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B-cells play a key role in cancer suppression, particularly when aggregated in tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS). Here, we investigate the role of B-cells and TLS in endometrial cancer (EC). Single cell RNA-sequencing of B-cells shows presence of naïve B-cells, cycling/germinal center B-cells and antibody-secreting cells. Differential gene expression analysis shows association of TLS with L1CAM overexpression. Immunohistochemistry and co-immunofluorescence show L1CAM expression in mature TLS, independent of L1CAM expression in the tumor. Using L1CAM as a marker, 378 of the 411 molecularly classified ECs from the PORTEC-3 biobank are evaluated, TLS are found in 19%. L1CAM expressing TLS are most common in mismatch-repair deficient (29/127, 23%) and polymerase-epsilon mutant EC (24/47, 51%). Multivariable Cox regression analysis shows strong favorable prognostic impact of TLS, independent of clinicopathological and molecular factors. Our data suggests a pivotal role of TLS in outcome of EC patients, and establishes L1CAM as a simple biomarker.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature communications

Publication Date





Department of Radiation Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.


TransPORTEC consortium, Germinal Center, Humans, Endometrial Neoplasms, Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1, Immunohistochemistry, Female, Tertiary Lymphoid Structures