Background: Immunotherapy has emerged as an effective and durable treatment modality for solid cancers. However, its use in colorectal cancer (CRC) is limited to deficient mismatch repair (dMMR) tumors. As such, assessing immune regulatory proteins from the B7-CD28 family, other than PD-1, PD-L1, and CTLA-4, is critical. This study aimed to evaluate the expression of novel protein regulators in a racially diverse population of patients with CRC. Methods: A tumor microarray was created for 214 samples from a multiracial patient population with metastatic CRC, and expression of HHLA2, B7-H3, PD-L1, CK7, CK20, and CDX2 was determined. The expression pattern was scored as 0 to 12, based on tumor tissue prevalence and the intensity. Clinical information was obtained by chart review and vital statistics from the National Death Index. Associations between low and high expression groups for each protein by race/ethnic groups were assessed, and Kaplan–Meier curves were plotted to evaluate association with survival. Results: The median age at diagnosis was 61 years, with a female predominance. The majority of the patients were diagnosed with de novo metastatic disease with left-sided, moderately differentiated tumors. There were no racial disparities in the expression of any protein. Overall, a high frequency of tumors had no expression of B7-H3 (62.5%) or PD-L1 (43.5%). Low expression of both PD-L1 and B7-H3 was a significant prognostic biomarker associated with better survival (median overall survival, 43.3 months vs. 24.6 months; P <.01). Conclusion: In this multiracial tumor microarray of CRC samples, low PD-L1 and B7-H3 expression was associated with an improved prognosis. There was no significant variation among races with respect to the relevant CRC protein markers.
- Tissue microarray
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