PD-L1 expression in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms grade 3.
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.