Copyright © 2015 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. All rights reserved. Tumour infiltrating lymphocytes in primary melanoma have been found to correlate with patient outcomes. A subpopulation of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes expresses the transcription factor forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3). These are known as FOXP3+ T-regulatory cells (Tregs) and are thought to play an immune suppressive role in tumourigenesis. In most tumours, including melanoma, a high density of intratumoural FOXP3+ Tregs has been associated with poor prognosis. It is not known whether these cells also influence the response to BRAF inhibition therapy in metastatic melanoma. In the present study we retrospectively investigated the density of FOXP3+ Tregs in primary melanomas, with known subsequent metastasis, in relation to various clinicopathological parameters including BRAF and NRAS mutation status, and response to BRAF inhibitor therapy. The intratumoural density of FOXP3+ Tregs was two-fold higher in melanomas with mutant BRAF compared to those with wild type BRAF status (p = 0.03). In patients treated with BRAF kinase inhibitors FOXP3+ Treg density in the primary tumour was not predictive of treatment response (p = 0.38).
Leslie, C., Bowyer, S. E., White, A., Grieu-Iacopetta, F., Trevenen, M., Iacopetta, B., ... Millward, M. (2015). FOXP3+ T regulatory lymphocytes in primary melanoma are associated with BRAF mutation but not with response to BRAF inhibitor. Pathology, 47(6), 557-563. https://doi.org/10.1097/PAT.0000000000000314