Antibodies targeting the programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) interaction have shown clinical activity in multiple cancer types. PD-L1 protein expression is a clinically validated predictive biomarker of response for such therapies. Prior studies evaluating the expression of PD-L1 in primary prostate cancers have reported highly variable rates of PD-L1 positivity. In addition, limited data exist on PD-L1 expression in metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Here, we determined PD-L1 protein expression by immunohistochemistry using a validated PD-L1–specific antibody (SP263) in a large and representative cohort of primary prostate cancers and prostate cancer metastases. The study included 539 primary prostate cancers comprising 508 acinar adenocarcinomas, 24 prostatic duct adenocarcinomas, 7 small-cell carcinomas, and a total of 57 cases of mCRPC. PD-L1 positivity was low in primary acinar adenocarcinoma, with only 7.7% of cases showing detectable PD-L1 staining. Increased levels of PD-L1 expression were noted in 42.9% of small-cell carcinomas. In mCRPC, 31.6% of cases showed PD-L1–specific immunoreactivity. In conclusion, in this comprehensive evaluation of PD-L1 expression in prostate cancer, PD-L1 expression is rare in primary prostate cancers, but increased rates of PD-L1 positivity were observed in mCRPC. These results will be important for the future clinical development of programmed cell death protein 1/PD-L1–targeting therapies in prostate cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine