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Spatial Immunephenotypes of Distant Metastases but not Matched Primary Urothelial Carcinomas Predict Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibition.

European urology

Authors: Franziska Erlmeier, Niklas Klümper, Laura Landgraf, Pamela L Strissel, Reiner Strick, Danijel Sikic, Helge Taubert, Sven Wach, Carol I Geppert, Veronika Bahlinger, Johannes Breyer, Manuel Ritter, Christian Bolenz, Florian Roghmann, Philipp Erben, Kristina Schwamborn, Ralph M Wirtz, Thomas Horn, Bernd Wullich, Michael Hölzel, Arndt Hartmann, Jürgen E Gschwend, Wilko Weichert, Markus Eckstein

BACKGROUND: The value of programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) to predict durable responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) is inconsistent. We hypothesize that the use of archived primary tumor material (PRIM) for PD-L1 testing in clinical trials not properly reflecting the metastatic disease status (MET) contributes to this clinical issue.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the predictive and prognostic value of PD-L1, spatial immunephenotypes, and major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) determined in patient-matched PRIM/MET.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: PD-L1, spatial immunephenotypes, and MHC-I were examined in 154 mUC patients with at least one available pretreatment MET (138 patient-matched PRIM/MET pairs).

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: PD-L1, spatial immunephenotype, and MHC-I status of (patient-matched PRIM and) pretreatment MET were correlated with chemotherapy and ICI response and outcomes.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Discordance rates in patient-matched PRIM/MET were 25/30%, 36%, and 49% for PD-L1 (CPS10/IC5%), immunephenotypes, and MHC-I (loss vs preserved), respectively. Correlations with chemotherapy and ICI responses were observed for immunephenotypes and MHC-I status determined in MET (not for PD-L1 alone), but not in PRIM. In case of ICIs, patients with cytotoxic tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) showed durable responses with disease control rates of 90% and a hazard ratio for disease progression/death of 0.05 (95% confidence interval: 0.01-0.65) versus patients with immunedepleted MET (disease control rate 29%). MET MHC-I status added an incremental value to predict durable ICI responses. Limitations include the partly retrospective design and the lack of MET multisampling on individual patient level.

CONCLUSIONS: The TIME is subject to substantial dynamics during metastatic evolution. MET immunephenotypes and MHC-I statuses show promising potential to predict chemotherapy and durable ICI responses, while the PRIM TIME does not. Thus, future clinical trials should rather rely on pretreatment MET biopsies reflecting the current immunological disease state than on PRIM.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Prediction of chemotherapy and responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors might be possible using representative pretreatment metastatic biopsies.

Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 36372626

Participating cluster members