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Looking past PD-L1: expression of immune checkpoint TIM-3 and its ligand galectin-9 in cervical and vulvar squamous neoplasia
Modern Pathology ( IF 6.365 ) Pub Date : 2020-03-06 , DOI: 10.1038/s41379-019-0433-3
Jacob Curley; Mark R. Conaway; Zachary Chinn; Linda Duska; Mark Stoler; Anne M. Mills

Immunotherapies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway have shown some success in cervical and vulvar squamous cell carcinomas, but little is known about the potential vulnerability of these tumors to other checkpoint inhibitors. TIM-3 is a checkpoint molecule that exerts immunosuppressive function via its interaction with Gal-9. TIM-3 and Gal-9 have been identified on a variety of malignancies but have not been studied in cervical and vulvar cancers, nor has their relationship to PD-L1 been established. Sixty-three cervical and vulvar invasive (n = 34) and intraepithelial lesions (n = 29) were assessed for TIM-3, Gal-9, and PD-L1 in tumor/lesional cells and associated immune cells. Tumoral TIM-3 expression was identified in 85% of squamous cell carcinomas but only 21% of intraepithelial lesions (p < 0.0001). When immune cells were also accounted for, 97% of invasive and 41% of intraepithelial lesions had a TIM-3 combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 1 (p < 0.0001). Tumoral membranous expression of Gal-9 was seen in 82% of squamous cell carcinomas and 31% of intraepithelial lesions (p = 0.0001); nearly all cases had Gal-9-positive immune cells. Tumoral PD-L1 was seen in 71% of squamous cell carcinomas and 10% of intraepithelial lesions (p < 0.0001), while the PD-L1 CPS was ≥1 in 82 and 21%, respectively (p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in TIM-3, GAL-9, or PD-L1 expression in cervical vs. vulvar neoplasms, nor was HPV status significantly associated with any of the three markers. Dual TIM-3/Gal-9 expression was present in the majority (86%) of PD-L1-positive cases including 100% of PD-L1-positive squamous cell carcinomas, suggesting a possible role for TIM-3 checkpoint inhibition in concert with anti-PD-1/PD-L1.
更新日期:2020-04-24

 

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