B Cells and Tertiary Lymphoid Structures Influence Survival in Lung Cancer Patients with Resectable Tumors
Pulmonology Department, Lung Cancer and Muscle Research Group, Hospital del Mar-IMIM, Parc de Salut Mar, Health and Experimental Sciences Department (CEXS), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Medical School, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Pathology Department, Hospital del Mar-IMIM, Parc de Salut Mar, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Scientific, Statistics, and Technical Department, Hospital del Mar-IMIM, Parc de Salut Mar, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Thoracic Surgery Department, Hospital del Mar-IMIM, Parc de Salut Mar, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 August 2020 / Revised: 31 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 September 2020 / Published: 16 September 2020
Nowadays, humans still die of lung cancer (LC), a disease mainly related to cigarette smoking (CS). Smokers also develop chronic bronchitis, namely chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Environmental factors and a natural predisposition from the patients’ sides may render them more prone to develop tumors derived from CS. Thus, a great number of patients may suffer from chronic bronchitis and LC simultaneously. Chronic respiratory diseases are also important risks factors for LC. The immune system, among other biological mechanisms, protect our cells from infections and cancer development. Several immune structures and cells may be altered in the tumors of patients with COPD as opposed to lung tumors of patients with no underlying respiratory disease. A total of 133 patients with LC participated in the study: 93 with underlying COPD. Several structures (tertiary lymphoid structures, TLS) and T and B lymphocytes were analyzed in the lung tumor and non-tumor areas (specimens obtained during surgical extirpation of the tumors). We found that in LC patients with COPD, compared to those without it, fewer numbers of TLSs and B cells were detected, and those patients died significantly earlier. These results have implications in the diagnosis and treatment options of lung tumors in patients with underlying respiratory diseases.