Background: Predictive biomarkers for immunotherapy in lung cancer are intensively investigated; however, correlations between PD-L1/PD-1 expressions and clinical features or histopathological tumor characteristics determined on hematoxylin and eosin stained sections have not extensively been studied. Material and methods: We determined PD-L1 expression of tumor cells (TC) and immune cells (IC), and PD-1 expression of IC by immunohistochemistry in 268 lung adenocarcinoma (LADC) patients, and correlated the data with smoking, COPD, tumor grade, necrosis, lepidic growth pattern, vascular invasion, density of stromal IC, and EGFR/KRAS status of the tumors. Results: There was a positive correlation between PD-L1 expression of TC and IC, as well as PD-L1 and PD-1 expression of IC. Tumor necrosis was associated with higher PD-L1 expression of TC and PD-1 expression of IC. A negative correlation was observed between lepidic growth pattern and PD-L1 expression of TC and PD-L1/PD-1 expression of IC. EGFR mutation seemed to negatively correlate with PD-1 expression of IC, but this tendency could not be verified when applying corrections for multiple comparisons. No significant effect of the KRAS mutation on any of the studied variables could be established. Conclusion: Here we first demonstrate that the presence of necrosis correlates with higher PD-L1 expression of TC and PD-1 expression of IC in LADC. Further studies are required to determine the predictive value of this observation in LADC patients receiving immunotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging