Ministry of Education and Culture
Mochida Memorial Foundation for Medical and Pharmaceutical Research
ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: We have reported loss of SMAD4 promotes expression of CCL15 from colorectal cancer to recruit CCR1+ myeloid cells through the CCL15-CCR1 axis, which contributes to invasion and liver metastasis. However, the molecular mechanism of lung metastasis is yet to be elucidated. Our purpose is to determine whether similar mechanism is involved in the lung metastasis of colorectal cancer.Experimental Design: In a mouse model, we examined whether SMAD4 could affect the metastatic activity of colorectal cancer cells to the lung through the CCL15-CCR1 axis. We immunohistochemically analyzed expression of SMAD4, CCL15, and CCR1 with 107 clinical specimens of colorectal cancer lung metastases. We also characterized the CCR1+ myeloid cells using several cell-type–specific markers.Results: In a mouse model, CCL15 secreted from SMAD4-deficient colorectal cancer cells recruited CCR1+ cells, promoting their metastatic activities to the lung. Immunohistochemical analysis of lung metastases from colorectal cancer patients revealed that CCL15 expression was significantly correlated with loss of SMAD4, and that CCL15-positive metastases recruited approximately 1.9 times more numbers of CCR1+ cells than CCL15-negative metastases. Importantly, patients with CCL15-positive metastases showed a significantly shorter relapse-free survival (RFS) than those with CCL15-negative metastases, and multivariate analysis indicated that CCL15 expression was an independent predictor of shorter RFS. Immunofluorescent staining showed that most CCR1+ cells around lung metastases were tumor-associated neutrophil, although a minor fraction was granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell.Conclusions: CCL15-CCR1 axis may be a therapeutic target to prevent colorectal cancer lung metastasis. CCL15 can be a biomarker indicating poor prognosis of colorectal cancer patients with lung metastases. Clin Cancer Res; 23(3); 833–44. ©2016 AACR.