B7 score and T cell infiltration stratify immune status in prostate cancer

Qianghua Zhou, Kaiwen Li, Yiming Lai, Kai Yao, Qiong Wang, Xiangyu Zhan, Shirong Peng, Wenli Cai, Wei Yao, Xingxing Zang, Kewei Xu, Jian Huang, Hai Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Although immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), especially programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) axis blockers, exhibit prominent antitumor effects against numerous malignancies, their benefit for patients with prostate cancer (PCa) has been somewhat marginal. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of B7-H3 or HHLA2 as alternative immunotherapeutic targets in PCa. Methods Immunohistochemistry was performed to evaluate the expression pattern of PD-L1, B7-H3 and HHLA2 and the infiltration of CD8 + and Foxp3 + lymphocytes in 239 PCa tissues from two independent cohorts. The correlations between B7-H3 and HHLA2 and clinicopathological features, including the presence of CD8 + and Foxp3 + tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), were explored. Results HHLA2 expression was much higher than PD-L1 expression but lower than B7-H3 expression in PCa tissues. High expression of both B7-H3 and HHLA2 was significantly associated with higher Gleason score and tumor stage, lymph node metastasis and dismal overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS). Moreover, a high B7 score, defined as high B7-H3 expression and/or high HHLA2 expression, was an independent prognostic predictor for PCa. Of note, a high B7 score was negatively correlated with CD8 + TILs. Importantly, a new immune classification, based on the B7 score and CD8 + TILs, successfully stratified OS and CSS in PCa. Conclusions Both B7-H3 and HHLA2 have a critical impact on the immunosuppressive microenvironment, and the B7 score could be used as an independent prognostic factor for PCa. The B7 score combined with CD8 + TILs could be used as a new immune classification to stratify the risk of death, especially cancer-related death, for patients with PCa. These findings may provide insights that could improve response to immune-related comprehensive therapy for PCa in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere002455
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 20 2021


  • costimulatory and inhibitory T-cell receptors
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • tumor biomarkers
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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