Turkish Journal of Pathology

Türk Patoloji Dergisi

Turkish Journal of Pathology

Turkish Journal of Pathology

2017, Vol 33, Num, 3     (Pages: 192-197)

Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) Expression in Malignant Mesenchymal Tumors


1 Department of Pathology, Research and Application Center, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, ANKARA, TURKEY
2 Department of Molecular Pathology, Research and Application Center, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, ANKARA, TURKEY

DOI: 10.5146/tjpath.2017.01395
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Objective: Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) found on tumor cells has recently been reported to have a key role in the development and dissemination of many tumors, such as lung and breast carcinomas. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed PD-L1 expression among different types of sarcomas.

Material and Method: Tissue microarrays of 3-4 mm diameter were composed from paraffin blocks of 222 various sarcomas. Slides prepared from microarrays were stained for PD-L1 antibody (Cell Signaling, E1L3N®) using Leica Bond Autostainer. Any membranous staining over 5% of the cells was regarded as positive. Quantitative real-time PCR with TaqMan gene expression assays for PDL1 was performed using whole sections from FFPE tissue of PD-L1 positive cases, by normalizing absolute values to β-actin. Relative expression level of mRNA of PDL1 was calculated and scored using Log102(threshold cycle of b-actin - threshold cycle of PDL1).

Results: Immunohistochemically, PD-L1 expression was present in 34 of 222 (15%) sarcomas. 5/13 (39%) undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas, 6/18 (33%) malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, 5/16 (31%) dedifferentiated liposarcomas, 4/19 (21%) rhabdomyosarcomas, 2/16 (13%) epithelioid sarcomas, 2/15 (13%) leiomyosarcomas, 3/26 (12%) synovial sarcomas, 1/18 (6%) myxoid liposarcoma, 1/2 (50%) extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, 1/3 (33%) alveolar soft part sarcoma, 1/3 (33%) parachordoma/myoepithelioma, 1/5 (20%) pleomorphic liposarcoma, 1/7 (14%) angiosarcoma, 1/8 (13%) Ewing sarcoma showed PD-L1 expression. Cases of solitary fibrous tumor/hemangiopericytoma (18), desmoplastic round cell tumor (14), Ewing-like sarcoma (6), epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (5), clear cell sarcoma (4), myxofibrosarcoma (4), low grade fibromyxoid sarcoma (2) were all negative. Tumor-infiltrating hematopoietic cells were positive for PD-L1 in 32 cases (15%) with only 2 cases overlapping with PD-L1 staining in tumoral cells. Sixteen of 34 (47%) immunohistochemically PD-L1 positive cases showed significant but low-level PD-L1 mRNA overexpression.

Conclusion: We have shown PD-L1 expression in a subset of sarcomas, both at the protein and mRNA level. High-grade pleomorphic sarcomas tend to show more frequent PD-L1 expression. Clinical trials are necessary to further assess the effect of anti PD-L1 drugs on sarcomas showing PD-L1 expression.

Keywords : Sarcoma, Immunotherapy, Immunohistochemistry, Quantitative PCR