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E.E. Kadel



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    MO19 - Lung Cancer Immunobiology (ID 91)

    • Event: WCLC 2013
    • Type: Mini Oral Abstract Session
    • Track: Biology
    • Presentations: 1
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      MO19.10 - Prevalence and prognostic association of PD-L1 protein and immune gene expression in NSCLC (ID 2437)

      10:30 - 12:00  |  Author(s): E.E. Kadel

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Background
      Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1, CD274, B7-H1) is an immune checkpoint molecule that binds to the receptors PD-1 and B7.1 on activated T cells. Binding negatively regulates T-cell function in both physiological and pathological conditions. Recent clinical studies have suggested that numerous cancers, including NSCLC, may utilize PD-L1 expression to escape T-cell mediated cytotoxic activity. Inhibition of PD-L1 can restore anti-tumor immunity, leading to clinical responses. A better understanding of PD-L1 expression patterns, co-expression with other immune markers and actionable disease associated biomarkers may provide insight into the future design of cancer immunotherapy trials in NSCLC.

      Methods
      Expression of PD-L1 was measured by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in archival tumors and, in some cases, in paired metastases in 2 FFPE NSCLC tumor tissue collections. Set 1 (N=561) was collected from patients who were eligible for surgery with curative intent from 2003 to 2005 at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The samples from Set 2 (N=300) contained surgically resected NSCLC tissue collected between 2006 and 2011 (UCCC and Norwegian Radium Hospital). PD-L1 expression was analyzed in both malignant and non-malignant cells (e.g., infiltrating immune cells). In addition, a multiplex qPCR assay that measures ≈90 immune-related genes was used to characterize the tumor immune microenvironment in the NSCLC tumor samples. Disease associated biomarkers, including the mutation status of EGFR and KRAS, as well as expression of MET (by IHC) were also evaluated.

      Results
      Prevalence of PD-L1 was comparable between adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (≈30% in tumor cells; ≈45% and ≈50%, respectively, in immune cells). PD-L1 prevalence varied depending on the pathological stage, and was higher in Stages I-IIIA than in Stages IIIB-IV. Similarly, the prognostic value of PD-L1 varied by both stage and histology. In adenocarcinoma, tumors with PD-L1–positive tumor cells had a higher frequency of KRAS mutation and high Met expression, and a lower frequency of EGFR mutation compared with PD-L1–negative tumors. In contrast, tumors with PD-L1–positive and PD-L1–negative immune cells had a comparable frequency of high Met expression. Expression of PD-L1 was frequently co-localized with CD8+ T-cell infiltrates. Gene expression profiling revealed differences in the tumor immune environment, including genes associated with cytotoxic T-cells, between adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. PD-L1 protein and immune gene expression associations with patient characteristics will be described in further detail.

      Conclusion
      These data provide a comprehensive description of PD-L1 expression in the context of disease biology utilizing large independent cohorts of well-characterized lung cancer tissues. The results highlight the complexity of the tumor immune environment in NSCLC with particular emphasis on the association with factors such as pathological stage, histology and oncogenic mutational status. These analyses may help guide future development of immunotherapy trials in NSCLC.

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