PD-L1 expression in melanoma shows marked heterogeneity within and between patients: Implications for anti-PD-1/PD-L1 clinical trials

Jason Madore, Ricardo E. Vilain, Alexander M. Menzies, Hojabr Kakavand, James S. Wilmott, Jessica Hyman, Jennifer H. Yearley, Richard F. Kefford, John F. Thompson, Georgina V. Long, Peter Hersey, Richard A. Scolyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Summary: This study evaluated the expression of PD-L1 in immunotherapy-naïve metastatic melanoma patients to determine longitudinal intrapatient concordance and correlate PD-L1 status with clinicopathologic characteristics and outcome. PD-L1 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 58 patients (43 primary tumors, 96 metastases). Seventy-two percent of patients had at least one specimen expressing PD-L1 in ≥1% of tumor cells. Median positive tumor cell count overall was low (8% in nonzero specimens). PD-L1 expression was frequently discordant between primary tumors and metastases and between intrapatient metastases, such that 23/46 longitudinal patient specimens were discordant. PD-L1 was associated with higher TIL grade but not with other known prognostic features. There was a positive univariate association between PD-L1 expression in locoregional metastases and melanoma-specific survival, but the effect was not observed for primary melanoma. In locoregional lymph node metastasis, PD-L1+/TIL+ patients had the best outcome, and PD-L1+/TIL- patients had poor outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

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