The goal of this study is to evaluate PD-L1 prevalence and its association with major clinical characteristics in Chinese non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients to inform the clinical development of anti-PD1/PD-L1 agents in this population. We used phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) expression through IHC as a surrogate tissue quality marker to screen surgical NSCLC samples in tissue microarray (TMA; 172 cases) or whole-section (268 cases) format. The samples were then analyzed with a clinically validated PD-L1 IHC assay. The results were correlated with baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes. PTEN IHC showed that 108 TMA samples and 105 whole-section samples qualified for PD-L1 IHC. With a clinically relevant cutoff, 41.7% of the TMA samples were PD-L1 positive. PD-L1 level was much lower in EGFR-mutant patients and seemed to be a favorable prognostic factor for both overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS). These findings were confirmed in the whole-section samples except that their survival data were not mature enough for correlation analysis. In summary, PD-L1 expression was detected in approximately 40% of PTEN-qualified Chinese NSCLC samples, negatively correlated with EGFR mutation and seemed to be a favorable prognostic factor for both OS and RFS. Notably, the different results from PTEN-qualified and PTEN-disqualified samples underscore the importance of tissue quality control prior to biomarker testing.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 6, 2017
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