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Presence and quantification of macrophages in squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix
  1. D. S. Heller*,
  2. M. Hameed*,
  3. B. Cracchiolo,
  4. M. Wiederkehr,
  5. D. Scott,
  6. J. Skurnick§,
  7. N. Ammar and
  8. W. C. Lambert*
  1. * Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
  2. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
  3. Department of Dermatology UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
  4. § Preventive Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
  5. New Jersey Medical School, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Debra S. Heller, MD, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Department of Pathology-UH/E158, 185 South Orange Ave, Newark, NJ, 07103. E-mail: hellers{at}umdnj.edu

Abstract

Cervical cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in women. The presence of macrophages as well as other inflammatory cells has been noted in many of these tumors. Intratumoral macrophages/monocytes induce anergy to cytokine therapy and cause apoptosis in natural killer(NK) and T cells. The aim of this study was to better evaluate and quantify the presence of macrophages in these tumors. Twenty-four cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix seen at our institution were evaluated. Sections were stained with CD68, a marker for macrophages. Staining was graded microscopically by two reviewers together on a scale of 0–4+, with 4+ representing the greatest number of positive cells. Image analysis was conducted to quantify the percent area stained in a given lesion. For each lesion, 10 fields were evaluated, and a mean percentage area stained was calculated. 4+ staining was observed in five cases, 3+ in zero cases, 2+ in three cases, 1+ in six cases, 1–2+ in one case, and nine cases were negative. Image analysis results correlated well with the light microscopic scoring. Presence of a prominent infiltrate of macrophages did not correlate with tumor grade or with histologic lymph node status, but showed a strong negative correlation with tumor stage. Some squamous cell carcinomas of the cervix show a prominent macrophage component in the tumor-associated inflammatory infiltrate. The presence of this prominent infiltration of macrophages did not correlate with tumor grade or lymph node status, but showed a strong negative correlation with tumor stage. The results suggest that immunotherapy may have a potential role in the treatment of cervical carcinoma. Computerized image analysis appears to be a valid measure to assess macrophage counts in such lesions.

  • cervical neoplasms
  • macrophages
  • squamous cell carcinoma

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Footnotes

  • This work was supported by a generous grant from MAXIM Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, CA.

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