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Le Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille fête ses 50 ans ! -

Apr 2018 Annales de pathologie

[PD-L1 testing in non-small cell lung carcinoma: Guidelines from the PATTERN group of thoracic pathologists].


Lantuejoul S, Adam J, Duruisseaux M, Mansuet-Lupo A, Cazes A, Rouquette I, Gibault L, Antoine M, Vignaud JM, Galateau-Sallé F, Sagan C, Badoual C, Penault-Llorca F, Damotte D,


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in France with low response rates to conventional chemotherapy. Nevertheless, new therapies have emerged recently, among which PD1 immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), such as nivolumab (OPDIVO, Bristol-Myers Squibb) and pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA, Merck & Co), or PD-L1 ICI, such as atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ, Genentech), durvalumab (IMFINZI, Astra-Zeneca), and avelumab (BAVENCIO, EMD Serono). The prescription of pembrolizumab for advanced stage non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients requires the demonstration of PD-L1 expression by tumor cells by immunohistochemistry (IHC) (minimum of 50% of positive tumor cells is required for first-line setting, and of 1% for second-line and beyond) and PD-L1 assay is now considered as a companion diagnostic tool for this drug. Numerous standardized PD-L1 assays performed on dedicated platforms have been validated in clinical trials, each antibody being associated to one specific PD1 or PD-L1 inhibitor. However, not all pathologists have access to the dedicated platforms and the high cost of these assays is still a limitation to their implementation; in addition, the small size of the NSCLC tumor samples does not allow to perform at the same time multiple assays for multiple drugs. The use of laboratory-developed tests seems feasible but their validation must guarantee the same sensitivities and specificities as standardized tests. In this context, the French group of thoracic pathologists PATTERN has teamed up with thoracic oncologists to provide recommendations on the indication, the critical technical steps and the interpretation of the PD-L1 IHC test to help pathologists to implement quickly and in the best conditions this new theranostic test.

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