Myxoid liposarcoma (MLPS) is the second most common subtype of liposarcoma and has tendency to metastasize to soft tissues. To date, the mechanisms of invasion and metastasis of MLPS remain unclear, and new therapeutic strategies that improve patients' outcomes are expected. In this study, we analyzed by immunohistochemistry the immune cellular components and microvessel density in tumor tissues from patients affected by MLPS. In order to evaluate the effects of primary human MLPS cells on macrophage polarization and, in turn, the ability of macrophages to influence invasiveness of MLPS cells, non-contact and 3D organotypic co-cultures were set up. High grade MLPS tissues were found heavily vascularized, exhibited a CD3, CD4, and CD8 positive T lymphocyte-poor phenotype and were massively infiltrated by CD163 positive M2-like macrophages. Conversely, low grade MLPS tissues were infiltrated by a discrete amount of CD3, CD4, and CD8 positive T lymphocytes and a scarce amount of CD163 positive macrophages. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a shorter Progression Free Survival in MLPS patients whose tumor tissues were highly vascularized and heavily infiltrated by CD163 positive macrophages, indicating a clear-cut link between M2-like macrophage abundance and poor prognosis in patients. Moreover, we documented that, in co-culture, soluble factors produced by primary human MLPS cells induce macrophage polarization toward an M2-like phenotype which, in turn, increases MLPS cell capability to spread into extracellular matrix and to cross endothelial monolayers. The identification of M2-like polarization factors secreted by MLPS cells may allow to develop novel targeted therapies counteracting MLPS progression.
- myxoid liposarcoma
- tumor associated macrophages
- tumor microenvironment
- tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes