Changes in tumour expression of programmed death-ligand 1 after neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy in patients with squamous oesophageal cancer.
BACKGROUND: Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression has been suggested as a potential predictive biomarker of response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy. In this study, we investigated whether the expression of PD-L1 in tumour cells is affected by neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) or chemotherapy in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 2004 and 2014, we collected the medical records of locally advanced oesophageal cancer patients consecutively diagnosed and treated with neoadjuvant CCRT or chemotherapy, followed by curative resection. PD-L1 expression in acquired tissue specimens was evaluated by immunohistochemistry using the H-score. The changes in PD-L1 expression between paired samples were evaluated and we also analysed PD-L1 expression in surgical tumour specimens to evaluate its prognostic role. RESULTS: Twenty-eight paired tumour tissues that were acquired before and after neoadjuvant therapy were available: 19 patients with CCRT and 9 with chemotherapy before complete oesophagectomy. The PD-L1 H-score increased significantly from baseline tumour tissues to surgical tumour tissues after neoadjuvant CCRT (P = 0.007, median H-score from 28 to 52), whereas it decreased significantly after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P = 0.048, median H-score from 53 to 22). In a total of 73 patients, including 45 additional cases for the prognosis analysis, patients with higher PD-L1 H-scores (≥ 20) had poorer overall survival (median 16.7 versus 32.9 months, P = 0.02) than those with lower H-scores (<20). CONCLUSIONS: PD-L1 expression in tumour cells increased in oesophageal cancer patients who received neoadjuvant CCRT. Further studies with more cases are necessary to validate these findings.
Lim, SH; Hong, M; Ahn, S; Choi, Y-L; Kim, K-M; Oh, D; Ahn, YC; Jung, S-H; Ahn, M-J; Park, K; Zo, JI; Shim, YM; Sun, J-M
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