Differences in tumor microenvironments between primary lung tumors and brain metastases in lung cancer patients: therapeutic implications for immune checkpoint inhibitors.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:We aimed to compare intra- and extracranial responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in lung cancer with brain metastases (BM), and to explore tumor microenvironments of the brain and lungs focusing on the programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) pathway. METHODS:Two cohorts of lung cancer patients with BM were analyzed. Cohort 1 included 18 patients treated with nivolumab or pembrolizumab, and intra- and extracranial responses were assessed. Cohort 2 comprised 20 patients who underwent both primary lung surgery and brain metastasectomy. Specimens from cohort 2 were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis for the following markers: CD3, CD4, CD8, FOXP3, and PD-1 on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and PD-L1 on tumor cells. RESULTS:Seven patients (38.9%) in cohort 1 showed progressive disease in both primary and intracranial lesions. Although the other 11 patients exhibited a partial response or stable disease in the primary lesion, eight showed a progression in BM. Interestingly, PD-1+ TILs were significantly decreased in BM (P?=?0.034). For fifteen patients with adenocarcinoma, more distinctive patterns were observed in CD3+ (P?=?0.078), CD8+ (P?=?0.055), FOXP3+ (P?=?0.016), and PD-1+ (P?=?0.016) TILs. CONCLUSIONS:There may be discordant responses to an ICI of lung cancer between primary lung lesion and BM based on discrepancies in the tumor microenvironment. The diminished infiltration of PD-1+ TILs in tumor tissue within the brain may be one of the major factors that hinder the response to anti-PD-1 antibody in BM.
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.
Project description:The immune microenvironment of the brain differs from that of other organs and the role of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in brain metastases (BM), one of the most common and devastating complication of cancer, is unclear. We investigated TIL subsets and their prognostic impact in 116 BM specimens using immunohistochemistry for CD3, CD8, CD45RO, FOXP3, PD1 and PD-L1. The Immunoscore was calculated as published previously. Overall, we found TIL infiltration in 115/116 (99.1%) BM specimens. PD-L1 expression was evident in 19/67 (28.4%) BM specimens and showed no correlation with TIL density (p > 0.05). TIL density was not associated with corticosteroid administration (p > 0.05). A significant difference in infiltration density according to TIL subtype was present (p < 0.001; Chi Square); high infiltration was most frequently observed for CD3+ TILs (95/116; 81.9%) and least frequently for PD1+ TILs (18/116; 15.5%; p < 0.001). Highest TIL density was observed in melanoma, followed by renal cell cancer and lung cancer BM (p < 0.001). The density of CD8(+) TILs correlated positively with the extent of peritumoral edema seen on pre-operative magnetic resonance imaging (p = 0.031). The density of CD3+ (15 vs. 6 mo; p = 0.015), CD8(+) (15 vs. 11 mo; p = 0.030) and CD45RO+ TILs (18 vs. 8 mo; p = 0.006) showed a positive correlation with favorable median OS times. Immunoscore showed significant correlation with survival prognosis (27 vs. 10 mo; p < 0.001). The prognostic impact of Immunoscore was independent from established prognostic parameters at multivariable analysis (HR 0.612, p < 0.001). In conclusion, our data indicate that dense TILs infiltrates are common in BM and correlate with the amount of peritumoral brain edema and survival prognosis, thus identifying the immune system as potential biomarker for cancer patients with CNS affection. Further studies are needed to substantiate our findings.
Project description:Symptomatic brain metastases (BM) are a frequent and late complication in cancer patients. However, a subgroup of cancer patients presents with BM as the first symptom of metastatic cancer. Here we aimed to analyze the clinical course and prognostic factors of this particular BM patient population. Patients presenting with newly diagnosed BM without a history of metastatic cancer were identified from the Vienna Brain Metastasis Registry. Clinical characteristics and overall survival were retrieved by chart review. 459/2419 (19.0%) BM patients presented with BM as first symptom of advanced cancer. In 374/459 (81.5%) patients, an extracranial primary tumor, most commonly lung cancer, could be identified within 3 months after BM diagnosis. In 85/459 (18.5%) patients no extracranial primary tumor could be identified despite comprehensive diagnostic workup within the first 3 months after diagnosis of BM. Survival of patients with identified extracranial tumor differed only numerically from patients with cancer of unknown primary (CUP), however patients receiving targeted therapy after molecular workup showed significantly enhanced survival (20 months vs. 7 months; p?=?0.003; log rank test). The GPA score showed a statistically significant association with median overall survival times in the CUP BM patients (class I: 46 months; class II: 7 months; class III: 4 months; class IV: 2 months; p?<?0.001; log rank test). The GPA score has a strong prognostic value in patients with CUP BM and may be useful for patient stratification in the clinical setting. Comprehensive diagnostic workup including advanced imaging techniques and molecular tissue analyses appears to benefit patients by directing specific molecular targeted therapies.
Project description:The dynamics of PD-L1 expression may limit its use as a tissue-based predictive biomarker. We sought to expand our understanding of the dynamics of PD-L1 expression and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in patients with lung cancer-related brain metastases.Paired primary lung cancers and brain metastases were identified and assessed for PD-L1 and CD3 expression by immunohistochemistry. Lesions with 5% or greater PD-L1 expression were considered positive. Agreement statistics and the ?(2) or Fisher's exact test were used for analysis.We analyzed 146 paired lesions from 73 cases. There was disagreement of tumor cell PD-L1 expression in 10 cases (14%, ? = 0.71), and disagreement of TIL PD-L1 expression in 19 cases (26%, ? = 0.38). Most paired lesions with discordant tumor cell expression of PD-L1 were obtained 6 or more months apart. When specimens were categorized using a proposed tumor microenvironment categorization scheme based on PD-L1 expression and TILs, there were significant changes in the classifications because many of the brain metastases lacked either PD-L1 expression, tumor lymphocyte infiltration or both even when they were present in the primary lung cancer specimens (P = 0.009).We identified that there are significant differences between the tumor microenvironment of paired primary lung cancers and brain metastases. When physicians decide to treat patients with lung cancer with a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor, they must do so in the context of the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment.
Project description:Although pediatric malignant extracranial germ-cell tumors (meGCTs) are among the most chemosensitive solid tumors, a group of patients relapse and die of disease. To identify new markers predicting clinical outcome, we examined the prognostic relevance of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes (TILs) and the expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 in a cohort of pediatric meGCTs by in situ immunohistochemistry. MeGCTs were variously infiltrated by T cell-subtypes according to the tumor subtype, tumor location and age at diagnosis. We distinguished three different phenotypes: i) tumors not infiltrated by T cells (immature teratomas and half of the yolk sac tumors), ii) tumors highly infiltrated by CD8+ T cells expressing PD-1, which identifies activated tumor-reactive T cells (seminomas and dysgerminomas), iii) tumors highly infiltrated by CD8+ T cells within an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment characterized by CD4+FOXP3+ Treg cells and PD-L1-expressing tumor cells (embryonal carcinomas, choriocarcinomas and the remaining yolk sac tumors). Tumor subtypes belonging mixed meGCTs were variously infiltrated, suggesting the coexistence of multiple immune microenvironments either facilitating or precluding the entry of T cells. These findings support the hypothesis that TILs influence the development of meGCTs and might be of clinical relevance to improve risk stratification and the treatment of pediatric patients.
Project description:This study included patients with primary triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) who underwent resection without neoadjuvant chemotherapy between January 2004 and December 2014. Among the 248 TNBCs studied, programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression was detected in 103 (41.5%) tumors, and high levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were present in 118 (47.6%) tumors. PD-L1 expression correlated with high levels of TILs, but was not a prognostic factor. Patients with TILs-high tumors had better overall survival than those with TILs-low tumors (P = 0.016). There was a strong interaction between PD-L1 expression and TILs that was associated with both recurrence-free survival (P = 0.0018) and overall survival (P = 0.015). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards model analysis showed that PD-L1-positive/TILs-low was an independent negative prognostic factor for both recurrence-free survival and overall survival. Our findings suggest that PD-L1-positive/TILs-low tumors are associated with a poor prognosis in patients with TNBC, and that it is important to focus on the combination of PD-L1 expression on tumor cells and TILs present in the tumor microenvironment. These biomarkers may be useful for stratification of TNBCs and for predicting prognosis and developing novel cancer immunotherapies.
Project description:The activation of immune cells by targeting checkpoint inhibitors showed promising results with increased patient survival in distinct primary cancers. Since only limited data exist for human brain metastases, we aimed at characterizing tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and expression of immune checkpoints in the respective tumors. Two brain metastases cohorts, a mixed entity cohort (n = 252) and a breast carcinoma validation cohort (n = 96) were analyzed for CD3+, CD8+, FOXP3+, PD-1+ lymphocytes and PD-L1+ tumor cells by immunohistochemistry. Analyses for association with clinico-epidemiological and neuroradiological parameters such as patient survival or tumor size were performed. TILs infiltrated brain metastases in three different patterns (stromal, peritumoral, diffuse). While carcinomas often show a strong stromal infiltration, TILs in melanomas often diffusely infiltrate the tumors. Highest levels of CD3+ and CD8+ lymphocytes were seen in renal cell carcinomas (RCC) and strongest PD-1 levels on RCCs and melanomas. High amounts of TILs, high ratios of PD-1+/CD8+ cells and high levels of PD-L1 were negatively correlated with brain metastases size, indicating that in smaller brain metastases CD8+ immune response might get blocked. PD-L1 expression strongly correlated with TILs and FOXP3 expression. No significant association of patient survival with TILs was observed, while high levels of PD-L1 showed a strong trend towards better survival in melanoma brain metastases (Log-Rank p = 0.0537). In summary, melanomas and RCCs seem to be the most immunogenic entities. Differences in immunotherapeutic response between tumor entities regarding brain metastases might be attributable to this finding and need further investigation in larger patient cohorts.
Project description:EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that developed acquired resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase (TKI) are potential candidates for programmed death 1 (PD1) inhibitor.TPS?1% for PD-L1 and low CD8 + TIL in post-TKI tumor showed a trend for a lower PFS of EGFR-TKIs (14.2 vs 9.9 months; P = 0.060) (cohort A). Only 2 of 22 specimens (9.1%) with an acquired EGFR exon 20 T790M mutation exhibited in post-TKI TPS?50% for PD-L1. The degree in post-TKI tumor of PD-L1 expression was varied in 19 patients (40.5%), with 10 (21.2%) showing higher levels in the resistant biopsy (cohort B). Among the post-TKI high TPS groups, median PFS with low post- TKI CD8 + TIL scores treated with EGFR-TKIs (6.6 months) was significantly lower than that for the other patients (14.2 months; P = 0.015).The change of PD-L1 expression was accompanied by dynamic change in CD8 + TILs and might reflect diverse mechanism of resistance to EGFR-TKI therapy.We identified 69 patients (cohort A) with sufficient post-TKI tumor tissues and 47 patients (cohort B) with paired tumor tissues available. TPS for PD-L1 expression of tumor cells and CD8 + TILs score in tumor specimens were determined by immunohistochemistry.
Project description:Abstract Objectives Lymphoepithelioma?like carcinoma (LELC) is an uncommon lung cancer, typically observed in young, non?smoking Asian populations. LELC is associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection of lung tumor cells of epithelial origin, suggesting a carcinogenic role of EBV as observed in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Here, we studied the antigen specificity and phenotype of EBV?specific CD8+ T cells in blood and tumor of one LELC patient positive for EBV infection in lung tumor cells. Methods Using multiplex MHC class I tetramers, mass cytometry and mRNA sequencing, we studied EBV?specific CD8+ T cells at the transcriptomic and phenotypic levels in blood and tumor tissues of the LELC patient. Results Lymphoepithelioma?like carcinoma lung tumor cells were positive for EBV infection. In both blood and tumor tissues, we detected two populations of EBV?specific CD8+ T cells targeting the EBV lytic cycle proteins: BRLF1 and BMLF1. Transcriptomic analyses of these two populations in the tumor, which can be considered as tumor?specific, revealed their distinct exhausted profile and polyclonal TCR repertoire. High?dimensional phenotypical analysis revealed the distinct phenotype of these cells between blood and tumor tissues. In tumor tissue, EBV?specific CD8+ TILs were phenotypically heterogeneous, but consistently expressed CD39. Unexpectedly, although the LELC tumor cells expressed abundant PD?L1, these tumor?specific CD8+ tumor?infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) mostly did not express PD?1. Conclusion Epstein–Barr virus?specific CD8+ TILs in EBV?driven tumor are heterogeneous and partially lack PD?1 expression, suggesting that anti?PD1/PD?L1 immunotherapy may not be an appropriate strategy for disinhibiting EBV?specific cells in the treatment of LELC patients. We studied the antigen specificity and phenotype of CD8+ tumor?infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in one LELC patient positive for EBV infection in lung tumor cells. Transcriptomic analyses of EBV?specific CD8+ TILs reveal their distinct exhausted profiles and polyclonal TCR repertoire. Although the LELC tumor cells expressed abundant PD?L1, EBV?specific CD8+ TILs mostly did not express PD?1, but express CD39.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The efficacy of anti-programmed cell death-1/ligand 1 antibody monotherapy (anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy) in patients with active brain metastases (BMs) is not established. Here, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with active BMs. METHODS:This retrospective study included NSCLC patients treated with second-line or later-line anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy between December 2015 and August 2019. Patients were classified into those with or without active BMs, including symptomatic BMs requiring systemic steroids and untreated BMs. The progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of the patients with and without active BMs were compared. Intracranial and extracranial tumor responses were evaluated in patients with active BMs. RESULTS:We analyzed 197 patients who had received anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy. Among them, 24 had active BMs. Among those without active BMs, 145 had no BMs and 28 had treated asymptomatic BMs. The PFS and OS of patients with active BMs were significantly shorter than those of patients without active BMs (1.3 vs. 2.7?months; P?<?0.001, and 4.5 vs. 16.3?months; P = 0.001 respectively). For patients with active BMs, the intracranial and extracranial response rates were 13.3% and 26.7%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, active BMs, poor performance status (PS), and EGFR/ALK positivity were significant factors associated with shorter PFS. Active BMs and poor PS were significant factors associated with shorter OS. CONCLUSIONS:This study suggested that anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapy was not effective for NSCLC patients with active BMs. Further studies on immunotherapy are needed for patients with active BMs. KEY POINTS:Significant findings of the study: The present study showed that anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibody monotherapy was not effective for non-small cell lung cancer patients with active brain metastases. Intracranial and extracranial response rates were 13.3% and 26.7%, respectively. WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS:Further studies on immunotherapy are needed for patients with active BMs.