Evaluation of immune density, PD-L1, and CXCR4 expressions in metaplastic breast carcinoma to predict potential immunotherapy benefit.

Bagbudar S., KARANLIK H., Cabioglu N., Bayram A., Tükenmez M., AYDINER A., ...More

Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England), vol.41, no.1, pp.18, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12032-023-02243-y
  • Journal Name: Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CINAHL, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.18
  • Keywords: CXCR4, Metaplastic breast carcinoma, PD-L1, Prognosis, TILs
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Metaplastic breast carcinoma (MBC) -rare but fatal subtype of invasive breast carcinomas- provides limited benefit from conventional triple-negative breast carcinoma chemotherapy. We aimed to determine the immune density of this tumor and to evaluate of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) expressions to determine whether it would benefit from immunotherapy. Clinicopathological characteristics of 85 patients diagnosed as MBC between 1997 and 2017 were retrospectively assessed. We evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of PD-L1 and CXCR4, and the extent of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), with survival data. TILs groups were statistically significantly associated with lymph node status, histological subtype, squamous component, local recurrence and/or systemic metastasis, and disease-related deaths (p < 0.05). PD-L1 positivity in immune cells (ICs) has a statistically significant relationship with the presence of squamous component (p = 0.011) and HER2 positivity (p = 0.031). PD-L1 positivity in tumor cells (TCs) was found to be significantly more frequent in high-TILs density (p = 0.003). PD-L1 combined positive score was significantly associated with the tumors containing high-TILs density (p = 0.012) and squamous component (p = 0.035). Disease-free and disease-specific survival rates were found to be longer for the cases displaying PD-L1 positivity in ICs; and also PD-L1 positivity in ICs was found to be an independent prognostic factor. When the expression of CXCR4 was compared with clinicopathological and survival parameters, no statistically significant association was found (p > 0.05). Based on the results of this retrospective study, PD-L1 and TILs appear to be prognostic. This study provides rationale for further studies to determine whether a subset of patients with metaplastic breast cancer could derive a meaningful benefit from immune-targeting therapies.