Open Access

Addressing the importance of melanoma tumor‑infiltrating lymphocytes in disease progression and clinicopathological characteristics

  • Authors:
    • Tatjana Zablocka
    • Anna Nikolajeva
    • Madara Kreismane
    • Dace Pjanova
    • Sergejs Isajevs
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: October 8, 2021     https://doi.org/10.3892/mco.2021.2417
  • Article Number: 255
  • Copyright: © Zablocka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

Tumor‑infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in primary cutaneous melanoma are considered to represent the host's antitumor immunological response; however, whether there are associations between TIL grade and histopathological characteristics and disease survival remains controversial. BRAF mutational status has been established as a routine screening method in advanced malignant melanoma, and worse prognosis rates have been demonstrated in patients harboring BRAF mutations. However, the general impact of BRAF mutational status on survival and histopathological characteristics is still debated. The aim of the present study was to compare the value of the assessment of TIL grade in stages I‑II nodular and superficial spreading melanoma and BRAF mutational status, and its influence on clinicopathological characteristics. Altogether, 85 patients at stage IA‑IIC who underwent melanoma surgical treatment at the Riga East University Hospital between 2012 and 2017 were retrospectively enrolled in the study. The histopathological characteristics were assessed according to the current World Health Organization and The American Joint Committee on Cancer 8th edition guidelines. The current study showed that patients with melanoma with high TIL grade had significantly better progression‑free survival than patients with low TIL grade (hazard ratio, 4.9; 95% CI, 2.3‑11.2; P<0.0001). BRAF mutations were observed in 52 patients (61.2%). BRAF mutational status in melanoma was associated with Clark invasion level (P=0.045), patient age (P=0.02) and TIL (P=0.04). The assessment of TIL grade in stage I‑II melanoma demonstrated prognostic significance value and may help improve risk assessment in the future.
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