Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

Head and neck cancer, excluding thyroid

3501 - Relationship between PD-L1 expression and survival in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients (pts)


09 Sep 2017


Head and neck cancer, excluding thyroid


Cancers in Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA);  Immunotherapy;  Head and Neck Cancers


Michael Stokes


Annals of Oncology (2017) 28 (suppl_5): v372-v394. 10.1093/annonc/mdx374


M. Stokes1, R. Wang1, S. Wildsmith2, M. Secrier3, H.K. Angell4, C. Barker2, J. Walker2, P. Scorer2, M.C. Rebelatto5, N. Shire6

Author affiliations

  • 1 Real-world Evidence, Evidera, MA 02451 - Lexington/US
  • 2 Personalised Healthcare & Biomarkers, AstraZeneca, CB20RE - Cambridge/GB
  • 3 Imed Oncology, Bioinformatics (biosciences), AstraZeneca, CB20RE - Cambridge/GB
  • 4 Imed Oncology, AstraZeneca, CB20RE - Cambridge/GB
  • 5 Biologic Safety Assessment, Pathology, MedImmune, MD20878 - Gaithersburg/US
  • 6 Global Medicines Development, AstraZeneca, MD20878 - Gaithersburg/US


Abstract 3501


Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand 1 (PD-L1) are up-regulated in many cancers. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between PD-L1 expression and overall survival (OS) in HNSCC.


A retrospective study was conducted using data from pt medical records and analysis of archival tumor samples. Sample ages ranged from 8.2 to 227.5 months. Pts ≥18 years old diagnosed with HNSCC between 1989 and 2015 were selected. Demographic and tumor characteristics were compared by PD-L1 expression status. PD-L1 testing was performed using the Ventana PD-L1 SP263 assay. PD-L1 expression was scored separately using tumor cell (TC) and immune cell (IC) membrane staining and exploratory cut-offs of 1%, 5%, 10%, 25% and 50%. OS was calculated as the number of months from initial HNSCC diagnosis until death and estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. The log-rank test was used to compare survival curves by PD-L1 status. PD-L1 status as a prognostic indicator of OS was further examined in Cox proportional hazards (PH) models.


We identified 214 HNSCC pts with data available for date of death/last follow-up and PD-L1 status. Mean (SD) tumor sample age was 93.3 (40.5) months. Mean (SD) pt age was 62.3 (13.4) years and 70% were male. The Table presents baseline characteristics by PD-L1 subgroup. Median OS was similar between PD-L1 high and low/negative pts classified using the TC ≥ 25%, IC ≥ 1%, and IC ≥ 25% cut-offs. However, median OS was 21.2 months longer in PD-L1 high versus low/negative pts (68.9 vs. 47.7 months, respectively; P=0.03) in analyses using the TC ≥ 1% cut-off. This latter relationship remained after adjusting for baseline covariates using Cox PH models.Table:

1049PD Baseline characteristics

CharacteristicTC PD-L1 expression
High (≥25%)Low/negative (


PD-L1 high expression based on a TC ≥ 1% cut-off appears to be associated with improved OS in this sample of pts with HNSCC. A small number of samples and resulting low statistical power limited our ability to assess prognosis for TC ≥ 25% and IC ≥ 25%, yet OS was numerically higher among PD-L1 high pts in these subgroups.

Clinical trial identification


Legal entity responsible for the study





M. Stokes: Employment (Evidera) and research funding (Evidera). R. Wang: Employment (Evidera) and Stock ownership (Evidera). S. Wildsmith, H.K. Angell, C. Barker, J. Walker, P. Scorer, N. Shire: Employment (AstraZeneca) and Shareholder (AstraZeneca). M. Secrier: Employment (AstraZeneca) Corporate sponsored research (AstraZeneca) and Shareholder (AstraZeneca). M.C. Rebelatto: Employment (AstraZeneca/MedImmune) and Shareholder (AstraZeneca/MedImmune).

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.