The immunohistochemical detection
of natural killer cells in colorectal adenocarcinoma
I.S. Papanikolaou, A.Ch. Lazaris, N. Kavantzas,
A. Lambrinou, A. Archimandritis, P.S. Davaris
Dept. of Pathology, The Athens National University Medical Faculty
Aim: Colorectal carcinoma is considered to be a model
of a human neoplasm, in which prognosis is mainly determined by
histological stage. However, in spite of this fact, the prognosis
of certain patient subgroups in carcinoma of the colon and rectum
remains vague. This applies especially for patients of intermediate
stages (Dukes B and C). Therefore, the development and clinical
application of new prognostic markers of the disease is essential;
markers of the hostí s immune response could potentially be used
Material - Methods: In the present immunohistochemical
study, we investigated the presence of CD57 (the natural killer
cell-like marker) in a panel of 82 cases of colon adenocarcinoma
of various stages, grades and sizes. The marker was stained with
an appropriate monoclonal antibody which was applied to paraffin-embedded
tissue sections from the tumour samples. The percentage of the
positively stained cells in each case was evaluated by image analysis.
Results: Expression of CD57 was not related to any of
the epidemiological or histologic characteristics of the examined
cases, except for an inverse association between the expression
of the marker at the primary tumour site and patientsí age.
Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that less
natural killer cells are found in the stroma of the primary tumour
site in older patients. This could possibly be attributed to decreased
adhesion molecule-mediated migration.
Key words: Natural killer cells, colorectal carcinoma,
immunohistochemistry, immune response.