Cancer Cell B7-H3 Expression Is More Prevalent in the Pancreato-Biliary Subtype of Ampullary Cancer Than in Pancreatic Cancer

Emma E. Geerdes, Kostandinos Sideras, M. Hosein Aziz, Casper H. van Eijck, Marco J. Bruno, Dave Sprengers, Patrick P.C. Boor, Jaap Kwekkeboom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

B7-H3 is an immunomodulatory member of the B7-superfamily with limited expression in normal tissues, but overexpression in several types of cancer. Therefore it is currently being explored as a potential target for cancer immunotherapy. The biological relevance of B7-H3 expression in pancreatic cancer is unclear, while there are no data on B7-H3 expression in ampullary cancer. We aimed to compare intra-tumoral B7-H3 expression between these two closely related cancer types and analyze its association with post-surgical disease course. B7-H3 expression levels were determined by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays of resected tumors of 137 pancreatic cancer patients and 83 patients with ampullary cancer of the pancreato-biliary subtype. B7-H3 was more frequently expressed in cancer cells of ampullary cancer patients compared to pancreatic cancer patients (51% versus 21%; p< 0.001). In ampullary cancer patients, but not in pancreatic cancer patients, B7-H3 cancer cell expression was associated with longer disease-free survival and patient survival. However, the prognostic value of B7-H3 was lost upon adjustment for CA19-9 levels. The frequencies of B7-H3 expression in tumor stroma did not differ between the two types of cancer (66% versus 63%). In both cancer types, stromal B7-H3 expression was not associated with post-surgical disease course. Compared to pancreatic cancer, B7-H3 is more frequently expressed in cancer cells of patients with the pancreato-biliary subtype of ampullary cancer. These data suggest that B7-H3 may represent an interesting potential target for immunotherapy in ampullary cancer rather than in pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number615691
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021

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