Heterogeneity in PD-L1 expression in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma with systemic or intraperitoneal chemotherapy

British Journal of Cancer 2020 October 26 [Link]

Michael G White, Jefree J Schulte, Lai Xue, Yaniv Berger, Darryl Schuitevoerder, Charles C Vining, Hedy L Kindler, Aliya Husain, Kiran K Turaga, Oliver S Eng


Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression has been described in patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM), but treatment strategies utilising immune checkpoint inhibition are yet to be defined. Here, we examine levels of PD-L1 expression in MPM patients treated with systemic and/or intraperitoneal chemotherapy using tissue from patient tumour biopsies or resections at multiple time points. We found the mean PD-L1 expression was higher in those with a germline mutation and/or those with a higher somatic mutation burden. Moreover, PD-L1 expression was lower in patients who had received prior chemotherapy as compared to the treatment-naive cohort. Twenty patients who received chemotherapy, either systemic and/or peritoneal, between PD-L1 measurements showed marked heterogeneity. Six (30%) patients demonstrated upregulation of PD-L1, while eight (40%) demonstrated downregulation. Heterogeneity in PD-L1 expression in MPM before and after cytotoxic therapies may present an additional consideration when initiating immune checkpoint inhibition in this rare and challenging disease.