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Elevated Flt3L predicts long-term survival in patients with high-grade gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

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Item Type:Article
Title:Elevated Flt3L predicts long-term survival in patients with high-grade gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms
Creators Name:Detjen, K.M. and Otto, R. and Giesecke, Y. and Geisler, L. and Riemer, P. and Jann, H. and Grötzinger, C. and Sers, C. and Pascher, A. and Lüdde, T. and Leser, U. and Wiedenmann, B. and Sigal, M. and Tacke, F. and Roderburg, C. and Hammerich, L.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: The clinical management of high-grade gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NEN) is challenging due to disease heterogeneity, illustrating the need for reliable biomarkers facilitating patient stratification and guiding treatment decisions. FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) is emerging as a prognostic or predictive surrogate marker of host tumoral immune response and might enable the stratification of patients with otherwise comparable tumor features. METHODS: We evaluated Flt3L gene expression in tumor tissue as well as circulating Flt3L levels as potential biomarkers in a cohort of 54 patients with GEP-NEN. RESULTS: We detected a prominent induction of Flt3L gene expression in individual G2 and G3 NEN, but not in G1 neuroendocrine tumors (NET). Flt3L mRNA expression levels in tumor tissue predicted the disease-related survival of patients with highly proliferative G2 and G3 NEN more accurately than the conventional criteria of grading or NEC/NET differentiation. High level Flt3L mRNA expression was associated with the increased expression of genes related to immunogenic cell death, lymphocyte effector function and dendritic cell maturation, suggesting a less tolerogenic (more proinflammatory) phenotype of tumors with Flt3L induction. Importantly, circulating levels of Flt3L were also elevated in high grade NEN and correlated with patients' progression-free and disease-related survival, thereby reflecting the results observed in tumor tissue. CONCLUSIONS: We propose Flt3L as a prognostic biomarker for high grade GEP-NEN, harnessing its potential as a marker of an inflammatory tumor microenvironment. Flt3L measurements in serum, which can be easily be incorporated into clinical routine, should be further evaluated to guide patient stratification and treatment decisions.
Keywords:Neuroendocrine Neoplasm, Immuno-Oncology, Tumor Microenvironment, Circulating Biomarker, Flt3L, Cytokine
Page Range:4463
Date:1 September 2021
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13174463
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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