- High tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in the primary tumor of stage 3 breast cancer (BCa) are associated with better recurrence-free survival (RFS) and OS.
- High TILs do not predict benefit from intensified platinum-based chemotherapy.
Why this matters
- This study is among the first to find that TIL levels have a prognostic role in stage 3 BCa.
- TILs may not be a biomarker of benefit from intensified platinum-based chemotherapy.
- Long-term outcome of a randomized controlled trial (N=248) of adjuvant intensified platinum-based chemotherapy vs conventional anthracycline-based chemotherapy for stage 3 BCa.
- TILs were assessed in the primary tumor, with low TILs defined as ≤10% and high TILs as >10%.
- Funding: Dutch Cancer Society; others.
- Median follow-up, 9.52 years.
- High TILs were associated, after adjustment, with better survival outcome:
- RFS: multivariable HR, 0.82 (P=.01).
- OS: multivariable HR, 0.80 (P=.01).
- No interaction between TILs and benefit from intensified platinum-based chemotherapy (P=.35).
- TIL levels were higher in BRCA1-like tumors than BRCA2-like tumors (median TILs of 20% vs 10%; P<.001>
- Small sample size.
- Retrospective design.
- Heterogeneity of BCa subtypes.