Date of Completion
College of Arts and Science Honors
Dr. Ralph Budd
Dr. Rory Waterman
Dr. Jonathan Boyson
Immunology, Medicine, Immunobiology, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Immune Cell Cancer Therapy, Cisplatinum
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer death in people in the United States.1Once the cancer has metastasized (stage IV), the five-year overall survival rate decreases to less than 5%.2 Numerous efforts have been conducted to find new forms of therapy that target these tumor cells. Gamma delta (gd) T cells and CD8+ T cells manifest robust cytolytic machinery to kill cancerous or virally infected cells. Tumor cells and other immune cells can inhibit T cell effector function by expressing PD-L1 (Programmed Death-Ligand 1) that engages PD-1 on chronically activated T cells.3 In the current study, NSCLC tumor aspirations from six patients undergoing intralesional cisplatinum chemotherapy were examined using multi-color flow cytometry to define the composition of immune cells, their state of activation, and their expression of PD-1 and PD-L1. We observed that, compared to peripheral blood mononuclear cells, the tumor infiltrating immune cells manifested elevated numbers of activated T cells expressing CD25 and CD56, and increased proportions of CD8+ and gd T cells. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of identifying and phenotyping tumor-infiltrating immune cells using intralesional aspiration and set the stage for future studies using single cell RNAseq and to potentially develop cell-based immune therapy.
Cupak, Delores R., "Immune Cell Composition in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Tumors" (2021). UVM College of Arts and Sciences College Honors Theses. 87.
Available for download on Saturday, May 14, 2022