Programmed cell death-ligand 1 expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma is associated with an inflammatory phenotype

Laveniya Satgunaseelan, Ruta Gupta*, Jason Madore, Noel Chia, Trina Lum, Carsten E. Palme, Michael Boyer, Richard A. Scolyer, Jonathan R. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Phase 2 clinical trials utilising novel anti-PD1/PD-L1 antibodies are being conducted in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients. However, data regarding PD-L1 expression in OSCC is limited. The aim of this study was to characterise the PD-L1 immunohistochemical expression in OSCC and its association with clinicopathological factors. Clinicopathological review of 217 patients with OSCC was performed, including quantifying tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes. Immunohistochemistry with PD-L1, CD4 and CD8 was performed. Forty (18.3%) cases showed PD-L1 expression. Expression was significantly more frequent in females (p = 0.013), tongue/buccal mucosal SCCs (p = 0.05), and in tumours with a high lymphocytic infiltrate (p > 0.001). Intratumoural heterogeneity of PD-L1 expression was observed in 30% of the cases. PD-L1 expression was not significantly associated with disease-free (p = 0.82) or overall survival (p = 0.93). PD-L1 expression occurred in a significant minority of OSCC and can be heterogeneous. Frequent PD-L1 expression in OSCCs in females and in tumours with high lymphocytic infiltrate may assist in the selection of patients who may respond to anti-PD1/PD-L1 therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-580
Number of pages7
JournalPathology
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Immunology
  • immunotherapy
  • heterogeneity
  • OSCC
  • PD-L1
  • survival
  • pathology

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    Satgunaseelan, L., Gupta, R., Madore, J., Chia, N., Lum, T., Palme, C. E., ... Clark, J. R. (2016). Programmed cell death-ligand 1 expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma is associated with an inflammatory phenotype. Pathology, 48(6), 574-580. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pathol.2016.07.003