A high HLA expression in uveal melanoma (UM) is part of the prognostically unfavorable inflammatory phenotype. We wondered whether the presence of soluble HLA (sHLA) in the aqueous humour is associated with clinical, histopathological or genetic tumour characteristics, and represents tumour HLA expression and intratumoural inflammation. Aqueous humour from 108 UM patients was analysed for the presence of sHLA, using a Luminex assay specific for HLA Class I. Clinical and genetic parameters were compared between sHLA-positive and negative eyes. A qPCR analysis was performed on tumour tissue using a Fluidigm assay. In 19/108 UM-containing eyes, the sHLA level in the aqueous was above the detection limit. Tumours in sHLA-positive eyes were significantly larger, more frequently involved the ciliary body, and more often showed monosomy 3, gain of chromosome 8q and loss of BAP1 staining. Melanoma-related survival was worse in patients with sHLA-positive aqueous humour. sHLA in the aqueous did not represent the tumour's HLA expression and did not relate to immune cell infiltration in the tumour. We conclude that UM-containing eyes may contain sHLA in the aqueous humour, where it is a prognostically-unfavourable sign and may influence local immune responses.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Aqueous humour, Immunotherapy, Infiltrate, Liquid biopsies, Soluble HLA, Uveal melanoma
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081202, hdl.handle.net/1765/120279
Journal Cancers
Wierenga, A.P.A. (Annemijn P. A.), Gezgin, G, van Beelen, E, Eikmans, M, Spruyt-Gerritse, M. (Marijke), Brouwer, N.J. (Niels J.), … Jager, M.J. (2019). Soluble HLA in the aqueous humour of uveal melanoma is associated with unfavourable tumour characteristics. Cancers, 11(8). doi:10.3390/cancers11081202