Physics Approaches to the Spatial Distribution of Immune Cells in Tumors

Yu, C. C., Wortman, J. C., He, T. F., Solomon, S., Zhang, R. Z., Rosario, A., Wang, R., Tu, T., Schmolze, D., Yuan, Y., Yost, S. E., Li, X., Levine, H., Atwal, G., Lee, P. P. (November 2020) Physics Approaches to the Spatial Distribution of Immune Cells in Tumors. Rep Prog Phys. ISSN 0034-4885

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6633/abcd7b


The goal of immunotherapy is to mobilize the immune system to kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy is more effective and, in general, the prognosis is better, when more immune cells infiltrate the tumor. We explore the question of whether the spatial distribution rather than just the density of immune cells in the tumor is important in forecasting whether cancer recurs. After reviewing previous work on this issue, we introduce a novel application of maximum entropy to quantify the spatial distribution of discrete point-like objects. We apply our approach to B and T cells in images of tumor tissue taken from triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. We find that the immune cells are more spatially dispersed in good clinical outcome (no recurrence of cancer within at least 5 years of diagnosis) compared to poor clinical outcome (recurrence within 3 years of diagnosis). Our results highlight the importance of spatial distribution of immune cells within tumors with regard to clinical outcome, and raise new questions on their role in cancer recurrence.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: 1361-6633 Yu, Clare C Orcid: 0000-0002-6565-2988 Wortman, Juliana C He, Ting-Fang Solomon, Shawn Zhang, Robert Zongbo Rosario, Anthony Wang, Roger Tu, Travis Orcid: 0000-0002-8167-313x Schmolze, Daniel Yuan, Yuan Yost, Susan E Li, Xuefei Levine, Herbert Atwal, Gurinder Lee, Peter P Journal Article England Rep Prog Phys. 2020 Nov 24. doi: 10.1088/1361-6633/abcd7b.
Subjects: diseases & disorders > cancer
diseases & disorders
diseases & disorders > neoplasms
diseases & disorders > cancer > cancer types > breast cancer
diseases & disorders > cancer > drugs and therapies
diseases & disorders > cancer > drugs and therapies > Immunotherapy
diseases & disorders > cancer > cancer types
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Atwal lab
Depositing User: Matthew Dunn
Date: 24 November 2020
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 15:35
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2024 19:46
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