Publication in Clinical Cancer Research of a directed study by Dr. J. Calderaro, (J-M. Pawlotsky team) showing that modifications immunity occurs very early in the malignant transformation on cirrhotic liver.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is responsible for one third of cancer deaths worldwide, and most often develops in a context of chronic inflammation. While the immune microenvironment of tumours plays a decisive role in their evolution and is the subject of numerous studies, the role of immunity during the early stages of carcinogenesis remains little studied. In a study directed by Dr Julien Calderaro (Department of Pathology, Inserm U955 Equipe 18) and carried out in collaboration with the Cordeliers research centre, the authors show that immune modifications occur very early during malignant transformation in cirrhotic liver. Aggregates of immune cells, called “tertiary lymphoid structures” were thus identified in a significant percentage of pre-neoplastic liver lesions. Interestingly, the authors also observed an increase in the expression of protumoral cytokines and immune checkpoint inhibitors (TIM3, PDL1). These data suggest that the early stages of malignant transformation are capable of inducing anti-tumour immune responses, but that the concomitant expression of different inhibitory molecules promotes their escape. Enhancement of these responses could be considered to prevent the occurrence of a subset of liver cancers.

Link to Article: Clinical Cancer Research, April 8, 2020