Cancer Immunol Res 2019 May 6;7(5):737-750. Epub 2019 Mar 6.
Department of Oncology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China.
Tumor microenvironment (TME) cells constitute a vital element of tumor tissue. Increasing evidence has elucidated their clinicopathologic significance in predicting outcomes and therapeutic efficacy. Nonetheless, no studies have reported a systematic analysis of cellular interactions in the TME. In this study, we comprehensively estimated the TME infiltration patterns of 1,524 gastric cancer patients and systematically correlated the TME phenotypes with genomic characteristics and clinicopathologic features of gastric cancer using two proposed computational algorithms. Three TME phenotypes were defined, and the TMEscore was constructed using principal component analysis algorithms. The high TMEscore subtype was characterized by immune activation and response to virus and IFNγ. Activation of transforming growth factor β, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and angiogenesis pathways were observed in the low TMEscore subtype, which are considered T-cell suppressive and may be responsible for significantly worse prognosis in gastric cancer [hazard ratio (HR), 0.42; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.330.54; < 0.001]. Multivariate analysis revealed that the TMEscore was an independent prognostic biomarker, and its value in predicting immunotherapeutic outcomes was also confirmed (IMvigor210 cohort: HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.46-0.89; = 0.008; GSE78220 cohort: HR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.07-0.89; = 0.021). Depicting a comprehensive landscape of the TME characteristics of gastric cancer may, therefore, help to interpret the responses of gastric tumors to immunotherapies and provide new strategies for the treatment of cancers.