University of Oulu

Karjalainen, H., Sirniö, P., Tuomisto, A. et al. A prognostic score based on B cell and plasma cell densities compared to T cell densities in colorectal cancer. Int J Colorectal Dis 38, 47 (2023).

A prognostic score based on B cell and plasma cell densities compared to T cell densities in colorectal cancer

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Author: Karjalainen, Henna1; Sirniö, Päivi1,2; Tuomisto, Anne1;
Organizations: 1Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, POB 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Pathology, Medical Research Center Oulu, 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, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-07-13


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare a B cell/plasma cell–based scoring system to T cell score and evaluate their prognostic value in colorectal cancer.

Methods: We used immunohistochemistry to analyze the expression of CD20, CD138, CD3, and CD8 in 221 colorectal cancer patients. CD20+ B cell and CD138+ plasma cell densities in the tumor center and invasive margin were calculated and converted into a B cell/plasma cell score. T cell score was defined similarly, using CD3+ and CD8+ T cell densities. Their associations with tumor and patient characteristics and survival were analyzed.

Results: Kaplan–Meier analysis showed a high B cell/plasma cell score was associated with a tendency towards longer survival (p = 0.089), but no statistically significant association was found. High T cell score associated with longer cancer-specific survival in Kaplan–Meier analysis and multivariable Cox regression analysis (p < 0.001). Additionally, high T cell score associated with lower disease stage (p < 0.001) and lesser lymphovascular invasion (p = 0.020).

Conclusions: High T cell score is associated with longer survival and clinicopathological factors typical to less aggressive tumors. This study did not support the additional prognostic value of B cell/plasma cell quantification.

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Series: International journal of colorectal disease
ISSN: 0179-1958
ISSN-E: 1432-1262
ISSN-L: 0179-1958
Volume: 38
Issue: 1
Article number: 47
DOI: 10.1007/s00384-023-04322-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. Juha P. Väyrynen was supported by grant from Cancer Foundation Finland (59–5619).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit