CD274/PD-L1 gene amplification and PD-L1 protein expression are common events in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.

Straub, Melanie; Drecoll, Enken; Pfarr, Nicole; Weichert, Wilko; Langer, Rupert; Hapfelmeier, Alexander; Götz, Carolin; Wolff, Klaus-Dietrich; Kolk, Andreas; Specht, Katja (2016). CD274/PD-L1 gene amplification and PD-L1 protein expression are common events in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity. OncoTarget, 7(11), pp. 12024-12034. Impact Journals LLC 10.18632/oncotarget.7593

cd274_pd-l1 gene.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Immunomodulatory therapies, targeting the immune checkpoint receptor-ligand complex PD-1/PD-L1 have shown promising results in early phase clinical trials in solid malignancies, including carcinomas of the head and neck. In this context, PD-L1 protein expression has been proposed as a potentially valuable predictive marker. In the present study, expression of PD-L1 and PD-1 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 80 patients with predominantly HPV-negative oral squamous cell carcinomas and associated nodal metastasis. In addition, CD274/PD-L1 gene copy number status was assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis. PD-L1 expression was detected in 36/80 (45%) cases and concordance of PD-L1 expression in primary tumor and corresponding nodal metastasis was present in only 20/28 (72%) cases. PD-1 expression was found in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) but not in tumor cells. CD274/PD-L1 gene amplification was detected in 19% of cases, with high level PD-L1 amplification present in 12/80 (15%), and low level amplification in 3/80 (4%). Interestingly, CD274/PD-L1 gene amplification was associated with positive PD-L1 immunostaining in only 73% of cases. PD-L1 copy number status was concordant in primary tumor and associated metastases. Clinically, PD-L1 tumor immunopositivity was associated with a higher risk for nodal metastasis at diagnosis, overall tumor related death und recurrence. Based on our findings we propose to include PD-L1 copy number status in addition to protein status in screening programs for future clinical trials with immunotherapeutic strategies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Langer, Rupert


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Impact Journals LLC




Doris Haefelin

Date Deposited:

22 Dec 2016 17:06

Last Modified:

22 Dec 2016 17:06

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

PD-1; PD-L1; Pathology Section; fluorescence in situ hybridization; gene amplification; oral squamous cell carcinoma




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback