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cholangiocarcinoma, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, tumor microenvironment, PD-L1

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Cholangiocarcinoma is a malignancy arising from the biliary tract epithelial cells with poor prognosis. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL)s and programmed cell death receptor ligand 1 (PD-L1) have a prognostic impact in various solid tumors. We aimed to investigate TILs and PD-L1 expression and their clinical relevance in cholangiocarcinoma. Tumor samples from 44 patients with resected and histologically verified extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma were evaluated for CD8, CD45RO and PD-L1 expression, and their correlations with clinicopathological data and survival data were analyzed. Total 44 extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma tissues were evaluated. CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL)s were observed in 30 (68%) tumors. Among them, 14 had CD8+CD45RO+ TILs. PD-L1 was expressed on cancer cells in 10 (22.7%) tumors in 34 evaluable extrahepatic cholangiocarciniomas. The presence of CD8+ TILs or CD8+CD45RO+ TILs was not associated with clinical staging or tumor differentiation. Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma with CD8+CD45RO+ TILs had longer overall survival (OS) on univariate (P = 0.013) and multivariate (P = 0.012) analysis. Neither CD8+TIL nor PD-L1 expression on cancer cells correlated significantly with OS. These results add to the understanding of the clinical features associated with CD8 TILs and PD-L1 expression in extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and they support the potential rationale of using PD-1 blockade immunotherapy in cholangiocarcinoma.

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Oncotarget, v. 9, p. 23366-23372