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Variable Landscape of PD-L1 Expression in Breast Carcinoma as Detected by the DAKO 22C3 Immunohistochemistry Assay

Oncologist. 2023 Mar 2:oyad025. doi: 10.1093/oncolo/oyad025. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: In 2020, pembrolizumab was approved as a therapy for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) with the companion diagnostic DAKO 22C3 programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) immunohistochemistry assay. The study aimed to determine the landscape of PD-L1 expression as detected by the DAKO 22C3 PD-L1 assay in breast cancer subtypes and compare the clinicopathologic and genomic characteristics of PD-L1 positive and negative TNBC.

METHODS: PD-L1 expression using the DAKO 22C3 antibody was scored using a combined positive score (CPS) and positive status was defined as CPS ≥10. Comprehensive genomic profiling was performed using the FoundationOne CDx assay.

RESULTS: Of the 396 BC patients stained with DAKO 22C3, the majority were HR+/HER2- and TNBC (42% and 36%, respectively). Median PD-L1 expression and frequency of CPS ≥10 was highest in TNBC cases (median: 7.5, 50% CPS ≥10) and lowest in the HR+/HER2- group (median: 1.0, 15.5% CPS ≥10) (P < .0001). A comparison of PD-L1 positive and PD-L1 negative TNBC demonstrated no significant differences in clinicopathologic or genomic characteristics. TNBC tissue samples from the breast did have an observed enrichment for PD-L1 positivity compared to TNBC tissue samples from a metastatic site (57% vs. 44%), but this was not statistically significant (P = .1766). In the HR+/HER2- group, genomic alterations in TP53, CREBBP, and CCNE1 were more prevalent and genomic loss of heterozygosity was higher in the PD-L1(+) group compared to the PD-L1(-) group.

CONCLUSIONS: The subtypes of breast cancer have distinct patterns of PD-L1 expression, supporting that further research of immunotherapies may include specific evaluation of optimum cutoffs for non-TNBC patients. In TNBC, PD-L1 positivity is not associated with other clinicopathologic or genomic features and should be integrated into future studies of immunotherapy efficacy.

PMID:36866462 | DOI:10.1093/oncolo/oyad025

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