Evaluation of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) expression as a prognostic biomarker in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown activity in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, the role of PD-1 expression in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) as a biomarker for poor outcome is not clear. In this study, we evaluated the prognostic value of TIL PD-1 expression in patients with clear cell RCC (ccRCC). 82 patients who underwent nephrectomy for localized or metastatic ccRCC and followed up for at least four years were searched from our database and retrospectively enrolled. Their fixed primary tumor specimens were stained with anti-PD-1 (NAT105). The specimens were classified as negative or positive for PD-1 expression, and the positive specimens were further scored in 10% increments. 37 (45.12%) patients were negative (<1% stained), 26 (31.71%) patients were low (<10 and 10%), and 19 (23.17%) patients were high (20-50%) for PD-1 expression. The prognostic value of TIL PD-1 expression was evaluated by univariate Cox proportional hazards regression on overall and recurrence-free survivals. Higher TIL PD-1 expression was not associated with increased risk of death (P = 0.336) or with increased risk of recurrence (P = 0.572). Higher primary tumor stage was associated with increased risk of recurrence (P = 0.003), and higher Fuhrman nuclear grade was associated with increased risk of death (P <0.001) and with increased risk of recurrence (P <0.001). Our study shows that TIL PD-1 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) does not correlate with poor clinical outcome in patients with ccRCC and is inferior to established prognosticating tools.

Oncoimmunology. 2018 Jan 10*** epublish ***

Kyu Seo Kim, Rishi R Sekar, Dattatraya Patil, Michelle A Dimarco, Haydn T Kissick, Mehmet A Bilen, Adeboye O Osunkoya, Viraj A Master

School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States., Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, GA, United States.

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