Background: Monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), particularly the S100A9+ subset, has been shown initial clinical relevance. However, its role in EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma, especially to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) is not clear. In a clinical setting of EGFR mutated lung adenocarcinoma, a role of the MDSC apart from T cell suppression was also investigated. Results: Blood monocytic S100A9+ MDSC counts were higher in lung cancer patients than healthy donors, and were associated with poor treatment response and shorter progression-free survival (PFS). S100A9+ MDSCs in PBMC were well correlated to tumor infiltrating CD68+ and S100A9+ cells, suggesting an origin of TAMs. Patient's MDMs, mostly from S100A9+ MDSC, similar to primary alveolar macrophages from patients, both expressed S100A9 and CD206, attenuated EGFR-TKI cytotoxicity. Microarray analysis identified up-regulation of the RELB signaling genes, confirmed by Western blotting and functionally by RELB knockdown. Conclusions: In conclusion, blood S100A9+ MDSC is a predictor of poor treatment response to EGFR-TKI, possibly via its derived TAMs through activation of the noncanonical NF-κB RELB pathway. Methods: Patients with activating EGFR mutation lung adenocarcinoma receiving first line EGFR TKIs were prospectively enrolled. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected for MDSCs analysis and for monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) and stored tissue for TAM analysis by IHC. A transwell co-culture system of MDMs/macrophages and H827 cells was used to detect the effect of macrophages on H827 and microarray analysis to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms, functionally confirmed by RNA interference.
- lung cancer
- myeloid derived suppressor cells
- epidermal growth factor receptor
- NF-kappa B