Changes in regulatory T cells of lung cancer patients before and after GM-CSF modified tumor cell vaccine treatment and their clinical significance

Chun Juan Du, Jin Pu Yu, Hui Li, Nai Ning Zhang, Yan Hua Teng, Zhen Li, Yang An, Shui Cao, Xiu Bao Ren

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    Objective: To observe the alteration in proportion of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the peripheral blood of lung cancer patients treated with GM-CSF modified tumor cell vaccine (GVAX) and its relationship to clinical characteristics and survival rate of lung cancer patients. Methods: Eighty-five lung cancer patients treated with GVAX in Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Tianjin Medical University were enrolled in the present study, including 28 squamous carcinoma, 47 adenocarcinoma, 10 small cell lung cancers, among which 23 in early stage (I~IIIA), 62 in advanced stage (IIIB~IV). The proportion of Tregs in the peripheral blood before and after GVAX treatment was detected by flow cytometry, and the correlation between the alteration of Treg proportional and clinicopathological characteristics and overall survival of lung cancer patients were analyzed.Results: One-year, 3-year survival rates of 85 patients with lung cancer treated with GVAX were 69.3% and 48.2%, respectively. The proportion of Treg in peripheral blood significantly decreased after GVAX treatment (\[4.86±2.52\]% vs \[5.52±2.68\]%, P<0.05). The proportion of Tregs significantly decreased in the patients with normal LDH level (\[4.50±2.23\]% vs \[5.59±2.76\]%, P<0.05) while increased in those with high LDH level (\[6.00±3.06\]% vs \[5.30±2.47\]%, P<0.05) after GVAX treatment. The proportion of Tregs decreased more dramatically in the patients treated with GVAX more than 1 course than in those patients with only 1 course (\[-2.11±1.620\]% vs \[-0.39±2.39\]%, P<0.05). The alteration of Treg proportion after GVAX treatment was tightly related to the prognosis of the patients. Patients with a decrease of Tregs showed longer overall survival (OS) than those displaying an increase of Treg after GVAX treatment (21 months vs 10 months, P<0.05), especially patients in advanced stage (18 months vs 8 months, P<0.05). Conclusion: The alteration of Treg proportion in peripheral blood could be a potential immunological indicator to evaluate the efficacy and prognosis of lung cancer patients who received GVAX treatment. The declining pattern of Treg after GVAX treatment implies a better prognosis of patients.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalChinese Journal of Cancer Biotherapy
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Nov 4 2011



    • Efficacy
    • Efficacy evalvation criteria
    • GM CSF modified tumor cell vaccine
    • LDH
    • Lung cancer
    • Prognosis
    • Regulatory T cell

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Medicine
    • Pharmacology
    • Cancer Research

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