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Comparative study of the PD-L1 expression and CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte between surgically resected and matched re-biopsy specimens in recurrent non-small cell lung cancer

Authors Shimizu K, Okita R, Saisho S, Maeda A, Nojima Y, Nakata M

Received 1 October 2018

Accepted for publication 19 March 2019

Published 1 May 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 605—612


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Katsuhiko Shimizu, Riki Okita, Shinsuke Saisho, Ai Maeda, Yuji Nojima, Masao Nakata

Department of General Thoracic Surgery, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan

Introduction: Numerous studies conducted until date have reported that the chemotherapy regimen could affect the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression status in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Materials and methods: A total of 36 NSCLC patients for whom both the surgically resected specimens of the primary tumors and re-biopsy specimens of the recurrent tumors were available were enrolled in this study. The PD-L1 expression status and tumor-infiltrating CD8-positive T lymphocytes (CD8+TILs) count were measured in paired samples by immunohistochemistry. The concordance rate in the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) classification based on the PD-L1 expression status and CD8+TILs count was analyzed.
Results: While the PD-L1 expression levels were similar between the surgical and re-biopsy specimens in 77.8% of cases, in 16.7% of cases, the expression levels were higher in the re-biopsy specimens. When the analysis was confined to patients who had received platinum-based chemotherapy, the percentage increased to 42.9%. The TIME classification changed in the re-biopsy specimens as compared to the surgical specimens in one-third of the patients, especially in those who had received chemotherapy previously. The TIME classification in the re-biopsy specimens more closely resembled that in the metastatic lymph nodes as compared to that in the primary tumor.
Conclusion: In patients with recurrent NSCLC, especially those who have received chemotherapy previously, a recent re-biopsy sample is required to determine whether PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors should be used for treatment or not.

Keywords: non-small cell lung cancer, NSCLC, programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes, tumor immunemicroenvironment (TIME), re-biopsy

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