Journal Article
. 2021 Jan; 10(1):1862520.
doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2020.1862520.

M1-like TAMs are required for the efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockades in gastric cancer

Rui Zhao 1 Qianyi Wan 1 Yong Wang 1 Yutao Wu 2 Shuomeng Xiao 1 Qiqi Li 3 Xiaoding Shen 1 Wen Zhuang 1 Yong Zhou 1 Lin Xia 1 Yinghan Song 1 Yi Chen 1 Hanshuo Yang 3 Xiaoting Wu 1 
  • PMID: 33457080
  •     45 References
  •     9 citations


The efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 blockades is heterogeneous in different molecular subtypes of gastric cancer (GC). In this study, we analyzed relevant clinical trials to identify the molecular subtypes associated with the efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 blockades, and public datasets, patient samples, and GC cell lines were used for investigating potential mechanisms. We found that GC with EBV-positive, MSI-H/dMMR, TMB-H or PIK3CA mutant subtype had enhanced efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockades. Also, differentially expressed genes of these molecular subtypes shared the same gene signature and functional annotations related to immunity. Meanwhile, CIBERSORT identified that the overlapping landscapes of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in the four molecular subtypes were mainly M1-like macrophages (M1). The relationships between M1 and clinical characteristics, M1, and gene signatures associated with PD-1/PD-L1 blockades also revealed that M1 was associated with improved prognosis and required for the efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockades in GC. We identified that tumor-infiltrating CD68+CD163- macrophages could represent M1 calculated by CIBERSORT in clinical application, and CXCL9, 10, 11/CXCR3 axis was involved in the mechanism of CD68+CD163- macrophages in the enhanced efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockades. In conclusion, CD68+CD163- macrophages are required for the efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockades and expand the applicable candidates in GC patients without the molecular subtypes.

Keywords: PD-L1/PD-1 blockades; Tumor-associated macrophages; gastric cancer.

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