Original Research| Volume 55, P7-14, March 2016

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Predictive relevance of PD-L1 expression combined with CD8+ TIL density in stage III non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy

Published:January 06, 2016DOI:


      • There was a trend for poor survival in stage III non-small cell lung cancer who expressed programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1).
      • A combination of lack of PD-L1 expression and CD8+ tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) density tended to predict favourable survival.
      • PD-L1 in combination with CD8+ TIL could be a useful predictive biomarker.



      Expression of programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is known to be a mechanism whereby cancer can escape immune surveillance, but little is known about factors predictive of efficacy in patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We investigated the predictive relevance of PD-L1 expression and CD8+ tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) density in patients with locally advanced NSCLC receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT).


      We retrospectively reviewed 74 consecutive patients with stage III NSCLC who had received CCRT. PD-L1 expression and CD8+ TIL density were evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis.


      Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that CD8+ TIL density was an independent and significant predictive factor for progression-free survival (PFS) and OS, whereas PD-L1 expression was not correlated with PFS and OS. Sub-analysis revealed that the PD-L1+/CD8 low group had the shortest PFS (8.6 months, p = 0.02) and OS (13.9 months, p = 0.11), and that the PD-L1-/CD8 high group had the longest prognosis (median PFS and OS were not reached) by Kaplan-Meier curves of the four sub-groups.


      Among stage III NSCLC patients who received CCRT, there was a trend for poor survival in those who expressed PD-L1. Our analysis indicated that a combination of lack of PD-L1 expression and CD8+ TIL density was significantly associated with favourable survival in these patients. It is proposed that PD-L1 expression in combination with CD8+ TIL density could be a useful predictive biomarker in patients with stage III NSCLC.


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