Intratumoral expression analysis reveals that OX40 and TIM‑3 are prominently expressed and have variable associations with clinical outcomes in high grade serous ovarian cancer

Nicole E. James, Ashley D. Valenzuela, Jenna B. Emerson, Morgan Woodman, Katherine Miller, Virginia Hovanesian, Joyce Ou, Jennifer R. Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patients with ovarian cancer exhibit low response rates to anti‑programmed cell death protein‑1 (PD‑1) based therapies, despite ovarian tumors demonstrating measurable immune responses. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to comparatively examine expression of notable immune co‑stimulatory and co‑inhibitory receptors in order identify the most abundant receptors that could potentially serve as therapeutic targets to enhance immunotherapy response in high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) was employed to compare levels of various HGSOC and pan‑cancer cohorts. To confirm these findings at the protein level, immunofluorescence of select receptors was performed in 29 HGSOC patient tissue samples. TCGA and Kaplan Meier analysis was employed to determine the association of highly expressed immune receptors with clinical outcomes. TIM‑3 and OX40 exhibited the highest expression in HGSOC at both the gene and protein level, with TIM‑3 demonstrating highest levels on both CD8+ and CD4+ T cell subsets. Pan‑cancer analysis determined that TIM‑3 and OX40 levels were similar to those in immunotherapy‑respon‑ sive cancers, while PD‑1 exhibited much lower expression in HGSOC. Finally, OX40 was most strongly associated with improved patient survival. Overall, the current study suggested that TIM‑3 and OX40 are frequently expressed intratumoral immune receptors in HGSOC and thus represent promising immune targets. Furthermore, the present analysis strongly suggested that OX40 was significantly associated with a longer survival and could potentially be utilized as a prognostic factor for improved patient outcomes in HGSOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number188
JournalOncology Letters
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • high grade serous ovarian cancer
  • OX40
  • TIM-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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