Objective: To define immunoscore in bladder cancer studying T helper 1 (Th1) immunoreaction. To define a cancer-specific survival model based on Th1 cells infiltration.
Methods: A total of 252 patients underwent primary transurethral resection of bladder tumour at our Institution. A retrospective review of a selected cohort with pT1 and muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) lesions was performed. Pathology blocks were marked with CD3 and CD8 antibodies. Immune cells density in stromal reaction (SR) was measured on five distinct high-power field (HPF) by two dedicated uro-pathologist blinded for patients’ evolution.
Statistics: Student test or non-parametric Wilcoxon test as appropriate to compare means between two groups. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve to define markers threshold. Cox model to assess survival’s predictors.
Results: Ten pT1 and 20 MIBC consecutive cases were analysed. Median follow-up was 33.4 months. Immunohistological analysis for pT1 lesions featured limited SR. For MIBC, the mean density of lymphocytes in the SR was of 105/HPF (CD3) and 86/HPF (CD8). Survivors harboured higher lymphocytes densities versus non survivors (CD3: p = 0.0319; CD8: p = 0.0279). CD3 (p = 0.034) and CD8 (p = 0.034) lymphocytes densities were independently associated with cancer-specific survival on Cox model analyses. The retrospective design and small size of cohorts are the study limitations.
Conclusions: High CD3 and CD8 lymphocytes SR densities are associated with better cancer-specific survival for MIBC. Th1 reaction against the tumour seems to be protective for bladder cancer. Further evaluation is warranted.