Prevalence of PD-L1 expression in matched recurrent and/or metastatic sarcoma samples and in a range of selected sarcomas subtypes

Ana Cristina Vargas*, Fiona M. Maclean, Loretta Sioson, Dinh Tran, Fiona Bonar, Annabelle Mahar, Alison L. Cheah, Peter Russell, Peter Grimison, Louise Richardson, Anthony J. Gill

*Corresponding author for this work

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    27 Citations (Scopus)
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    We assessed the frequency of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a cohort of 522 sarcomas from 457 patients, incuding a subset of 46 patients with 63 matched samples from local recurrence or metastases with primary tumours and/or metachronous metastases. We also investigated the correlation of PD-L1 with the presence and degree of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in a subset of cases. IHC was performed using the PD-L1 SP263 companion kit (VENTANA) on tissue microarrays from an archival cohort. Evaluation of PD-L1 and TILs was performed on full sections for a subset of 23 cases. Fisher's exact and Mann Whitney test were used to establish significance (P <0.05). PD-L1 positive expression (≥1%) was identified in 31% of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas, 29% of angiosarcomas, 26% of rhabdomyosarcomas, 18% of myxofibrosarcomas, 11% of leiomyosarcomas and 10% of dedifferentiated liposarcomas. Negative expression was present in all atypical lipomatous tumous/well-differentiated lipoasarcomas, myxoid liposarcomas, synovial sarcomas, pleomorphic liposarcomas, and Ewing sarcomas. PD-L1 IHC was concordant in 81% (38 of 47) of matched/paired samples. PD-L1 IHC was discordant in 19% (9 of 47 matched/paired samples), displaying differences in the proportion of cells expressing PD-L1 amongst paired samples with the percentage of PD-L1-positive cells increasing in the metastatic/recurrent site compared to the primary in 6 of 9 cases (67%). Significant correlation between PD-L1 expression and the degree of TILs was exclusively identified in the general cohort of leiomyosarcomas, but not in other sarcoma subtypes or in metastatic/recurrent samples. We conclude that the prevalence of PD-L1 expression in selected sarcomas is variable and likely to be clone dependent. Importantly, we demonstrated that PD-L1 can objectively increase in a small proportion of metastases/recurrent sarcomas, offering the potential of treatment benefit to immune checkpoint inhibitors in this metastatic setting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0222551
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020

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    Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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