Tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes and expression of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in melanoma brain metastases

Anna Sophie Berghoff, Gerda Ricken, Georg Widhalm, Orsolya Rajky, Karin Dieckmann, Peter Birner, Rupert Bartsch, Christoph Höller, Matthias Preusser
Histopathology 2015, 66 (2): 289-99

AIMS: In this study we aimed to characterize immune infiltrates and expression of programmed death 1 (PD-1) and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in a series of melanoma BM to provide a basis for experimental therapy using immune checkpoint inhibitors.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We investigated expression of PD-1, PD-L1, CD3, CD8, CD45RO, forkhead box protein 3 (FoxP3), CD20 and BRAF V600E by immunohistochemistry in melanoma BM samples. Forty-three specimens [27 of which (62.8%) were BRAF V600E-positive] were available. CD3(+) tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were evident in 33 specimens (76.7%), CD8(+) in 39 (90.7%), CD45RO(+) in 32 (74.4%), PD-1(+) in 27 (62.8%), FoxP3(+) in 21 (48.8%) and CD20(+) TILs in 19 (44.2%). Tumour PD-L1 expression was observed in 22 specimens (51.1%), and in nine of these (40.9%) expression was observed in more than 5% of tumour cells. PD-L1 expression was associated with higher density of PD-1(+) (P < 0.001), CD3(+) (P = 0.014) and FoxP3(+) (P < 0.001) TIL infiltration. Density of CD3(+) TILs was associated with density of CD8(+) (P < 0.001), PD-1(+) (P < 0.001) and CD45RO(+) (P < 0.001) TILs. PD-L1 expression or PD-1(+) , CD3(+) , CD8(+) or CD45RO(+) TILs density did not correlate with BRAF V600E status, previous systemic therapy or survival (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Melanoma BM showed considerable lymphocytic infiltrates and expression of PD-L1 in the majority of investigated specimens, with high PD-L1 expression found predominantly in regions of abundant inflammation. Our data indicate that clinical studies should investigate the value of checkpoint inhibitors in patients with melanoma BMs.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"