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Correlation of mismatch repair protein deficiency, PD-L1 and CD8 expression in high-grade urothelial carcinoma of the bladder


Mismatch repair-deficient (d-MMR) tumours have been reported to show susceptibility to immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting programmed death-1/PD ligand-1 (PD-1/PD-L1). In this study, we sought to correlate the association of d-MMR, PD-L1 and CD8 expression in muscle invasive, high-grade urothelial carcinoma (HGUC) of bladder. A tissue microarray (TMA) was constructed from 201 cases and sequentially stained with PD-L1, CD8, MSH2, MSH6, MLH1 and PMS2. PD-L1 was assessed in tumour and immune cells. CD8 was assessed in a hotspot fashion with results averaged across cores. Loss of nuclear MMR expression on TMA sections was further assessed using corresponding whole tissue sections. d-MMR was identified in four cases (2%). The mean CD8 count was significantly higher in d-MMR tumours (10 vs 35, p=0.007) as was the proportion of PD-L1 positivity (75% vs 20%, p=0.031). d-MMR is uncommon in HGUC of bladder but shows strong correlation with cytotoxic T lymphocyte infiltration and PD-L1 tissue expression.

  • bladder
  • carcinoma
  • genitourinary pathology
  • immunopathology
  • inflammation

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