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Concept: Lymph node


The chemokine receptor CCR7 mediates lymphoid dissemination of many cancers, including lymphomas and epithelial carcinomas, thus representing an attractive therapeutic target. Previous results have highlighted the potential of the anti-CCR7 monoclonal antibodies to inhibit migration in transwell assays. The present study aimed to evaluate the in vivo therapeutic efficacy of an anti-CCR7 antibody in a xenografted human mantle cell lymphoma model.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Cancer, Signal transduction, Lymph node, Types of cancer, Sarcoma, Mantle cell lymphoma


Answer questions and earn CME/CNE The revision of the eighth edition of the primary tumor, lymph node, and metastasis (TNM) classification of the American Joint Commission of Cancer (AJCC) for breast cancer was determined by a multidisciplinary team of breast cancer experts. The panel recognized the need to incorporate biologic factors, such as tumor grade, proliferation rate, estrogen and progesterone receptor expression, human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) expression, and gene expression prognostic panels into the staging system. AJCC levels of evidence and guidelines for all tumor types were followed as much as possible. The panel felt that, to maintain worldwide value, the tumor staging system should remain based on TNM anatomic factors. However, the recognition of the prognostic influence of grade, hormone receptor expression, and HER2 amplification mandated their inclusion into the staging system. The value of commercially available, gene-based assays was acknowledged and prognostic input added. Tumor biomarkers and low Oncotype DX recurrence scores can alter prognosis and stage. These updates are expected to provide additional precision and flexibility to the staging system and were based on the extent of published information and analysis of large, as yet unpublished databases. The eighth edition of the AJCC TNM staging system, thus, provides a flexible platform for prognostic classification based on traditional anatomic factors, which can be modified and enhanced using patient biomarkers and multifactorial prognostic panel data. The eighth edition remains the worldwide basis for breast cancer staging and will incorporate future online updates to remain timely and relevant. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Carcinoma in situ, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Lymph node, TNM staging system, Ann Arbor staging


Pancreatic cancer is known to be one of the most lethal cancers. The majority of patients present with advanced stage disease, making curative approach unachievable. In untreated patients, the median survival does not exceed 6 months in metastatic disease and 10 months in locally advanced disease. Furthermore, the 5-year survival rate remains poor even in patients with early stage disease who are surgical candidates. The detrimental outcome is related to the high potency of developing metastasis which can be detected at diagnosis, when the disease progresses or relapses after surgery. Although the liver is the most common site of pancreatic cancer metastases, the cancer can escape the liver in some cases and metastasize to the lung or other distant organs. The involvement of some sites not others might reflect subgroups of this cancer with different molecular backgrounds. Identifying these groups may have utility in determining prognosis and stratifying treatment for patients.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Lung cancer, Lymph node, Prostate cancer, Testicular cancer


The currently-used modes of administration of immunotherapeutic agents result in their limited delivery to the lymph nodes and/or require repetitive ultrasound-guided nodal injections or microsurgical lymphatic injections, limiting their feasibility. Here, we report on the feasibility and safety of a new method of long-term repetitive intralymphatic (IL) infusion of immune cells, using implantable delivery ports.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymph node, Lymphatic system


One of the characteristics of the central nervous system is the lack of a classical lymphatic drainage system. Although it is now accepted that the central nervous system undergoes constant immune surveillance that takes place within the meningeal compartment, the mechanisms governing the entrance and exit of immune cells from the central nervous system remain poorly understood. In searching for T-cell gateways into and out of the meninges, we discovered functional lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses. These structures express all of the molecular hallmarks of lymphatic endothelial cells, are able to carry both fluid and immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, and are connected to the deep cervical lymph nodes. The unique location of these vessels may have impeded their discovery to date, thereby contributing to the long-held concept of the absence of lymphatic vasculature in the central nervous system. The discovery of the central nervous system lymphatic system may call for a reassessment of basic assumptions in neuroimmunology and sheds new light on the aetiology of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases associated with immune system dysfunction.

Concepts: Inflammation, White blood cell, Central nervous system, Brain, Lymph node, Lymphatic system, Lymph, Lymph vessel


Chronic stress induces signalling from the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and drives cancer progression, although the pathways of tumour cell dissemination are unclear. Here we show that chronic stress restructures lymphatic networks within and around tumours to provide pathways for tumour cell escape. We show that VEGFC derived from tumour cells is required for stress to induce lymphatic remodelling and that this depends on COX2 inflammatory signalling from macrophages. Pharmacological inhibition of SNS signalling blocks the effect of chronic stress on lymphatic remodelling in vivo and reduces lymphatic metastasis in preclinical cancer models and in patients with breast cancer. These findings reveal unanticipated communication between stress-induced neural signalling and inflammation, which regulates tumour lymphatic architecture and lymphogenous tumour cell dissemination. These findings suggest that limiting the effects of SNS signalling to prevent tumour cell dissemination through lymphatic routes may provide a strategy to improve cancer outcomes.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Lymph node, Benign tumor, Tumor, Neoplasm


Antioxidants in the diet and supplements are widely used to protect against cancer, but clinical trials with antioxidants do not support this concept. Some trials show that antioxidants actually increase cancer risk and a study in mice showed that antioxidants accelerate the progression of primary lung tumors. However, little is known about the impact of antioxidant supplementation on the progression of other types of cancer, including malignant melanoma. We show that administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) increases lymph node metastases in an endogenous mouse model of malignant melanoma but has no impact on the number and size of primary tumors. Similarly, NAC and the soluble vitamin E analog Trolox markedly increased the migration and invasive properties of human malignant melanoma cells but did not affect their proliferation. Both antioxidants increased the ratio between reduced and oxidized glutathione in melanoma cells and in lymph node metastases, and the increased migration depended on new glutathione synthesis. Furthermore, both NAC and Trolox increased the activation of the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) RHOA, and blocking downstream RHOA signaling abolished antioxidant-induced migration. These results demonstrate that antioxidants and the glutathione system play a previously unappreciated role in malignant melanoma progression.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Lung cancer, Lymph node, Antioxidant, Melanoma, Glutathione


Stromal-derived intratumoural heterogeneity (ITH) has been shown to undermine molecular stratification of patients into appropriate prognostic/predictive subgroups. Here, using several clinically relevant colorectal cancer (CRC) gene expression signatures, we assessed the susceptibility of these signatures to the confounding effects of ITH using gene expression microarray data obtained from multiple tumour regions of a cohort of 24 patients, including central tumour, the tumour invasive front and lymph node metastasis. Sample clustering alongside correlative assessment revealed variation in the ability of each signature to cluster samples according to patient-of-origin rather than region-of-origin within the multi-region dataset. Signatures focused on cancer-cell intrinsic gene expression were found to produce more clinically useful, patient-centred classifiers, as exemplified by the CRC intrinsic signature (CRIS), which robustly clustered samples by patient-of-origin rather than region-of-origin. These findings highlight the potential of cancer-cell intrinsic signatures to reliably stratify CRC patients by minimising the confounding effects of stromal-derived ITH.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Gene expression, Cancer, Oncology, Molecular biology, Lymph node, DNA microarray


Lymphocytes circulate through lymph nodes (LN) in search for antigen in what is believed to be a continuous process. Here, we show that lymphocyte migration through lymph nodes and lymph occurred in a non-continuous, circadian manner. Lymphocyte homing to lymph nodes peaked at night onset, with cells leaving the tissue during the day. This resulted in strong oscillations in lymphocyte cellularity in lymph nodes and efferent lymphatic fluid. Using lineage-specific genetic ablation of circadian clock function, we demonstrated this to be dependent on rhythmic expression of promigratory factors on lymphocytes. Dendritic cell numbers peaked in phase with lymphocytes, with diurnal oscillations being present in disease severity after immunization to induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). These rhythms were abolished by genetic disruption of T cell clocks, demonstrating a circadian regulation of lymphocyte migration through lymph nodes with time-of-day of immunization being critical for adaptive immune responses weeks later.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymph node, Adaptive immune system, Lymphatic system, Dendritic cell, Circadian rhythm, Lymph, Lymph vessel


Programmed death-1 receptor (PD-L1, B7-H1) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) pathway blockade is a promising therapy for treating cancer. However, the mechanistic contribution of host and tumor PD-L1 and PD-1 signaling to the therapeutic efficacy of PD-L1 and PD-1 blockade remains elusive. Here, we evaluated 3 tumor-bearing mouse models that differ in their sensitivity to PD-L1 blockade and demonstrated a loss of therapeutic efficacy of PD-L1 blockade in immunodeficient mice and in PD-L1- and PD-1-deficient mice. In contrast, neither knockout nor overexpression of PD-L1 in tumor cells had an effect on PD-L1 blockade efficacy. Human and murine studies showed high levels of functional PD-L1 expression in dendritic cells and macrophages in the tumor microenvironments and draining lymph nodes. Additionally, expression of PD-L1 on dendritic cells and macrophages in ovarian cancer and melanoma patients correlated with the efficacy of treatment with either anti-PD-1 alone or in combination with anti-CTLA-4. Thus, PD-L1-expressing dendritic cells and macrophages may mechanistically shape and therapeutically predict clinical efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockade.

Concepts: Immune system, Gene, Gene expression, Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Lymph node, Apoptosis