, and OR = 2.05, p = 0.05, respectively). Other studied polymorphisms were not associated with susceptibility to CSCC and with histologic grade of CSCC. Our results suggest that the CTLA-4 gene is susceptibility gene to CSCC especially to well-differentiated tumor, while association between CD28 gene polymorphism and disease is restricted only to the well-differentiated CSCC.

Bouwhuis MG, Gast A, Figl A, et al.
Polymorphisms in the CD28/CTLA4/ICOS genes: role in malignant melanoma susceptibility and prognosis?
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2010; 59(2):303-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The appearance of vitiligo and spontaneous regression of the primary lesion in melanoma patients illustrate a relationship between tumor immunity and autoimmunity. T lymphocytes play a major role both in tumor immunity and autoimmunity. CD28, Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) and inducible costimulator (ICOS) molecules are important secondary signal molecules in the T lymphocyte activation. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CD28/CTLA4/ICOS gene region were reported to be associated with several autoimmune diseases including, type-1 diabetes, SLE, autoimmune thyroid diseases and celiac disease. In this study, we investigated the association of SNPs in the CD28, CTLA4 and ICOS genes with the risk of melanoma. We also assessed the prognostic effect of the different polymorphisms in melanoma patients. Twenty-four tagging SNPs across the three genes and four additional SNPs were genotyped in a cohort of 763 German melanoma patients and 734 healthy German controls. Influence on prognosis was determined in 587 melanoma cases belonging to stage I or II of the disease. In general, no differences in genotype or allele frequencies were detected between melanoma patients and controls. However, the variant alleles for two polymorphisms in the CD28 gene were differentially distributed in cases and controls. Similarly no association of any polymorphism with prognosis, except for the rs3181098 polymorphism in the CD28 gene, was observed. In addition, individuals with AA genotype for rs11571323 polymorphism in the ICOS gene showed reduced overall survival. However, keeping in view the correction for multiple hypothesis testing our results suggest that the polymorphisms in the CD28, CTLA4 and ICOS genes at least do not modulate risk of melanoma and nor do those influence the disease prognosis in the investigated population.

Huang Y, Moreau A, Dupuis J, et al.
Peripheral T-cell lymphomas with a follicular growth pattern are derived from follicular helper T cells (TFH) and may show overlapping features with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphomas.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2009; 33(5):682-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rare cases of peripheral T-cell lymphomas with follicular growth pattern (PTCL-F) have been recently reported, and their association with t(5;9)(q33;q22) involving ITK and SYK has been suggested. However, the clinicopathologic aspects of PTCL-F are poorly described and the normal cell counterpart of this subgroup of lymphoma is still unknown. Therefore, we analyzed the pathologic, phenotypic, and cytogenetic features of a series of 30 patients (range: 33 to 88 y) that showed histopathologic features of PTCL-F in at least 1 biopsy (n=30), either at initial presentation (n=26) or at relapse (n=4). Neoplastic cells were medium-sized clear cells that were CD4+ (24/27, 89%), CD10+ (21/29, 72%), BCL-6+ (14/19, 74%), and expressed programed death-1 (27/27, 100%), CXCL13 (23/27, 85%), and ICOS (11/11, 100%), markers of follicular helper T cells (TFH). Four of 22 patients (18%) had t(5;9)(q33;q22) detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Patients with clinical data available had multiple lymphadenopathies (25/28, 89%), stage III to IV diseases (17/26, 65%), B symptoms (7/27, 26%), and skin lesions (6/23, 26%). Three patients with sequential biopsies disclosed clinical and histopathologic features of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma at initial presentation. Our results show that this rare form of PTCL-F (1) has an immunophenotype indicative of derivation from TFH cells, (2) is associated with t(5;9) in a proportion of cases, and (3) shows some overlapping features with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, raising the question of a possible relationship.

Wang J, He M, Shi W, et al.
Inducible costimulator (ICOS) enhances the cytolytic activity of cytokine-induced killer cells against gallbladder cancer in vitro and in vivo.
Cancer Invest. 2009; 27(3):244-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
The generation of genetically modified immunological effector cells is of potential therapeutic value in the treatment of malignancies. Cytokine-induced killer cells (CIKs) have been described as highly efficient cytotoxic effector cells capable of recognizing and lysing tumor cell targets in a non-major histocompatibility complex restricted fashion. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of inducible costimulator (ICOS) on the cytotoxicity of CIK cells against gallbladder cancer. We first prepared CIK-ICOS cells by the transfection of ICOS genes into induced CIK cells, whereas untransfected or enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-transfected CIK cells were treated as controls. We found that CIK-ICOS cells displayed better proliferation and lower apoptosis than the other two CIK control cells after culture. The interferon-gamma level in the culture supernatant of CIK-ICOS cells was also significantly elevated, compared to CIK or CIK-EGFP cells. The cytotoxic effect of CIK-ICOS cells against gallbladder cancer cells was dramatically enhanced at the E:T ratio of 20:1, compared to that of CIK or CIK-EGFP cells. When injected into gallbladder tumor-bearing SCID mice, CIK-ICOS cells significantly slowed down the growth rate of xenografts. CIK-ICOS-treated mice exhibited the least volume variation of the xenografts and more severe necrosis, compared to saline, CIK, or CIK-EGFP cell-treated mice, accompanied by a better in situ survival around xenografts than the other two control cells. Taken together, our results demonstrated that ICOS could enhance the cytotoxic activity of CIK cells, in part, by augmenting cytokine secretion and prolonging cell survival both in vitro and in vivo. This might be considered as the potential immunomodulator for clinical therapy.

Guzman VB, Silva ID, Brenna SM, et al.
High levels of granzyme B expression in invasive cervical carcinoma correlates to poor response to treatment.
Cancer Invest. 2008; 26(5):499-503 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study assessed, in cervical carcinoma, expression levels of seven immune response genes and sought correlation to response to treatment. The expression levels of CD28, CTLA4, ICOS, ICOSL, CD80 and CD86 and granzyme B genes were assessed by real-time RT-PCR in pre-treatment tumor fragments. During the six-month follow-up after treatment, 8 patients presented tumor and 10 survived free of tumor. The only gene whose expression levels were higher in patients with poor outcome (p = 0.03) was granzyme B. Further evaluation, in adequately powered prospective studies is warranted to confirm the data and to translate this observation to the clinical setting.

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