Significance of PD-L1 expression in the cytological samples of non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors

Naofumi Hara, Eiki Ichihara, Daijiro Harada, Koji Inoue, Keiichi Fujiwara, Shinobu Hosokawa, Daizo Kishino, Kawai Haruyuki, Nobuaki Ochi, Naohiro Oda, Katsuyuki Hotta, Yoshinobu Maeda, Katsuyuki Kiura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) tumor proportion score (TPS) in tumor tissue samples is an established clinical biomarker for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the significance of PD-L1 expression in other types of samples has not been fully investigated. Patients and methods: We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study of advanced NSCLC patients who received ICI treatment during the clinical course and investigated the effects of ICIs according to PD-L1 expression in cytology samples, including cell block and endobronchial ultrasound-guided (EBUS) transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) samples. Results: A total of 264 patients were included in this study: PD-L1 expression was determined in cell block or TBNA specimens in 55 patients, and in tissue samples in 209 patients. Among the former patients, the median progression-free survival (PFS) of those with a TPS for PD-L1 ≥ 50% was significantly longer compared to that of those with a TPS < 50% (6.5 vs. 1.9 months, respectively, p = 0.008). When the cutoff value was set at 1%, the median PFS was 4.2 months in patients with a TPS ≥ 1% and 1.5 months in patients with a TPS < 1% (p < 0.001). Conclusion: PD-L1 expression determined using cytology specimens predicts the efficacy of ICIs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of cancer research and clinical oncology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Cytology
  • EBUS-TBNA
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • PD-L1 expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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