Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Invasive Breast Cancer Predicted by CD4+, CD8+, and FOXP3+ Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Anatomic Pathology, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia-Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.


Background: Response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NC) in individuals with invasive breast cancer (IBC) must be monitored, and biomarkers are needed. NC can activate an anti-tumour immune response in its microenvironment, known as Tumor-infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL). TIL components believed to have great potential as predictors are CD4+, CD8+, and FOXP3+ TIL. This study aims to explore TIL components that can potentially be predictive biomarkers of NC pathological responses. Methods: A sample size of 40 were analyzed based on the relationship between CD4+, CD8+, and FOXP3+ TIL expression with the Miller-Payne (MP) grading system. Age, tumour grade, PR, ER, Ki-67, and HER2 were also evaluated. CD4+, CD8+, and FOXP3+ TIL expressions were analayzed by IHC staining, while other data were collected from archives. Data was analyzed using univariate and multivariate analysis. Results: Univariate analysis showed a significant relationship between CD4+ TIL and MP (p<0.001), CD8+ and MP (p=0.004), and FOXP3 with MP (p<0.001). The simultaneous integration of the three biomarkers in one model was not good enough to be a predictive model. Therefore, an exploratory analysis was conducted by testing several alternative models that combined two of the three existing biomarkers. It turned out that CD4+ TIL in model 2 (CD4+CD8+) and FOXP3+ TIL in model 4 (CD8+FOXP3+) showed significant coefficient values. Moreover, all of the threshold coefficients in model 4 are significant. Conclusion: This study shows that CD4+, CD8+, and FOXP3+ TIL have promising potential as predictive biomarkers. In particular, FOXP3+ is dominant in predictive models of pathological response in patients with IBC.


Main Subjects