Multiplex immunohistochemistry accurately defines the immune context of metastatic melanoma Academic Article uri icon


  • A prospective study explored the heterogeneous nature of metastatic melanoma using Multiplex immunohistochemistry (IHC) and flow cytometry (FACS). Multiplex IHC data quantitated immune subset number present intra-tumoral (IT) vs the tumor stroma, plus distance of immune subsets from the tumor margin (TM). In addition, mIHC showed a close association between the presence of IT CD8+ T cells and PDL1 expression in melanoma, which was more prevalent on macrophages than on melanoma cells. In contrast, FACS provided more detailed information regarding the T cell subset differentiation, their activation status and expression of immune checkpoint molecules. Interestingly, mIHC detected significantly higher Treg numbers than FACS and showed preferential CD4+ T cell distribution in the tumor stroma. Based on the mIHC and FACS data, we provide a model which defines metastatic melanoma immune context into four categories using the presence or absence of PDL1+ melanoma cells and/or macrophages, and their location within the tumor or on the periphery, combined with the presence or absence of IT CD8+ T cells. This model interprets melanoma immune context as a spectrum of tumor escape from immune control, and provides a snapshot upon which interpretation of checkpoint blockade inhibitor (CBI) therapy responses can be built.


  • Halse, H
  • Colebatch, AJ
  • Petrone, P
  • Henderson, MA
  • Mills, JK
  • Snow, H
  • Westwood, JA
  • Sandhu, S
  • Raleigh, JM
  • Behren, Andreas
  • Cebon, Jonathan
  • Darcy, PK
  • Kershaw, MH
  • McArthur, GA
  • Gyorki, DE
  • Neeson, PJ

publication date

  • 2018