Background: The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma is increasing globally. Barrett's oesophagus (BO) is a pre-malignant condition with no biomarker to risk stratify those at highest risk of dysplasia and malignant transformation.
Methods: Subcellular epithelial protein (HMGB1, p53, RUNX3) expression, alongside expression of CD20, CD4, CD8 and Foxp3 to characterise stromal B lymphocyte, and helper, cytotoxic and regulatory T-lymphocyte cell infiltrate, respectively, was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 218 human tissue samples including normal oesophageal/gastric biopsies (n = 39), BO (non-dysplasia, dysplasia, non-dysplastic background from progressors to dysplasia or cancer, n = 121) and oesophageal adenocarcinoma (n = 58).
Results: There is a dynamic subcellular epithelial expression of HMGB1 (loss of nuclear, emergence of cytoplasmic), associated with epithelial p53 expression and differential immune cell phenotype in oesophageal neoplastic progression. We identify a protein signature and lymphocyte infiltrate in non-dysplastic BO when progressive disease (dysplasia or adenocarcinoma) is present but not histologically represented in the biopsied field. There is a dynamic stromal lymphocytic infiltrate in oesophageal neoplastic progression.
Conclusions: This data reveals novel insights into the microenvironment of BO and progression towards cancer and identifies a novel high-risk biomarker of disease progression to aid surveillance strategies to identify early progression and impact future incidence of oesophageal cancer.
- Mechanisms of disease
- Mucosal immunology