- Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) expressing the transcription factor T-bet, a master regulator, positively predict longer recurrence-free survival (RFS) and OS compared with T-bet-negative TILs in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Why this matters
- T-bet expression may be a new prognostic biomarker for TNBC that will help guide choice of adjuvant chemotherapy and development of new therapies.
- Retrospective cohort of 242 women with TNBC who underwent surgery without neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
- T-bet+ and CD8+ expression on TILs, assayed by immunohistochemical staining, was each defined as ≥30 cells/6.25×10-3 mm2.
- Funding: Fukuoka Foundation for Sound Health Cancer Research Fund.
- 27.7% of tumors were T-bet+ and 52.5% were CD8+.
- T-bet expression and CD8 expression were correlated (P<.0001>
- Median follow-up of patients was 67 (range, 2-150) months.
- Compared with patients with T-bet− tumors, those with T-bet+ tumors had longer OS (P=.047).
- Compared with patients with CD8+/T-bet− tumors, the combination of CD8+ and T-bet+ tumors was associated with better RFS (P=.037) and OS (P=.024).
- Adjuvant chemotherapy was more beneficial for patients with T-bet+ tumors (RFS: P=.031; OS: P=.0003).
- According to multivariate analysis, T-bet expression on TILs was an independent and positive prognostic marker (RFS: HR, 0.36; P=.037; OS: HR, 0.30; P=.039).
- Retrospective observational design.