Purpose: PD-L1 expression in the pre-treatment tumor microenvironment enriches for response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively compare the performance of five monoclonal anti-PD-L1 antibodies used in recent landmark publications. <br /><br />Experimental Design: PD-L1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on thirty-four formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded archival melanoma samples using the 5H1, SP142, 28-8, 22C3 and SP263 clones. The percentage of total cells (including melanocytes and immune cells) demonstrating cell surface PD-L1 staining, as well as intensity measurements/H-scores, were assessed for each melanoma specimen using a computer-assisted platform. Staining properties were compared between antibodies. <br /><br />Results: Strong correlations were observed between the percentage of PD-L1(+) cells across all clones studied (R2=0.81-0.96). When present, discordant results were attributable to geographic heterogeneity of the melanoma tissue section rather than differences in PD-L1 antibody staining characteristics. PD-L1 intensity/H-scores strongly correlated with percentage of PD-L1(+) cells (R2>0.78, all clones). <br /><br />Conclusions: The 5H1, SP142, 28-8, 22C3 and SP263 clones all demonstrated similar performance characteristics when used in a standardized IHC assay on melanoma specimens. Reported differences in PD-L1 IHC assays using these antibodies are thus most likely due to assay characteristics beyond the antibody itself. Our findings also argue against the inclusion of an intensity/H-score in chromogenic PD-L1 IHC assays.
- Received July 20, 2016.
- Revision received April 13, 2017.
- Accepted April 17, 2017.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.