Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), which is expressed on many cancer cells, interacts with PD1 expressed on the surface of T cells, inhibiting the T cells and blocking the antitumor immune response. Expression of PD-L1 in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) has not been studied. We investigated the impact of PD-L1 expression in 32 patients with metastatic GEP-NET. The expression of PD-L1 was evaluated using an anti-PD-L1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) antibody optimized for staining of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. The correlation between PD-L1 and clinicopathological data including survival and response to systemic treatments was analyzed. Primary sites were 24 foregut-derived GEP-NETs, including stomach (n=1), duodenum (n=2), biliary tract (n=7), and pancreas (n=14), and 8 hindgut-derived GEP-NETs of the distal colon and rectum. Among the 32 patients with metastatic GEP-NET analyzed in this study, 7 (21.9%) had expression of PD-L1 in tumor tissues. Expression of PD-L1 was significantly associated with high-grade WHO classification (grade 3) (p=0.008) but not with gender, primary site, and number of metastatic sites (p > 0.05). The status of PD-L1 expression was statistically associated with progression-free survival (PFS) for first-line systemic treatment (p=0.047). Moreover, the status of PD-L1 expression could significantly predict overall survival (p=0.037). The expression of PD-L1 was associated with higher WHO tumor grade (grade 3) in metastatic GEP-NETs. PD-L1 expression had both predictive and prognostic value for survival of patients with metastatic GEP-NETs.
- Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (GEP-NET)
- Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)
- WHO classification