Background/Aims: Recently the role of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) on immunity has been variously discussed. We studied a series of cell surface antigens in TAMs in colorectal cancer tissues and their corresponding normal tissues using flow cytometry to find out prognostic indicators of these patients. Methodology: We assessed the numbers of CD14+ macrophages positive for each of the cell surface antigens (CD80, CD86, HLA-DR, CD1a, CD40 and CD83) in cancer tissues and corresponding normal tissues among 31 patients with colorectal cancer, and performed the univariate and multivariate analysis to find out prognostic indicators for overall survival among the patients. Results: The numbers of CD80+, CD86+ and HLA-DR+ TAMs in the cancer tissues were higher than those in corresponding normal tissues. Inversely CD40+ and CD83+ macrophages in cancer tissues were less than those in normal tissues. With the multivariate analysis, the number of CD40+ TAMs, as well as lymph node metastasis and distant metastasis, was shown to be an independent prognostic factor of colorectal cancer patients. Conclusions: The dense infiltration of CD40+ TAM in colorectal cancer tissues indicates a favorable prognosis, which suggests that CD40 plays an important role in the tumor immunity of colorectal cancer.
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