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.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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