Immunohistochemical detection of PD-L1 among diverse human neoplasms in a reference laboratory: observations based upon 62,896 cases

Modern Pathology (2019) 32:929–942

Dennis P. O’Malley ● Yuhang Yang1 ● Saskia Boisot ● Sucha Sudarsanam ● Jian-Feng Wang ● Vladislav Chizhevsky ● Guohua Zhao ● Shehla Arain ● Lawrence M. Weiss


Targeting of the PD1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint pathway has rapidly gained acceptance as a therapeutic strategy for a growing number of malignancies. Testing for expression of PD-L1 in tumor cells and immune cells has been used as a companion or complementary test for drugs targeting the PD1/PD-L1 pathway. We evaluated the results of PD-L1 testing in a large reference lab cohort. Using Food and Drug Administration-approved methods and interpretive instructions for each individual test, 62,896 cases were evaluated for PD-L1 using antibody clone 22C3, 28-8, SP142, or SP263. Case data analyzed included test results and information on tumor location and clinical history. No clinical outcome information was available and no attempt was made to correlate PD-L1 results with any other tests performed. The following numbers of cases were evaluated: 22C3 with tumor proportion score [n = 52585], 22C3 with combined positive score [n = 2631], 28-8 [n=4191], SP142 [n=850], and SP263 [n=70]. In 22C3/tumor proportion score cases, the general results were as follows: negative 33.1% (n = 17,405), (low) expression 33.9% (n = 17,822), and high expression 29.5% (n = 15,486). In cases identified as metastatic, the results were as follows: negative 35.9% (n = 1411), (low) expression 30.8% (n = 1211), and high expression 30.7% (n = 1208).


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