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Data_Sheet_1_PD-L1 Expression and Immune Cell Infiltration in Gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) and Non-GEP Neuroendocrine Neoplasms With High Proliferative Activity.docx
The potential of neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) to respond to checkpoint inhibitors is largely unknown and full of great expectations. Immunohistochemical (IHC) studies of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in the tumor microenvironment and its implications in predicting the response to checkpoint inhibition is a very active subject. Currently, the combined analysis of PD-L1 expression and tumor-associated immune cell (TAIC) infiltration is considered the best predictive marker of therapeutic response. Here we investigated the expression of PD-L1 on tumor cells (TC) and tumor-infiltrating immune cells (IC) by IHC in 68 NEN samples with a high proliferation rate (Ki-67 >20%) from 57 patients and in 22 samples we correlated it with TAIC density by assessing intratumoral infiltration of CD3+, CD8+, and CD68+ cells. Furthermore, the tumor microenvironment was evaluated according to the classification of Teng et al. We detected PD-L1 expression in 31.6% of NEN G3. Its expression usually was weak and more IC than TC expressed PD-L1. The proportion of tumors positive for PD-L1 was comparable in NEN from different sites of origin but varied depending on tumor differentiation and disease extension. No positive IHC staining was found in 3 well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) with a proliferation rate above 20% (NET G3). When analyzing TAIC, we rarely (18.2%) detected intratumoral CD8+ cells, whereas infiltration by CD3+ and CD68+ cells was more common (45.5 and 59.1%, respectively). By combining CD3+ cells and PD-L1 status, we identified the immune ignorant phenotype of tumor microenvironment as being the most common phenotype, supporting the concept of a preferably combined immunotherapeutic approach in neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC).
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