Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is an immunosuppressive enzyme involved in tumor immune escape. Blockade of the IDO1 pathway is an emerging modality of cancer immunotherapy. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) lacks established therapeutic targets and may be a good candidate for this novel immunotherapeutic agent. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinicopathologic characteristics of the IDO1-expressing TNBC subset. A tissue microarray was constructed from 200 patients with TNBC. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for IDO1 and TNBC molecular subtype-surrogate markers (AR, GCDFP-15, claudin-3, E-cadherin, CK5/6, and EGFR) was performed using this tissue microarray. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to confirm the IDO1 mRNA expression level in 16 fresh-frozen TNBC samples. Two hundred TNBCs were classified into four subtypes based on surrogate IHC results: 22 luminal androgen receptor type (11.0%), 23 claudin-low type (11.4%), 103 basal-like type (51.5%), and 52 mixed type (26.0%). IDO1 positivity (defined as expression of >10% tumor cells) was observed in 37% of all TNBCs. IDO1 IHC expression was well correlated with mRNA expression. IDO1 positivity was significantly associated with smaller tumor size, dense stromal lymphocytic infiltration, and basal-like phenotype; however, it did not affect the patients' prognosis. IDO1 expression in basal-like TNBCs is considered an immune inhibitory signal that counterbalances active immunity and may reflect the high mutational load of these tumors. Our results suggest which patients with TNBC would be more efficaciously treated with IDO1 blockade.
- 3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1)
- Basal-like phenotype
- Indoleamine 2
- Molecular subtype
- Triple negative breast carcinoma
- Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL)