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Patterns of PD-L1 Expression in NSCLC Harboring Driver Oncogene Mutations Including NTRK Fusions

By: Julia Fiederlein
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2021

Previous trials have shown that patients with lung cancer harboring EGFR-sensitizing mutations may experience unfavorable outcomes from immunotherapy. Ningbo Liu, MD, of the Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute, China, and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the landscape of PD-L1 expression in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring other driver oncogene mutations. Their results were presented during the virtual edition of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021 (Abstract 454).

“Our study supported that [patients with NSCLC] harboring sensitizing oncogenic mutations may potentially benefit from anti–PD-1/L1 [therapy], especially those with positive indicators of immunotherapy with strong positive PD-L1 expression,” the investigators commented.

A total of 22,143 patients provided tissue samples. The samples were evaluated using next-generation sequencing in a College of American Pathologists–certified and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments–accredited laboratory. Of this study population, 2,120 patients harbored driver oncogene mutations: 5.0% ALK-positive, 2.3% MET-positive, 1.1% RET-positive, 0.8% BRAF-positive, 0.3% ROS1-positive, and 0.03% NTRK-positive. Among the 481 patients harboring driver oncogene mutations who were assessed for PD-L1 expression, 33.3% had levels less than 1%, 38.3% had levels between 1% and 49%, 19.5% had levels between 50% and 79%, 4.2% had levels between 80% and 89%, and 4.8% had levels higher than 90%.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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