PD1/PD-L1 pathway targeting therapies are nowadays an established treatment option for patients with NSCLC. We assessed whether PD-L1 expression in NSCLC tumor cells was associated with specific clinical features or overall survival using four different clones.
A retrospective study included formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) surgical tumors from 482 patients. PD-L1 status was assessed with immunohistochemistry in tumor cells on tissue microarrays using clones 28-8, 22C3, SP263 and SP142. Associations with OS were assessed by Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox’s regression analysis. Patients’ median age: 68 years (39-86); histology: adenocarcinoma (AdCa) 61%, squamous-cell carcinoma (SqCC) 33%, and large cell carcinoma (LCC) 6%; p-stage: IA (46%), IB (30%), IIA (10%), IIB (11,4%), IIIA (1,2%), IIIB – IV (0,4%). PD-L1 positivity (≥1%) in NSCLC for clones 28-8, 22C3, SP263, SP142 was 41.5%, 34.2%, 42.7%, 10.4%, respectively (Pearson Chi-square p < 0.0001). PD-L1 expression was correlated with histology, tumor size and grading. Statistically significant association between PD-L1 expression and OS in NSCLC and Non-AdCa was observed with clone SP142 (log-rank p = 0.045 and p = 0.05, respectively). Statistically significant association between PD-L1 expression and OS in LCC was observed with clones 22C3 (log-rank p = 0.009) and SP263 (log-rank p = 0.050).
Overexpression of the PD-L1 clone SP142 was associated with poor overall survival in NSCLC and Non-AdCa. Clones 22C3 and SP263 were associated with poor prognosis in LCC. PD-L1 status might serve as a prognostic marker in NSCLC.