Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecological malignancy. Despite improved detection and treatment options, relapse rates remain high. Combining immunotherapy with the current standard treatments may provide an improved prognosis, however, little is known about how standard chemotherapy affects immune potential (particularly T cells) over time, and hence, when to optimally combine it with immunotherapy (e.g., vaccines). Herein, we assess the frequency and ratio of CD8+ central memory and effector T cells as well as CD4+ effector and regulatory T cells (Tregs) during the first 18 weeks of standard chemotherapy for ovarian cancer patients. In this pilot study, we observed increased levels of recently activated Tregs with tumor migrating ability (CD4+CD25hiFoxp3+CD127a??CCR4+CD38+ cells) in patients when compared to controls. Although frequency changes of Tregs as well as the ratio of effector T cells to Tregs were observed during treatment, the Tregs consistently returned to pre-chemotherapy levels at the end of treatment. These results indicate T cell subset distributions associated with recurrence may be largely resistant to being a??re-seta?? to healthy control homeostatic levels following standard treatments. However, it may be possible to enhance T effector to Treg ratios transiently during chemotherapy. These results suggest personalized immune monitoring maybe beneficial when combining novel immuno-therapeutics with standard treatment for ovarian cancer patients.
Park, A., Govindaraj, C., Xiang, S. D., Halo, J., Quinn, M., Scalzo-Inguanti, K., & Plebanski, M. (2012). Substantially modified ratios of effector to regulatory T cells during chemotherapy in ovarian cancer patient return to pre-treatment levels at completion: implications for immunology. Cancers, 4(2), 581 - 600. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers4020581