Accumulation of exhausted CD8+ T cells in extramammary Paget’s disease

Cancer immunotherapy has highlighted the clinical relevance of enhancing anti-tumor response of CD8+ T cells in several cancer types. Little is known, however, about the involvement of the immune system in extramammary Paget’s disease (EMPD). We exam- ined the cytotoxicity and the effector functions of CD8+ T cells using paired samples of peripheral blood and tumors by flow cytometry. Expression levels of perforin, granzyme B, IFN-g, TNF-a, and IL-2 in CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were significantly lower than those in CD8+ T cells of peripheral blood. Significantly higher expression of PD- 1 was found in CD8+TILs than in CD8+ T cells of peripheral blood. A high number of CD8+ cells was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS) adjusted with age, sex, and clinical stage (hazard ratio [HR] = 5.03, P = 0.045, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03– 24.4). On the other hand, the number of PD-1+ cells was not associated with OS or dis- ease-free survival (DFS). Moreover, we found that tumor cells produced immunosuppres- sive molecule indoleamine 2,3-dyoxygenae (IDO). In conclusion, CD8+ TILs displayed an exhausted phenotype in EMPD. IDO expression seemed more relevant in inducing CD8 exhaustion than PD-1 upregulation or PD-L1 expression by immune cells. Restoring the effector functions of CD8+ TILs could be an effective treatment strategy for advanced EMPD.