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Circulating Tumor Cell PD-L1 Expression as Biomarker for Therapeutic Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in NSCLC

Precision Medicine Markers, Pharmaceutical Division, Bayer AG, 42113 Wuppertal, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally.
Cells 2019, 8(8), 809; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8080809
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 24 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 1 August 2019
Over the last decade, the immune checkpoint blockade targeting the programmed death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) axis has improved progression-free and overall survival of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. PD-L1 tumor expression, along with tumor mutational burden, is currently being explored as a predictive biomarker for responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). However, lung cancer patients may have insufficient tumor tissue samples and the high bleeding risk often prevents additional biopsies and, as a consequence, immunohistological evaluation of PD-L1 expression. In addition, PD-L1 shows a dynamic expression profile and can be influenced by intratumoral heterogeneity as well as the immune cell infiltrate in the tumor and its microenvironment, influencing the response rate to PD-1/PD-L1 axis ICIs. Therefore, to identify subgroups of patients with advanced NSCLC that will most likely benefit from ICI therapies, molecular characterization of PD-L1 expression in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) might be supportive. In this review, we highlight the use of CTCs as a complementary diagnostic tool for PD-L1 expression analysis in advanced NSCLC patients. In addition, we examine technical issues of PD-L1 measurement in tissue as well as in CTCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid biopsy; CTCs; immune checkpoint inhibitors; PD-L1 expression; NSCLC liquid biopsy; CTCs; immune checkpoint inhibitors; PD-L1 expression; NSCLC
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Kloten, V.; Lampignano, R.; Krahn, T.; Schlange, T. Circulating Tumor Cell PD-L1 Expression as Biomarker for Therapeutic Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in NSCLC. Cells 2019, 8, 809.

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Cells, EISSN 2073-4409, Published by MDPI AG
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