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Independent association of PD-L1 expression with noninactivated VHL clear cell renal cell carcinoma-A finding with therapeutic potential

Abstract : Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is an aggressive tumor that is characterized in most cases by inactivation of the tumor suppressor gene VHL. The VHL/HIF/VEGF pathway thus plays a major role in angiogenesis and is currently targeted by anti-angiogenic therapy. The emergence of resistance is leading to the use of targeted immunotherapy against immune checkpoint PD1/PDL1 that restores antitumor immune response. The correlation between VHL status and PD-L1 expression has been little investigated. In this study, we retrospectively reviewed 98 consecutive cases of ccRCC and correlated PD-L1 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) with clinical data (up to 10-year follow-up), pathological criteria, VEGF, PAR-3, CAIX and PD-1 expressions by IHC and complete VHL status (deletion, mutation and promoter hypermethylation). PD-L1 expression was observed in 69 ccRCC (70.4%) and the corresponding patients had a worse prognosis, with a median specific survival of 52 months (p = 0.03). PD-L1 expression was significantly associated with poor prognostic factors such as a higher ISUP nucleolar grade (p = 0.01), metastases at diagnosis (p = 0.01), a sarcomatoid component (p = 0.04), overexpression of VEGF (p = 0.006), and cytoplasmic PAR-3 expression (p = 0.01). PD-L1 expression was also associated with dense PD-1 expression (p = 0.007) and with ccRCC with 0 or 1 alteration(s) (non-inactivated VHL tumors; p = 0.007) that remained significant after multivariate analysis (p = 0.004 and p = 0.024, respectively). Interestingly, all wild-type VHL tumors (no VHL gene alteration, 11.2%) expressed PD-L1. In this study, we found PD-L1 expression to be associated with noninactivated VHL tumors and in particular wild-type VHL ccRCC, which may benefit from therapies inhibiting PD-L1/PD-1.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 11:43:14 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:08:44 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 4:28:45 AM

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Solène-Florence Kammerer-Jacquet, Laurence Crouzet, Angélique Brunot, Julien Dagher, Adélaide Pladys, et al.. Independent association of PD-L1 expression with noninactivated VHL clear cell renal cell carcinoma-A finding with therapeutic potential. International Journal of Cancer, Wiley, 2017, 140 (1), pp.142-148. ⟨10.1002/ijc.30429⟩. ⟨hal-01439352⟩

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