Lococo F, Torricelli F, Rossi G, Alifano M, Damotte D, Rapicetta C, Tamagnini I, Cavazza A, Piana S, Galeone C, Paci M, Ciarrocchi A.
Inter-relationship between PD-L1 expression and clinic-pathological features and driver gene mutations in pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinomas.
Lung Cancer. 2017 Nov;113:93-101. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2017.09.009. Epub 2017 Sep 18.
Pulmonary Sarcomatoid Carcinoma (PSC) is a rare subset of NSCLC, associated with worse prognosis and resistant to platinum-based regimens. Recent investigations have shown high levels of PD-L1 expression in PSC, providing a rationale for the potential use of immunotherapy. In this study, we investigated whether the PD-L1 expression was related to clinico-pathologic and molecular characteristics.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Fortythree surgically-resected PSCs were selected from 2006 to 2014 and clinical information retrieved. PD-L1 expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and correlated with the clinic-pathologic features and driver gene mutations analyzed by Next-Generation-Sequencing. Correlation of clinical, pathological and genetic variants with PD-L1 expression positivity were tested by Fisher’s exact test analysis.
About 25% of PSCs showed a significant expression of PD-L1 (positive staining defined as staining in ≥10% of tumor cells). PD-L1 expression was associated with aggressive pathological features of PSCs including N2-involvement (PD-L1 positive in 83.3% of N2-PSCs vs in 16.2% of N0/N1-PSCs, p=0.003) and presence of either local (p=0.038) and distant metastases (p=0.022). Furthermore, PD-L1 expression was significantly associated with the overall mutational load of the tumors (PD-L1 positivity only in PSCs with at least one mutational event) and in particular with the presence of KRAS mutation (PD-L1 positive in 44.4% of KRAS-Mut PSCs vs 12.0% in KRAS-Wild PSCs). The correlation between PD-L1 expression and KRAS-mutation were found at univariate analysis (p=0.031), even considering PD-L1 as a continuous variable (p=0.018), and confirmed at multivariate analysis (p=0.035). The mutational status of the other genes explored in the NGS-panel (EGFR, APC, PTEN, PIK3CA, TP53 and STK11) did not correlate with PD-L1 expression.
PD-L1 expression significantly correlates with overall mutational load and KRAS mutational status in pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinomas.