Dynamic of systemic immunity and its impact on tumor recurrence after radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma.
: Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is one of the main treatments of small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, it remains unclear whether this local treatment can induce systemic immune variations. : We conducted a prospective study in a tertiary center including consecutive cirrhotic patients with unifocal HCC<5 cm treated by a first RFA between 2010 and 2014. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated on the day before (D0), day after (D1) and month after RFA (M1). Frequencies and phenotypes of myeloid cells, T cells, and NK cells were compared between timepoints. Overall recurrence and associated variables were estimated using Kaplan-Meier, log-rank and Cox proportional-hazards models. : 80 patients were included (69% male, median age: 67 years old). Main aetiologies of HCC were alcohol (51%), hepatitis C virus (45%), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (36%) and hepatitis B virus (9%). Median overall survival was 55 months (M); median progression-free survival was 29.5M. Among innate immune populations, we observed variations between D0, D1 and M1 in NKp30+ NK cells (p < .0001) and in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC, p < .01). Concerning adaptive immunity, we observed variations in CD8 Central Memory (p < .05) and CD28+ CD8 Central Memory (p < .01). An early dynamic (D0/D1) of activated NKp30 NK cells was associated with a decreased overall recurrence (log-rank, p = .016, median delay 25.1 vs 40.6 months). In contrast, a late dynamic (D1/M1) of immature NK cells (CD56) and altered myeloid DC (PDL1) was associated with an increased overall recurrence (log-rank, p = .011 and p = .0044, respectively). In multivariate analysis, variation of immature NK cells predicts tumor recurrence independently of classical clinical prognostic features (HR = 2.41, 95% CI: 1.15-5.057), p = .019). : Percutaneous RFA of small HCC leads to systemic modifications of innate and adaptive immunity closely linked with overall tumor recurrence.Lire l‘article