Purpose: The expression of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) provides limited predictive value in identifying patients most likely to respond to immunotherapy. As the heterogeneity of PD-L1 expression may lead to sampling error and the misclassification of PD-L1 status, we assessed the distribution of PD-L1 expression in paired, resected multifocal lung cancers. Experimental Design: PD-L1 was assessed by IHC. Paired lesions were defined as independent primaries or related lesions using mate pair next-generation sequencing. Agreement statistics were used for analysis. Results: Sixty-seven multifocal lung cancers from 32 patients were sequenced and stained for PD-L1. There was agreement of PD-L1 expression by the tumor cells in paired lesions of 20 patients and disagreement of PD-L1 expression by the tumor cells in paired lesions of 12 patients (k = 0.01). Sequencing identified that 23 patients had independent primary lung cancers and that 9 patients had related cancers. In paired lesions of patients with independent cancers, there was agreement of PD-L1 expression by the tumor cells in 12 patients and disagreement in 11 patients (k = 0.31). In paired lesions of patients with related lung cancers, there was agreement of PD-L1 expression by the tumor cells in 8 patients and disagreement in 1 patient (k = 0.73). Conclusions: The expression of PD-L1 is heterogeneous among paired independent lung cancers, but there are high levels of agreement in intrapulmonary metastasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research