Quantitative Assessment of the Heterogeneity of PD-L1 Expression in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
ABSTRACT: Early-phase trials with monoclonal antibodies targeting PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) and PD-L1 (programmed cell death 1 ligand 1) have demonstrated durable clinical responses in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, current assays for the prognostic and/or predictive role of tumor PD-L1 expression are not standardized with respect to either quantity or distribution of expression.To demonstrate PD-L1 protein distribution in NSCLC tumors using both conventional immunohistochemistry (IHC) and quantitative immunofluorescence (QIF) and compare results obtained using 2 different PD-L1 antibodies.PD-L1 was measured using E1L3N and SP142, 2 rabbit monoclonal antibodies, in 49 NSCLC whole-tissue sections and a corresponding tissue microarray with the same 49 cases. Non-small-cell lung cancer biopsy specimens from 2011 to 2012 were collected retrospectively from the Yale Thoracic Oncology Program Tissue Bank. Human melanoma Mel 624 cells stably transfected with PD-L1 as well as Mel 624 parental cells, and human term placenta whole tissue sections were used as controls and for antibody validation. PD-L1 protein expression in tumor and stroma was assessed using chromogenic IHC and the AQUA (Automated Quantitative Analysis) method of QIF. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were scored in hematoxylin-eosin slides using current consensus guidelines. The association between PD-L1 protein expression, TILs, and clinicopathological features were determined.PD-L1 expression discordance or heterogeneity using the diaminobenzidine chromogen and QIF was the main outcome measure selected prior to performing the study.Using chromogenic IHC, both antibodies showed fair to poor concordance. The PD-L1 antibodies showed poor concordance (Cohen ? range, 0.124-0.340) using conventional chromogenic IHC and showed intra-assay heterogeneity (E1L3N coefficient of variation [CV], 6.75%-75.24%; SP142 CV, 12.17%-109.61%) and significant interassay discordance using QIF (26.6%). Quantitative immunofluorescence showed that PD-L1 expression using both PD-L1 antibodies was heterogeneous. Using QIF, the scores obtained with E1L3N and SP142 for each tumor were significantly different according to nonparametric paired test (P < .001). Assessment of 588 serial section fields of view from whole tissue showed discordant expression at a frequency of 25%. Expression of PD-L1 was correlated with high TILs using both E1L3N (P = .007) and SP142 (P = .02).Objective determination of PD-L1 protein levels in NSCLC reveals heterogeneity within tumors and prominent interassay variability or discordance. This could be due to different antibody affinities, limited specificity, or distinct target epitopes. Efforts to determine the clinical value of these observations are under way.
Project description:Programmed death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is the key FDA-approved predictive marker to identify responders to anti-PD1 axis drugs. Multiple PD-L1 IHC assays with various antibodies and cut points have been used in clinical trials across tumor types. Comparative performance characteristics of these assays have been extensively studied qualitatively but not quantitatively. Here we evaluate the use of a standardized PD-L1 Index tissue microarray (TMA) to objectively determine agreement between antibody assays for PD-L1 applying quantitative digital image analysis. Using a specially constructed Index TMA containing a panel of ten isogenic cell lines in triplicate, we tested identical but independently grown batches of isogenic cells to prove Index TMAs can be produced in large quantities and hence serve as a standardization tool. Then the Index TMAs were evaluated using quantitative immunofluorescence (QIF) to validate the TMA itself and also to compare antibodies including E1L3N, SP142 and SP263. Next, an inter-laboratory and inter-assay comparison of 5 PD-L1 chromogenic IHC assays (US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and lab developed test (LDT)) were performed at 12 sites around the USA. As previously reported, the SP142 FDA assay failed to detect low levels of PD-L1 in cell lines distinguished by the other four assays. The assays for 22C3 FDA, 28-8-FDA, SP263 FDA, and E1L3N LDT were highly similar across sites and all laboratories showed a high consistency over time for all assays using this Index TMA. In conclusion, we were able to objectively quantify PD-L1 expression on a standardized Index TMA using digital image analysis and we confirmed previous subjective assessments of these assays, but now in a multi-institutional setting. We envision commercial use of this Index TMA or similar smaller version as a useful standardization mechanism to compare results between institutions and to identify abnormalities while running routine clinical samples.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) displays staining diversity. We compared IHC staining of PD-L1 in gastric cancer (GC) by using three commercially available antibody clones, and analyzed the correlation with the prognosis. METHODS:IHC using PD-L1 antibodies (clones SP142, 28-8 and E1L3N) in 315 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples was qualitatively compared at the 1, 5 and 10% cut-off by two pathologists on total, tumor and immune/stromal cells. We used computer - assisted scoring to quantitatively analyze and compare the "H-score" of PD-L1 expression in 66 samples on total cells. The antibody clone SP142 was selected to investigate the infiltration of PD-L1+CD8+ T cells using automated quantitative immunofluorescence analyses (n?=?50) and the prognostic significance. The prognoses were assessed by log-rank test. RESULTS:PD-L1 clones SP142 and 28-8 displayed great concordance by qualitative (??=?0.816, 0.810 for total cells and tumor cells at the 5% cut-off) and quantitative analyses (R2?=?0.7991, 0.8187 for positive percentage and "H-score"). PD-L1 clone SP142 showed the highest positivity in immune/stromal cells staining (18.41%) compared to 28-8 (7.62%), while clone E1L3N showed poor staining in both tumor and immune/stromal cells. Clone SP142, but not 28-8 and E1L3N, predicted a worse prognosis at the 5% cut-off (p?=?0.0243). Both the clone SP142 and 28-8 had high inter-pathologist correlation for tumor staining (R2?=?0.9805 and R2?=?0.9853), but a moderate correlation for stromal/immune cell staining (R2?=?0.5653 and R2?=?0.5745). Furthermore, a higher density of PD-L1+CD8+ T cells was correlated with a shorter survival time (R2?=?0.0909, p?=?0.0352). CONCLUSIONS:PD-L1 antibody clone SP142 was superior in cell staining, particularly in immune/stromal cell and prognosis. These findings are important for selection of PD-L1 antibody clones in the future diagnostic test.
Project description:Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression as determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) is potentially predictive of clinical outcome. The aim of this study was to assess the concordance of reported PD-L1 IHC assays and investigate factors influencing variability. Consecutive sections from 20 non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) comprising resection, core biopsy, cytology and pleural fluid samples underwent IHC with 5 different antibody/autostainer combinations: 22C3/Link48, 28-8/BOND-MAX, E1L3N/BOND-MAX, SP142/BenchMark and SP263/BenchMark. PD-L1 RNA levels were assessed using RNAscope. The frequency of positive cases using scoring thresholds from clinical trials was 72%, 33%, 61%, 56%, and 33% for the 5 IHC protocols respectively, and 33% for RNAscope. Pairwise agreement on the classification of cases as positive or negative for PD-L1 expression ranged from 61%-94%. On a continuous scale, the lowest correlation was between 28-8/BOND-MAX and SP142/BenchMark (R2=0.25) and highest was between 22C3/Link48 and E1L3N/BOND-MAX (R2=0.71). When cases were ordered according to tumor cell (TC)%, a similar ranking of cases across IHC protocols could be observed, albeit with different quanta and limits of detection. Single-slide OPAL 7-color fluorescence IHC analysis revealed a high degree of co-localization of staining from the 5 PD-L1 antibodies. Using SP142 antibody in a BOND-MAX protocol led to increased TC% quanta, while retaining a similar ranking of samples according to TC%. The results of this study highlight tumor PD-L1 status can vary significantly according to IHC protocol. Protocol-dependent staining intensities and nominated thresholds for positivity contribute to this variability, while the antibody used appears to be less of a factor.
Project description:Nivolumab, a fully human immunoglobulin G4 programmed death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor antibody, has activity in melanoma, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and Hodgkin lymphoma. Nivolumab is approved in the USA and EU for advanced melanoma, NSCLC, and RCC, and relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma in the USA. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), a PD-1 ligand, is expressed on mononuclear leukocytes, myeloid cells, and tumor cells. PD-L1 is being investigated as a potential biomarker to predict the association of tumor PD-L1 expression with nivolumab efficacy.Bristol-Myers Squibb and Dako previously reported on an automated PD-L1 immunohistochemical (IHC) assay that detects cell surface PD-L1 in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, human tumor tissue specimens using Dako's Autostainer Link 48. The primary antibody for this assay is a rabbit monoclonal antihuman PD-L1 antibody, clone 28-8. Another rabbit monoclonal antihuman PD-L1 antibody, clone E1L3N, was compared with 28-8 for specificity and sensitivity using an identical detection method followed by vendor-recommended detection methods.Using PD-L1 null clones of L2987 and ES-2 tumor cell lines, both antibodies were specific for detection of PD-L1 on the plasma membrane, although E1L3N also stained cytoplasm in ES-2 knockout cells. Using the identical method, E1L3N was slightly more sensitive than 28-8 based on staining intensities. Using manufacturer-recommended detection methods and predefined scoring criteria for plasma membrane staining of tumor and immune cells, 28-8 demonstrated significantly improved detection compared with E1L3N.Epitope retrieval and highly sensitive detection reagents are key determinants in IHC detection of PD-L1.
Project description:Immunohistochemistry (IHC) using formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue is limited by epitope masking, posttranslational modification and immunoreactivity loss that occurs in stored tissue by poorly characterized mechanisms. Conformational epitopes recognized by many programmed-death-ligand-1 (PD-L1) IHC assays are particularly susceptible to degradation and provide an ideal model for understanding signal loss in stored FFPE tissue. Here we assessed 1206 tissue sections to evaluate environmental factors impacting immunoreactivity loss. PD-L1 IHC using four antibodies (22C3, 28-8, E1L3N, and SP142), raised against intracellular and extracellular epitopes, was assessed in stored FFPE tissue alongside quantitative mass spectrometry (MS). Global proteome analyses were used to assess proteome-wide oxidation across an inventory of 3041 protein groups (24,737 distinct peptides). PD-L1 quantitation correlated well with IHC expression on unaged sections (R2?=?0.744; P?<?0.001), with MS demonstrating no loss of PD-L1 protein, even in sections with significant signal loss by IHC impacting diagnostic category. Clones 22C3 and 28-8 were most susceptible to signal loss, with E1L3N demonstrating the most robust signal (56%, 58%, and 33% reduction respectively; p?<?0.05). Increased humidity and temperature resulted in significant acceleration of immunoreactivity loss, which was mitigated by storage with desiccant. MS demonstrated only modest oxidation of 274 methionine-containing peptides and aligned with IHC results suggesting peptide oxidation is not a major factor. These data imply immunoreactivity loss driven by humidity and temperature results in structural distortion of epitopes rendering them unsuitable for antibody binding following epitope retrieval. Limitations of IHC biomarker analysis from stored tissue sections may be mitigated by cost-effective use of desiccant when appropriate. In some scenarios, complementary MS is a preferred approach for retrospective analyses of archival FFPE tissue collections.
Project description:Importance:Four assays registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detect programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) to enrich for patient response to anti-programmed cell death 1 and anti-PD-L1 therapies. The tests use 4 separate PD-L1 antibodies on 2 separate staining platforms and have their own scoring systems, which raises questions about their similarity and the potential interchangeability of the tests. Objective:To compare the performance of 4 PD-L1 platforms, including 2 FDA-cleared assays, 1 test for investigational use only, and 1 laboratory-developed test. Design, Setting, and Participants:Four serial histologic sections from 90 archival non-small cell lung cancers from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010, were distributed to 3 sites that performed the following immunohistochemical assays: 28-8 antibody on the Dako Link 48 platform, 22c3 antibody on the Dako Link 48 platform, SP142 antibody on the Ventana Benchmark platform, and E1L3N antibody on the Leica Bond platform. The slides were scanned and scored by 13 pathologists who estimated the percentage of malignant and immune cells expressing PD-L1. Statistical analyses were performed from December 1, 2015, to August 30, 2016, to compare antibodies and pathologists' scoring of tumor and immune cells. Main Outcomes and Measures:Percentages of malignant and immune cells expressing PD-L1. Results:Among the 90 samples, the SP142 assay was an outlier, with a significantly lower mean score of PD-L1 expression in both tumor and immune cells (tumor cells: 22c3, 2.96; 28-8, 3.26; SP142, 1.99; E1L3N, 3.20; overall mean, 2.85; and immune cells: 22c3, 2.15; 28-8, 2.28; SP142, 1.62; E1L3N, 2.28; overall mean, 2.08). Pairwise comparisons showed that the scores from the 28-8 and E1L3N tests were not significantly different but that the 22c3 test showed a slight (mean difference, 0.24-0.30) but statistically significant reduction in labeling of PD-L1 expression in tumor cells. Evaluation of intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between antibodies to quantify interassay variability for PD-L1 expression in tumor cells showed high concordance between antibodies for tumor cell scoring (0.813; 95% CI, 0.815-0.839) and lower levels of concordance for immune cell scoring (0.277; 95% CI, 0.222-0.334). When examining variability between pathologists for any single assay, the concordance between pathologists' scoring for PD-L1 expression in tumor cells ranged from ICCs of 0.832 (95% CI, 0.820-0.844) to 0.882 (95% CI, 0.873-0.891) for each assay, while the ICCs from immune cells for each assay ranged from 0.172 (95% CI, 0.156-0.189) to 0.229 (95% CI, 0.211-0.248). Conclusions and Relevance:The assay using the SP142 antibody is an outlier that detected significantly less PD-L1 expression in tumor cells and immune cells. The assay for antibody 22c3 showed slight yet statistically significantly lower staining than either 28-8 or E1L3N, but this significance was detected only when using the mean of 13 pathologists' scores. The pathologists showed excellent concordance when scoring tumor cells stained with any antibody but poor concordance for scoring immune cells stained with any antibody. Thus, for tumor cell assessment of PD-L1, 3 of the 4 tests are concordant and reproducible as read by pathologists.
Project description:Targeting of the programmed cell death protein (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) axis with checkpoint inhibitors has changed clinical practice in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, clinical assessment remains complex and ambiguous. We aim to assess whether digital image analysis (DIA) and multiplex immunofluorescence can improve the accuracy of PD-L1 diagnostic testing. A clinical cohort of routine NSCLC patients reflex tested for PD-L1 (SP263) immunohistochemistry (IHC), was assessed using DIA. Samples of varying assessment difficulty were assessed by multiplex immunofluorescence. Sensitivity, specificity, and concordance was evaluated between manual diagnostic evaluation and DIA for chromogenic and multiplex IHC. PD-L1 expression by DIA showed significant concordance (R² = 0.8248) to manual assessment. Sensitivity and specificity was 86.8% and 91.4%, respectively. Evaluation of DIA scores revealed 96.8% concordance to manual assessment. Multiplexing enabled PD-L1+/CD68+ macrophages to be readily identified within PD-L1+/cytokeratin+ or PD-L1-/cytokeratin+ tumor nests. Assessment of multiplex vs. chromogenic IHC had a sensitivity and specificity of 97.8% and 91.8%, respectively. Deployment of DIA for PD-L1 diagnostic assessment is an accurate process of case triage. Multiplex immunofluorescence provided higher confidence in PD-L1 assessment and could be offered for challenging cases by centers with appropriate expertise and specialist equipment.
Project description:Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) immunohistochemistry is used to guide treatment decisions regarding the use of checkpoint immunotherapy in the management of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder and hypopharyngeal (HP) squamous cell carcinoma. With increasing PD-L1 testing options, a need has arisen to assess the analytical comparability of diagnostic assays in order to develop a more sustainable testing strategy. Using tissue microarrays, PD-L1 expression in tumor cells (TCs) and immune cells (ICs) was manually scored in 197 cases and 27 cases of bladder and HP cancer, respectively. Three commercial kits (Ventana SP263, Ventana SP142, Dako 22C3) and 1 platform-independent test (Cell Signalling Technologies E1L3N) were utilized. Across the 3 commercially available clones, 14% and 74% of urothelial carcinomas were positive and negative, respectively, whereas 7% and 78% of HP carcinomas were positive and negative, respectively. Twelve percent of bladder and 15% HP cases showed discrepant PD-L1 classification results. Regardless of the scoring algorithm used, E1L3N provided comparable PD-L1 staining results. Fleiss' kappa and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analyses demonstrated substantial agreement among all antibody clones (k=0.639 to 0.791) and excellent reliability among SP263, 22C3, and E1L3N antibodies (ICC, 0.929 to 0.949) in TC staining. Compared with the other 3 clones, SP142 TC staining was lower with only moderate correlation (ICC, 0.500 to 0.619). Generally, the reliability of immune cell staining was lower compared with TC staining (ICC, 0.519 to 0.866). Our results demonstrate good analytic comparability of all 4 antibodies. The results are encouraging and support growing optimism in the pathology and oncology communities concerning strategies in PD-L1 assay use.
Project description:Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is suggested to be a predictive biomarker in non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). However, the differential expression of PD-L1 in primary lung tumor vs. synchronous metastases, especially brain metastasis (BM), remains unclear. This study assessed the concordance of PD-L1 expression on tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and CD8+ TIL intensity between primary lung tumors and synchronous BMs from 24 NSCLC patients. PD-L1, CD3, and CD8 positivity was determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). PD-L1 scoring was based on the proportion of tumor cells with membranous expression of PD-L1 and the cutoff values <1%, 1-49%, and ?50%. CD3 and CD8 positivity in TILs was evaluated semi-quantitatively and the proportion of CD3+/CD8+ TILs was determined. PD-L1 expression on tumor cells and TILs was evaluated in relation to CD3+/CD8+ TIL proportions and the intensity of CD8+ TILs between the paired primary lung and BM tissues. In the primary lung tumors, PD-L1 positivity was observed in 25%, 37.5%, and 37.5% cases for the cutoff values <1%, 1-49%, and ?50%, respectively. PD-L1 expression on tumor cells was strongly correlated between the paired primary lung and BM tissues, in all cutoff groups. However, PD-L1 expression on TILs and the proportion of CD3+/CD8+ TILs were not strongly correlated in all three groups between the paired primary lung tumors and BMs. The intensity of CD8+ TILs was concordant in only 54.16% of the paired primary lung tumors and BMs. This study showed a high concordance of PD-L1 expression in neoplastic cells between primary NSCLC and synchronous BMs.