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Immunological and viral factors assiciated with the response of vulval intraepithelial neoplasia to photodynamic therapy.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • El-Said Abdel-Haidy
  • Pierre L. Martin-Hirsch
  • Maggie Duggan-Keen
  • Peter L. Stern
  • James V. Moore
  • Gerald Corbitt
  • Henry C. Kitchener
  • Ian N. Hampson
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Cancer Research
Issue number1
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)192-196
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Topical 5-aminolevulinic acid-based photodynamic therapy (PDT) has produced complete response rates of >90% for nonmelanoma skin carcinomas, which are mostly human papillomavirus (HPV) negative. Using a similar treatment protocol, we observed a short-term response in only one third (10 of 32) of high-grade vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN 2–3) lesions. Unifocal lesions were found more responsive than multifocal and pigmented lesions. Animal model studies have suggested that long-term PDT response involves an immune reaction in which CTLs play a crucial role. In this study, we have assessed: (a) HPV infection; (b) HLA expression; and (c) immune infiltrating cells in VIN biopsies from responders and nonresponders to determine whether these factors may limit response to topical 5-aminolevulinic acid-based PDT. Tissues from normal vulva (n = 9), vulval carcinoma (n = 11), and VIN (32 patients from which 19 pre- and 43 post-PDT biopsies were taken) were investigated for immune cell infiltration and HLA class I expression by immunohistochemistry and HPV infection by PCR. There was a greater likelihood of HPV positivity associated with a lack of response of VIN to PDT (P = 0.002), and VIN nonresponders were more likely to show HLA class I loss compared with responders (P = 0.030). HLA class I down-regulation was significantly greater in the carcinomas (82%, total loss) than the VIN (28%, 19%, total loss; and 9%, allele loss; P = 0.004). None of the cases with class I down-regulation responded to PDT, whereas 3 of 6 (50%) of cases that showed total class I loss subsequently developed superficial invasion. Compared with normal vulval skin, VIN lesions showed increased infiltration by CD4 (T-helper) and CD68 (macrophages) but not CD1a (Langerhans cells) or CD8 (CTLs). There was, however, a significant increase of CD8 infiltration in posttreatment VIN responders compared with nonresponders (P = 0.0001). These data clearly support the contention that high-risk HPV infection and lack of cell-mediated immunity may play a role in the observed poor response of lower genital lesions to topical PDT.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Allied Health Professions and Studies