Background. The number of dendritic cells (DC) in the local tumor environment correlates with patient survival in numerous tumors. The relationship of DC infiltration in the tumor microenvironment and prognosis was examined in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Methods. Forty-seven pancreatectomy specimens with a diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma were identified retrospectively and analyzed with the dendritic cell markers S-100 and CD1a. Patient survival was correlated with these markers and with p53, CD3, CD20, CD68, Ki-67. Results. Significant numbers (>3 per high-powered field) of tumor-associated S100+ or CDIa+ cells were found in only 2/4 7 patients (4%). When present, dendritic cells were located outside the margin of the tumor. CD3, CD68, and CD20 positive cells were rare or absent in 96%, 92%, and 93% of the specimens. A correlation with survival and numbers of immune cells could not be made secondary to their rarity. The median survival was 18.9 months. No other indices measured correlated with survival. Conclusions. In patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, there is a paucity of immune cells within the tumor.
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