Large-Section Histopathology Can Better Indicate the Immune Microenvironment and Predict the Prognosis of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Than Small-Section Histopathology.
IF: 5.738


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly malignant tumor and is insensitive to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, as it is highly correlated with its complex tumor microenvironment (TME). A comprehensive description of PDAC's immune microenvironment at the pathological level has not been reported, thus limiting its treatment. Previous studies have shown that large-section histopathology (LSH) can reveal the complete structure and margin of the tumor on a single slice and effectively reflect intratumoral heterogeneity. LSH, as opposed to classic small-section histopathology (SSH), can also be used to explore the infiltration state of immune cells in different regions. In the current study, EnVision immunohistochemical staining was used to explore the panoramic distribution of CD4-, CD8-, CD15-, CD20-, and CD56 (surface markers of helper T cells, cytotoxic T cells, neutrophils, B cells, and NK cells, respectively)-positive cells in 102 pairs of paraffin wax-embedded PDAC samples (LSH vs SSH) for the first time. These indicators were then analyzed, and correlations of clinicopathological characteristics with clinical prognoses were analyzed. The findings of this study show that LSH can effectively indicate more immune cells than SSH. Upregulated CD4, CD8, CD20, and CD56 or downregulated CD15 was correlated with a good prognosis in PDAC patients. However, analysis of SSH showed that only upregulated CD4 and CD8 can be used as indicators of a good prognosis. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that 7 variables, namely, pTNM stage (P=0.002), PDL1 expression (P=0.001), CDX2 expression (P=0.008), DPC4 expression (P=0.004), CD4 expression in LSH (P<0.001), CD8 expression in LSH (P=0.010) and CD15 expression in LSH (P=0.031), were significantly correlated with the prognosis of PDAC patients. The findings of this study indicate that LSH is an effective tool for a panoramic assessment of the immune microenvironment in pancreatic cancer patients.


Spatial Transcriptomics
immune cell
large histological sections
pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
tumor microenvironment


Ding, Guiling
Guo, Meng
Yang, Yelin
Sun, Chen
Wu, Shengyong
Liu, Xingchen
Wang, Jin
Jiang, Hui
Liu, Yanfang
Zheng, Jianming

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