Pathogenic mutations in homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair genes may be associated with increased tumor mutational burden and numbers of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). Though HR-deficient prostate tumors have been anecdotally associated with improved responses to immunotherapy, it is unclear whether HR mutations or HR deficiency (HRD) scores predict for increased T-cell densities in this cancer. We evaluated 17 primary prostate tumors from patients with pathogenic germline BRCA2 mutations (gBRCA2) and 21 primary prostate tumors from patients with pathogenic germline ATM (gATM) mutations, which were compared to 19 control tumors lacking HR gene mutations, as well as the TCGA prostate cancer cohort. HRD score was estimated by targeted sequencing (gBRCA2 and gATM) or by SNP microarray (TCGA). Tumor-associated T-cell densities were assessed using validated automated digital image analysis of CD8 and FOXP3 immunostaining (gBRCA2 or gATM) or by methylCIBERSORT (TCGA). CD8 + and FOXP3 + T-cell densities were significantly correlated with each other in gBRCA2 and gATM cases. There was no significant difference between CD8 + or FOXP3 + TIL densities in gBRCA2 or gATM cases compared to controls. In the TCGA cohort, HRD score was associated with predicted CD8 + and FOXP3 + TILs. Associations were also seen for HRD score and TIL density among the germline-mutated cases. In contrast to mismatch repair-deficient primary prostate tumors, cancers from germline BRCA2 or ATM mutation carriers do not appear to be associated with elevated TIL density. However, measures of genomic scarring, such as HRD score, may be associated with increased tumor-infiltrating T-cells.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Patrick Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund (ESA, TLL), the Prostate Cancer Foundation (ESA), NIH/NCI Prostate SPORE P50 CA58236; and the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant 5P30 CA006973-52.
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
- Prostatic adenocarcinoma
- Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes