Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) Expression and its Association with Clinicopathologic Profile in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in a Philippine Tertiary Medical Center
Introduction. The current management of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) includes the characterization of Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression for potential immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment. There is currently no available data regarding the patterns of PD-L1 expression in NSCLC, as well as their association with clinicopathologic profile in Filipino patients.
Methodology. Clinicopathologic characteristics of 187 consecutive NSCLC clinical samples with PD-L1 testing using the clone 22C3 pharmaDx kit were collected. The presence of stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were assessed in hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides. PD-L1 expression on tumor cells (TC) and stromal TILs were evaluated.
Results. Of the 187 cases, there were 112 males and 75 females. The mean age at diagnosis was 66.4 years old (32-92 years old). It is composed of 131 cases of Adenocarcinoma, 15 Squamous cell carcinoma, 4 Adenosquamous carcinoma, 32 Non-small cell carcinoma, not otherwise specified, 3 poorly differentiated malignancy, 1 Large cell carcinoma, and 1 Mucinous carcinoma. Specimen types included 17 pleural fluid cell blocks, 60 tumor cell block samples, and 110 tissue biopsies. Tumor cell PD-L1 expression was identified in 59.1% of the 110 tissue biopsies. PD-L1 TPS for histologic specimens are as follows: TPS >50%, TPS 1-49%, and TPS <1% were observed in 23.6%, 35.5%, and 40.9% in our lung cancer cohort, respectively. Of the 77 cytology specimens, 50.6% presented with TC PD-L1 expression. TPS for this subgroup include: 49.4% with no PD-L1 expression, 35.1% with low PD-L1 expression, and 15.6% showing high PD-L1 expression. PD-L1 expression on TC did not correlate with age, sex, or histology for both specimen type subgroups. Stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were noted in 74.5% of tissue biopsies. Tumor cell block samples did not demonstrate stromal TILs. For tissue biopsies, female gender and TPS 1-49% were more likely to have <50% PD-L1 expression on TILs.
Conclusion. Overall TC PD-L1 expression was observed in more than half (55.6%) of NSCLC patients in our cohort. The prognostic value of PD-L1 and clinical response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in the Filipino population needs to be further investigated.
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