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Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare disease among children. Our goal was to identify prognostic biomarkers in 48 primary ACCs from children (2.83 ± 2.3 y; mean age ± SD) by evaluating the tumor stage and outcome for an age of diagnosis before or after 3 years, and association with ACC cluster of differentiation 8 positive (CD8+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CD8+-CTL) and Ki-67 immunohistochemical expression (IHC). Programmed death 1(PD-1)/Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunohistochemistry (IHC) in ACC was analyzed in a second, partially overlapping cohort (N = 19) with a similar mean age. All patients and control children were carriers of the germline TP53 R337H mutation. Survival without recurrence for less than 3 years and death unrelated to disease were excluded. Higher counts of CD8+-CTL were associated with patients diagnosed with ACC at a younger age and stage I, whereas a higher percentage of the Ki-67 labeling index (LI) and Weiss scores did not differentiate disease free survival (DFS) in children younger than 3 years old. No PD-1 staining was observed, whereas weakly PD-L1-positive immune cells were found in 4/19 (21%) of the ACC samples studied. A high CD8+-CTL count in ACC of surviving children is compelling evidence of an immune response against the disease. A better understanding of the options for enhancement of targets for CD8+ T cell recognition may provide insights for future pre-clinical studies.

Original publication




Journal article





Publication Date





1730 - 1730