Prognostic and Predictive Value of Tumor-Infiltrating Immune Cells in Urothelial Cancer of the Bladder

Bladder Cancer

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Sep 21;12(9):E2692. doi: 10.3390/cancers12092692.


The prognosis and responsiveness to chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitors differs substantially among patients with bladder cancer (BC). There is an unmet need for biomarkers that can accurately predict prognosis and treatment outcome. Here, we describe the available literature on the prognostic and predictive value of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in BC. Current evidence indicates that a high density of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells is a favorable prognostic factor, whereas PD-L1 expression and tumor-associated macrophages are unfavorable prognostic features. While PD-L1 expression appears unsuccessful as a biomarker for the response to checkpoint inhibitors, there are some indications that high CD8+ T cell infiltration, low transforming growth factor-beta signaling and low densities of myeloid-derived suppressor cells are associated with response. Future studies should focus on combinations of biomarkers to accurately predict survival and response to treatment.