The adequacy of tissue microarrays in the assessment of inter- and intra-tumoural heterogeneity of infiltrating lymphocyte burden in leiomyosarcoma.
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The characterisation and clinical relevance of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in leiomyosarcoma (LMS), a subtype of soft tissue sarcoma that exhibits histological heterogeneity, is not established. The use of tissue microarrays (TMA) in studies that profile TIL burden is attractive but given the potential for intra-tumoural heterogeneity to introduce sampling errors, the adequacy of this approach is undetermined. In this study, we assessed the histological inter- and intra-tumoural heterogeneity in TIL burden within a retrospective cohort of primary LMS specimens. Using a virtual TMA approach, we also analysed the optimal number of TMA cores required to provide an accurate representation of TIL burden in a full tissue section. We establish that LMS have generally low and spatially homogenous TIL burdens, although a small proportion exhibit higher levels and more heterogeneous distribution of TILs. We show that a conventional and practical number (e.g. ≤3) of TMA cores is adequate for correct ordinal categorisation of tumours with high or low TIL burden, but that many more cores (≥11) are required to accurately estimate absolute TIL numbers. Our findings provide a benchmark for the design of future studies aiming to define the clinical relevance of the immune microenvironments of LMS and other sarcoma subtypes.
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Sarcoma Clinical Trials (R Jones)
Molecular and Systems Oncology
Sarcoma and Melanoma Surgery
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Scientific reports, 2019, 9 (1), pp. 14602 - ?