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Spatial profiling and functional phenotyping of mast cell distribution in human cancer tissues

      Background: Despite intensified research over the past years on the impact of the immune response in human cancer tissues, most novel insights remain restricted to the interplay between tumour cells, lymphocytes and macrophages, the main drivers in the cancer immunity cycle, whereas much of our current knowledge on mast cells is transferred from their long known involvement in allergic reactions. In a multitude of studies, the impact of mast cell numbers and localization within the tumour microenvironment on patient outcome has been analysed - however present knowledge did not yield an unambiguous consensus with clinical data yet, mainly emphasizing that the presence of mast cells contributes to a complex functional network between immune and cancer cells and that their effects are not only depending on clinical aspects like tumour entity, TNM and grading, but also on their spatial distribution and activation status. Preliminary results, indicating an accumulation of tryptase+ cells around adipocyte rich areas led to a further examination of their localization and effector status in comparison between fat cell rich and non fat cell containing tumour tissues.
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