Background: Anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, nivolumab, has shown efficacy for advanced gastric cancer (AGC). However, the specific immune cell subsets predominantly activated during the period of anti-PD-1 therapy for AGC have not been clarified. Methods: Peripheral blood of 30 AGC patients treated with nivolumab was prospectively obtained before the initial and second administrations and at the time of progressive disease (PD). The proportions of immune cell subsets and the serum concentrations of cytokines were systematically analysed by flow cytometry. Associations of subsets and serum cytokines with therapeutic effects were evaluated. Results: After the initial administration, significant increases in activated central/effector memory, activated effector T cells, and activated T-helper 1 subsets were observed. At the time of PD, activated regulatory T cells, LAG3-positive CD4+/CD8+ T cells, and TIM3-positive CD4+/CD8+ T cells increased significantly. Significant positive correlations were shown between progression-free survival and proportions of LAG3-positive CD4+/CD8+ T cells and of OX40-positive CD4+/CD8+ T cells (log-rank p = 0.0008, 0.0003, 0.0035 and 0.0040). Conclusions: Nivolumab therapy enhances activation of central/effector memory and effector subsets of CD4+/CD8+ T cells. The expression levels of LAG-3 and OX40 on T cells correlated with the efficacy of nivolumab therapy and could be reasonable biomarkers for anti-PD-1 therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research