PD-L1 expression in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms grade 3

Abir Salwa Ali, Seppo W Langer, Birgitte Federspiel, Geir Olav Hjortland, Henning Grønbæk, Morten Ladekarl, Staffan Welin, Lene Weber Vestermark, Johanna Arola, Pia Osterlund, Ulrich Knigge, Halfdan Sørbye, Patrick Micke, Lars Grimelius, Malin Grönberg, Eva Tiensuu Janson

9 Citations (Scopus)


Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms grade 3 (GEP-NENs G3) are rare tumors. These highly aggressive neoplasms are traditionally treated with platinum-based chemotherapy in combination with etoposide. Immune checkpoint proteins such as programmed cell death ligand (PD-L1) may have a role in different cancers allowing them escape the immune system and hence, progress. We aimed to investigate the immunohistochemical expression of PD-L1 in GEP-NEN G3 and evaluate its correlation to clinical parameters. In a cohort of 136 patients, 14 (10%) expressed PD-L1 immunoreactivity; four (3%) patients in the tumor cells and 10 (7%) had immunoreactive immune cells. PD-L1 expression did not correlate to clinical parameters, progression-free survival or overall survival. We conclude that PD-L1 expression is present only in a subset of GEP-NEN G3 patients. Further studies are needed to fully understand the role of PD-L1 in patients with GEP-NEN G3, including the future possibility for treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0243900
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12 December
Pages (from-to)e0243900
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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