Predictive factors of activity of anti-programmed death-1/programmed death ligand-1 drugs: immunohistochemistry analysis

Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2015 Dec;4(6):743-51. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2015.12.10.


Anti-programmed death-1 (anti-PD1)/programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) therapeutic antibodies targeting regulatory pathways in T cells have recently shown to promising clinical effectiveness in several solid tumors by enhancing antitumor immune response. Immune checkpoint therapy has propelled therapeutic efforts opening a new field in cancer treatment. However, durable clinical response has been educed only in a fraction of patients, underlining the need to predictively select those patients most likely to respond, e.g., by detecting predictive biomarkers. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) detection of PD-L1 in tumor cells has been used in various trials of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 agents to try to select those patients most likely to respond. However, since there are different techniques and scoring systems, results have not been conclusive. Thus efforts are needed to develop standardized IHC assays as well as to explore additional biomarkers to evaluate and predict immune responses elicited by anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies.

Keywords: PD-1; biomarker; immunohistochemistry (IHC); immunotherapy; programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1).

Publication types

  • Review