Background The impact of transarterial radioembolization (TARE) of breast cancer liver metastasis (BCLM) on antitumor immunity is unknown, which hinders the optimal selection of candidates for TARE. Purpose To determine whether response to TARE at PET/CT in participants with BCLM is associated with specific immune markers (cytokines and immune cell populations). Materials and Methods This prospective pilot study enrolled 23 women with BCLM who planned to undergo TARE (June 2018 to February 2020). Peripheral blood and liver tumor biopsies were collected at baseline and 1-2 months after TARE. Monocyte, myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC), interleukin (IL), and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) levels were assessed with use of gene expression studies and flow cytometry, and immune checkpoint and cell surface marker levels with immunohistochemistry. Modified PET Response Criteria in Solid Tumors was used to determine complete response (CR) in treated tissue. After log-transformation, immune marker levels before and after TARE were compared using paired t tests. Association with CR was assessed with Wilcoxon rank-sum or unpaired t tests. Results Twenty women were included. After TARE, peripheral IL-6 (geometric mean, 1.0 vs 1.6 pg/mL; P = .02), IL-10 (0.2 vs 0.4 pg/mL; P = .001), and IL-15 (1.9 vs 2.4 pg/mL; P = .01) increased. In biopsy tissue, lymphocyte activation gene 3-positive CD4+ TILs (15% vs 31%; P < .001) increased. Eight of 20 participants (40% [exact 95% CI: 19, 64]) achieved CR. Participants with CR had lower baseline peripheral monocytes (10% vs 29%; P < .001) and MDSCs (1% vs 5%; P < .001) and higher programmed cell death protein (PD) 1-positive CD4+ TILs (59% vs 26%; P = .006) at flow cytometry and higher PD-1+ staining in tumor (2% vs 1%; P = .046). Conclusion Complete response to transarterial radioembolization was associated with lower baseline cytokine, monocyte, and myeloid-derived suppressor cell levels and higher programmed cell death protein 1-positive tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging