Prognostic significance of PD-L1 expression and tumor infiltrating lymphocyte in surgically resectable non-small cell lung cancer.

PMID 29137398


Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression is a predictive biomarker of the success of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor therapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) but its role as a prognostic marker for early stage resectable NSCLC remains unclear. Here, we studied PD-L1 expression and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in surgically resectable NSCLC and correlate the finding with clinicopathological features and patient outcomes. Total of 170 archival samples of resectable NSCLC were probed for PD-L1 expression using the clone 22C3 pharmDx kit. The PD-L1 expression was determined by the Tumor Proportion Score (TPS) and classified into TPS <1%, TPS 1 to 49% and TPS ≥50%. The scoring of TILs was from hematoxylin & eosin stained tissue sections using a system for standardized evaluation of TILs in breast cancer. PD-L1 expression was compared with clinical pathological characteristics and survival outcome. Expression of PD-L1 scores of TPS ≥50%, TPS 1 to 49% and TPS <1% were observed in 10.6%, 24.7% and 64.7% of the 170 archival samples, respectively. Positive PD-L1 expression was significantly higher in patients with squamous carcinoma, in those with higher TNM stage and with the presence of TILs. Neither the PD-L1 expression, TIL status, nor their combination was an independent prognosis biomarker of survival when the data was subjected to either univariate or multivariate analysis. The incidence of PDL1 expression appears to be lower in patient with early stage resectable lung cancer. PD-L1 expression and TILs are not prognostic indicators of survival outcome in this population.