Background: Immunotherapy has become a standard treatment option for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with the tumor microenvironment attracting significant attention. CD8 + and forkhead box protein P3 + (FoxP3 +) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) influence the tumor microenvironment, but the clinical significance of CD8 + and FoxP3 + TILs in stage IA lung adenocarcinoma (LAD) is poorly understood. Methods: We analyzed 203 patients with stage IA primary LAD who had undergone surgery at Kyushu University from January 2003 to December 2012. We evaluated CD8 + and FoxP3 + TILs by immunohistochemistry. We set the cutoff values at 50 cells/0.04 mm2 for CD8 + TILs and 20 cells/0.04 mm2 for FoxP3 + TILs, respectively. We divided the patients into four groups: CD8-Low/FoxP3-Low; CD8-High/FoxP3-Low; CD8-Low/FoxP3-High; and CD8-High/FoxP3-High. We compared clinical outcomes among them. Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression by tumor cells was also evaluated as previously reported. Results: Respectively, 104 (51.2%), 46 (22.7%), 22 (10.8%), and 31 (15.3%) patients were classified as CD8-Low/FoxP3-Low, CD8-High/FoxP3-Low, CD8-Low/FoxP3-High, and CD8-High/FoxP3-High. Both disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly worse in the CD8-Low/FoxP3-High group than the other groups (5-year DFS: 66.3% vs. 90.5%; P = 0.0007, 5-year OS: 90.9% vs. 97.0%; P = 0.0077). In the multivariate analysis, CD8-Low/FoxP3-High and PD-L1 expression were independent prognostic factors of DFS, and lymphatic invasion, surgical procedure, and PD-L1 expression were independent prognostic factors of OS. Conclusions: CD8-Low/FoxP3-High was an independent prognostic factor of DFS (hazard ratio: 3.22; 95% confidence interval: 1.321–7.179; P = 0.0121) in stage IA LAD. Immunosuppressive conditions were associated with poor prognosis in stage IA LAD.
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