Mutational Diversity of Lung Cancer and Associated Lymph Nodes. An Exploratory Prospective Study of 4 Resected cIIIA-N2
OBJECTIVES Pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinomas (SC) are rare tumors, associated with worse prognosis and resistant to platinum-based regimens. Therapies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway are an emerging treatment for lung cancer. By characterizing intra-tumoral immune infiltration and evaluating PD-L1 expression, it could be possible to predict the efficacy of these new treatments. MATERIALS AND METHODS From 1997 to 2013, data from all patients with SC who underwent lung resection was collected. Tumor-immune infiltration and PD-L1 expression were studied by immunochemistry tests, analyzing CD3 (clone SP7), CD4 (clone 1F6), CD8 (clone C8/144b), CD20 (clone L26), CD163 (clone 10D6), MPO (clone 59A5), and PD-L1 (clone 5H1). Results were compared to those of 54 NSCLC. RESULTS In total, 75 SC were included. Forty (53%) SC expressed PD-L1 vs 11 NSCLC (20%) (p<0.0001). CD3+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and CD163+ tumor-associated macrophages were more important in SC than in NSCLC (median 23% [17-30] of tumoral surface vs 17% [7-27], p=0.011 and 23% [17-30] vs 20% [13-23], p=0.002, respectively). In SC, the presence of Kirsten Ras (KRAS) mutations, blood vessel invasion, and TTF1+ positivity were associated with PDL1 expression. On multivariate analysis, only CD163+ macrophages and blood-vessel invasion were associated with tumoral PD-L1 expression. High levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (CD3+ or CD4+ and not CD8+) constituted a factor of good prognosis on survival. Interestingly, PD-L1 expression distinguishes subpopulations within tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (CD3+ or CD4+) with different prognosis CONCLUSIONS PD-L1 expression was higher in SC than in NSCLC as well as immune-cell infiltration by TCD3 cells and macrophages. This suggests that targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway could represent a new potential therapy.