Immune profiling of the bone marrow microenvironment in patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer

Erika Heninger, Nan Sethakorn, David Kosoff, Peiman Hematti, Morgan D. Kuczler, Kenneth J. Pienta, Joshua M. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone marrow (BM) is a primary metastatic site in prostate cancer (PC) and bone invasion is considered incurable. T cell-mediated immune surveillance is essential in controlling both tumorigenesis and initiation of metastases. Beside tropism, dissemination of PC cells to the BM may be facilitated by defects in BM immune homeostasis predisposing this niche to colonization. To evaluate the BM immune microenvironment in locally advanced, non-metastatic PC, we performed flow cytometry analysis of myeloid and lymphoid subsets in BM aspirates and peripheral blood collected during prostatectomy. Healthy BM aspirates served to establish a reference range for comparison. We found alterations in BM immune composition of PC patients, including an increased CD4/CD8 ratio, enrichment of CD4+ T cells, increased CD56+CD3+ NKT and CD56+CD3- NK yields compared to healthy controls. The lymphoid phenotype remained comparable regarding T cell activation and chemokine receptor-based polarization patterns. Additionally, we found increased B7H3 expression in the myeloid monocyte/ macrophage subset and decreased DC infiltration in BM of PC patients. These findings suggest that alterations in the immune milieu may limit immune surveillance that compromise the ability of the BM microenvironment to prevent tumor dissemination, and predispose development of bone metastases in a subset of patients with localized PC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4253-4265
Number of pages13
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Bone marrow
  • Immune landscape
  • Immune profiling
  • Prostate cancer
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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