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Characterisation of γδ T cells infiltrating colorectal cancer
  1. Elena Lo Presti1,2,
  2. Anna Maria Corsale1,2,
  3. Marta Di Simone1,2,
  4. Francesco Dieli1,2,
  5. Serena Meraviglia1,2
  1. 1 Central Laboratory for Advanced Diagnostic and Biomedical Research (CLADIBIOR), Policlinico di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  2. 2 Department of Biomedicine, Neurosciences and Advanced Diagnosis (BIND), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Sicilia, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Serena Meraviglia, Central Laboratory for Advanced Diagnostic and Biomedical Research (CLADIBIOR), Policlinico di Palermo, Palermo 90127, Italy; serena.meraviglia{at}

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We have read with great interest the paper by de Vries et al 1 reporting on the immune landscape of colorectal cancer (CRC) by high-dimensional mass cytometry, flow cytometry and single cell RNA sequencing. Among clusters of immune cells infiltrating CRC, authors have identified two populations of γδ T cells: one programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)+ population is almost exclusively found in DNA mismatch repair (MMR)-deficient (d) tumours, constitutes up to 8.4% of CD45+ cells and has an activated phenotype, and a PD-1 counterpart with a resting phenotype, which is also found in colorectal normal mucosa and MMR-proficient (p) tumours.

Using deconvolution of transcriptomic datasets and single cell RNA sequencing, we have detected γδ cells in many different human tumours, including CRC,2 3 but it is important to know also their subset distribution, maturation states and functional profiles. In fact, there are two subsets of γδ T cells, those expressing Vδ1 which reside at mucosal sites and those expressing Vδ2 which are found in the blood but are recruited to the tumour site.4

Our previous study5 in tissue specimens of n=70 patients with CRC using flow cytometry has shown that γδ T cells account for around 4.5% of CD45+ cells both in normal and in CRC mucosa, and these data have been confirmed by …

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  • Contributors FD and SM designed and supervised the research and wrote the paper. ELP performed the experiments, analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. AMC and MDS selected and processed the samples and performed the experiments.

  • Funding This work was supported by grants from the Italian Ministry of Health, Grant No. GR 2016-02364931 to SM and from the Ministry of Education and Research, PRIN 2017-2017M8YMR8_001 to FD.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.