University of Oulu

Tahkola, K., Ahtiainen, M., Mecklin, JP. et al. Stromal hyaluronan accumulation is associated with low immune response and poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. Sci Rep 11, 12216 (2021).

Stromal hyaluronan accumulation is associated with low immune response and poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer

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Author: Tahkola, Kyösti1,2; Ahtiainen, Maarit3; Mecklin, Jukka-Pekka4,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Surgery, Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland
2Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
3Department of Pathology, Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland
4Department of Education and Research, Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland
5Sport&Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
6Department of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
7Institute of Biomedicine, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
8Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-17


Hyaluronan (HA) accumulation has been associated with poor survival in various cancers, but the mechanisms for this phenomenon are still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic significance of stromal HA accumulation and its association with host immune response in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The study material consisted of 101 radically treated patients for PDAC from a single geographical area. HA staining was evaluated using a HA-specific probe, and the patterns of CD3, CD8, CD73 and PD-L1 expression were evaluated using immunohistochemistry. HA staining intensity of tumour stromal areas was assessed digitally using QuPath. CD3- and CD8-based immune cell score (ICS) was determined. High-level stromal HA expression was significantly associated with poor disease-specific survival (p = 0.037) and overall survival (p = 0.013) In multivariate analysis, high-level stromal HA expression was an independent negative prognostic factor together with histopathological grade, TNM stage, CD73 positivity in tumour cells and low ICS. Moreover, high-level stromal HA expression was associated with low ICS (p = 0.017). In conclusion, stromal HA accumulation is associated with poor survival and low immune response in PDAC.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Article number: 12216
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-91796-x
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: This study received funding from the Cancer Foundation Finland, the Finnish Medical Foundation, the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation and the State Research Funding.
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