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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 761378, 8 pages
Research Article

Increased NY-ESO-1 Expression and Reduced Infiltrating CD3+ T Cells in Cutaneous Melanoma

1Department of Dermatology, University of São Paulo, Avenida Dr. Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar 255, 3° Andar, 05403-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of São Paulo, Avenida Dr. Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar 255, 8° Andar, 05403-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3MGH Biostatistics Center, 50 Staniford Street, Suite 560, Boston, MA 02114, USA
4Dermatopathology Unit, Pathology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Warren Building 825, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Received 5 February 2015; Revised 23 March 2015; Accepted 29 March 2015

Academic Editor: Shigeo Koido

Copyright © 2015 Mara Giavina-Bianchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


NY-ESO-1 is a cancer-testis antigen aberrantly expressed in melanomas, which may serve as a robust and specific target in immunotherapy. NY-ESO-1 antigen expression, tumor features, and the immune profile of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were assessed in primary cutaneous melanoma. NY-ESO-1 protein was detected in 20% of invasive melanomas (16/79), rarely in in situ melanoma (1/10) and not in benign nevi (0/20). Marked intratumoral heterogeneity of NY-ESO-1 protein expression was observed. NY-ESO-1 expression was associated with increased primary tumor thickness () and inversely correlated with superficial spreading melanoma (). NY-ESO-1 expression was also associated with reduced numbers and density of CD3+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (). When NY-ESO-1 protein was expressed, CD3+ T cells were less diffusely infiltrating the tumor and were more often arranged in small clusters () or as isolated cells () than in large clusters of more than five lymphocytes. No correlation of NY-ESO-1 expression with gender, age, tumor site, ulceration, lymph node sentinel status, or survival was observed. NY-ESO-1 expression in melanoma was associated with tumor progression, including increased tumor thickness, and with reduced tumor infiltrating lymphocytes.