Presence and quantification of macrophages in squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix

Debra S. Heller, M. Hameed, B. Cracchiolo, M. Wiederkehr, D. Scott, J. Skurnick, N. Ammar, W. C. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cervical cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in women. The presence of macrophages as well as other inflammatory cells has been noted in many of these tumors. Intratumoral macrophages/monocytes induce anergy to cytokine therapy and cause apoptosis in natural killer(NK) and T cells. The aim of this study was to better evaluate and quantify the presence of macrophages in these tumors. Twenty-four cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix seen at our institution were evaluated. Sections were stained with CD68, a marker for macrophages. Staining was graded microscopically by two reviewers together on a scale of 0-4+, with 4+ representing the greatest number of positive cells. Image analysis was conducted to quantify the percent area stained in a given lesion. For each lesion, 10 fields were evaluated, and a mean percentage area stained was calculated. 4+ staining was observed in five cases, 3+ in zero cases, 2+ in three cases, 1+ in six cases, 1-2+ in one case, and nine cases were negative. Image analysis results correlated well with the light microscopic scoring. Presence of a prominent infiltrate of macrophages did not correlate with tumor grade or with histologic lymph node status, but showed a strong negative correlation with tumor stage. Some squamous cell carcinomas of the cervix show a prominent macrophage component in the tumor-associated inflammatory infiltrate. The presence of this prominent infiltration of macrophages did not correlate with tumor grade or lymph node status, but showed a strong negative correlation with tumor stage. The results suggest that immunotherapy may have a potential role in the treatment of cervical carcinoma. Computerized image analysis appears to be a valid measure to assess macrophage counts in such lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Keywords

  • Cervical neoplasms
  • Macrophages
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

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