Tumor core biopsies adequately represent immune microenvironment of high-grade serous carcinoma

Olivia D Lara, Santhoshi Krishnan, Zhihui Wang, Sara Corvigno, YanPing Zhong, Yasmin Lyons, Robert Dood, Wei Hu, Lisha Qi, Jinsong Liu, Robert L Coleman, Shannon N Westin, Nicole D Fleming, Vittorio Cristini, Arvind Rao, Jared Burks, Anil K Sood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The prognostic and therapeutic value of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in various cancer types is of major interest. Characterization of the TME often relies on a small representative tissue sample. However, the adequacy of such a sample for assessing components of the TME is not yet known. Here, we used immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and 7-color multiplex staining to evaluate CD8 (cluster of differentiation 8), CD68, PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1), CD34, FAP (fibroblast activation protein), and cytokeratin in 220 tissue cores from 26 high-grade serous ovarian cancer samples. Comparisons were drawn between a larger tumor specimen and smaller core biopsies based on number and location (central tumor vs. peripheral tumor) of biopsies. Our analysis found that the correlation between marker-specific cell subsets in larger tumor versus smaller core was stronger with two core biopsies and was not further strengthened with additional biopsies. Moreover, this correlation was consistently strong regardless of whether the biopsy was taken at the center or at the periphery of the original tumor sample. These findings could have a substantial impact on longitudinal assessment for detection of biomarkers in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17589
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 26 2019


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