Background: Recently, therapeutic antibodies against programmed death-1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) have shown promising clinical results for several solid tumors, including pancreatic cancer. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between the PD-L1 expression of surgical resected and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens for patients with pancreatic cancer. Methods: Of 121 patients who underwent endoscopic ultrasound-guided (EUS)–FNA before surgery for pancreatic cancer in an academic center, the 94 (78%) with adequate FNA specimens for a histological evaluation were retrospectively analyzed. All the patients had undergone upfront surgery without any chemotherapy or radiotherapy. We performed immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining to investigate the PD-L1 expression in both resected and FNA specimens. The positive-stained cells were counted, and their percentage was used for the investigation. Results: Of the 94 patients, 16 (17%) and 11 (10%) were defined as positive on resected cancer specimens using cutoff points of 5% and 10% positively stained cancer cell counts, respectively. The concordance rates for the positive frequency of PD-L1 expression between resected and FNA specimens were 44% (7/16) and 55% (6/11) when the positivity was set to ≥ 5% and ≥ 10%, respectively. The concordance rates for the negative frequency of PD-L1 expression between two specimens were 97% (76/78) and 99% (82/83) when the positivity was set to ≥ 5% and ≥ 10%, respectively. Conclusions: Approximately, half of the patients with PD-L1 expression positive and almost all the patients with PD-L1 expression negative could be diagnosed on FNA specimens.
- Pancreatic cancer
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