Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) in common cancers and their correlation with molecular cancer type

Zoran Gatalica, Carrie Snyder, Todd Maney, Anatole Ghazalpour, Daniel A. Holterman, Nianqing Xiao, Peggy Overberg, Inga Rose, Gargi D. Basu, Semir Vranic, Henry T. Lynch, Daniel D. Von Hoff, Omid Hamid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

257 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cancer cells expressing PD-1 ligands (PD-L1/PD-L2) inhibit immune-modulatory T-cell activation facilitating disease progression. Preliminary clinical trials exploring interruption of PD-1/PD-L1 signaling showed benefit in several cancer types. We analyzed the distribution of PD-1-positive tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and cancer cells' expression of PD-L1 in a molecularly profiled cohort of 437 malignancies (380 carcinomas, 33 sarcomas, and 24 melanomas). We showed that the presence of PD-1+ TILs significantly varied among cancer types (from 0% in extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas to 93% in ovarian cancer), and was generally associated with the increased number of mutations in tumor cells (P = 0.029). Cancer cell expression of PD-L1 varied from absent (in Merkel cell carcinomas) to 100% (in chondro- and liposarcomas), but showed the inverse association with the number of detected mutations (P = 0.004). Both PD-1 and PD-L1 expression were significantly higher in triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) than in non-TNBC (P <0.001 and 0.017, respectively). Similarly, MSI-H colon cancers had higher PD-1 and PD-L1 expression than the micro-satellite stable tumors (P = 0.002 and 0.02, respectively). TP53-mutated breast cancers had significantly higher PD-1 positivity than those harboring other driver mutations (e.g., PIK3CA; P = 0.002). In non-small cell lung cancer, PD-1/PD-L1 coexpression was identified in 8 cases (19%), which lacked any other targetable alterations (e.g., EGFR, ALK, or ROS1). Our study demonstrated the utility of exploring the expression of two potentially targetable immune checkpoint proteins (PD-1/PD-L1) in a substantial proportion of solid tumors, including some aggressive subtypes that lack other targeted treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2965-2970
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Volume23
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

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    Gatalica, Z., Snyder, C., Maney, T., Ghazalpour, A., Holterman, D. A., Xiao, N., Overberg, P., Rose, I., Basu, G. D., Vranic, S., Lynch, H. T., Von Hoff, D. D., & Hamid, O. (2014). Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) in common cancers and their correlation with molecular cancer type. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, 23(12), 2965-2970. https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0654