Image_1_Immune Cytolytic Activity Is Associated With Genetic and Clinical Properties of Glioma.TIF

Background: Immunotherapy provided unprecedented advances in the treatment of several previously untreated cancers. However, these immunomodulatory maneuvers showed limited response to patients with glioma in clinical trials. Our aim was to depict the immune characteristics of glioma with immune cytolytic activity at genetic and transcriptome levels.

Methods: In total, 325 gliomas from CGGA dataset as training cohort and 699 gliomas from TCGA dataset as validation cohort were enrolled in our analysis. We calculated the immune cytolytic activity for 1,000 of gliomas. The characteristics of immune cytolytic activity in gliomas were interpreted by the corresponding clinical, molecular genetics and radiological information.

Results: We found that immune cytolytic activity was highly associated with molecular, clinical, and edema extent. High cytolytic activity gliomas were more likely to be diagnosed as glioblastoma and might be a potential marker of mesenchymal subtype. Moreover, those gliomas exhibited significantly increased copy number alterations including recurrent focal amplifications of PDGFA and EGFR, as well as recurrent deletions of CDKN2A/B. Subsequent biological function analysis revealed that the immune response and immune checkpoints expression were significantly correlated with the cytolytic activity of gliomas. Immune cytolytic activity was significantly positively associated with the extent of peri-tumor edema and was independently correlated with reduced survival time.

Conclusion: Our results highlighted the immunoregulatory mechanism heterogeneity of gliomas. Cytolytic activity, indirectly reflected by the extent of peri-tumor edema, may provide a potential index to evaluate the status of immune microenvironment and immune checkpoints in glioma, which should be fully valued for precision classification and immunotherapy.