In papillary thyroid carcinoma, expression by immunohistochemistry of BRAF V600E, PD-L1, and PD-1 is closely related
Immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies targeting PD-L1/PD-1 have been shown to be effective in treating several types of human cancer. In papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), little is known about the expression of PD-L1/PD-1 in the tumor microenvironment or its potential correlation with BRAF V600E mutation status. In this study, we examined the expression of PD-L1, PD-1, and BRAF V600E in PTC by immunohistochemistry and investigated the clinical significance of expression status. We studied the expression of PD-L1, PD-1, and BRAF V600E by immunohistochemical staining in 110 cases of PTC with a diameter > 1 cm. Cases with a background of chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT) were excluded, as differentiating lymphocytes in the context of CLT from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is difficult. We classified PD-L1+/PD-1+ expression as type 1 (41%), PD-L1−/PD-1− as type 2 (17%), PD-L1+/PD-1− as type 3 (5%), and PD-L1−/PD-1+ as type 4 (37%). Significant correlations were found between expression of BRAF V600E and that of PD-L1 and PD-1. The positive correlation observed between expression of BRAF V600E and PD-L1/PD-1 suggests that immunotherapies targeting PD-L1/PD-1 might be effective for PTC patients with the BRAF V600E mutation, which are refractory to radioiodine therapy.
KeywordsBRAF V600E PD-L1 PD-1 Papillary thyroid carcinoma Immunohistochemistry
BY, GT, KK, and LZ conceived and designed the experiments. HX and WQ performed the experiments. BY and ND reviewed the slides; JX and FQ analyzed the data. BY and GT wrote the manuscript.
This work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81202114, 81301874, and 81301879), the National Science Foundation of Beijing (No. 7132051), and the General Program, Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (No. 2012001120135).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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