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Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2019 Apr;27(4):263-269. doi: 10.1097/PAI.0000000000000737.

A Multi-Institutional Study to Evaluate Automated Whole Slide Scoring of Immunohistochemistry for Assessment of Programmed Death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) Expression in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

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Department of Pathology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
OptraSCAN, Pune, India.
OptraSCAN, Sunnyvale, CA.
Department of Pathology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.
PhenoPath, Seattle, WA.
Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


Assessment of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression is a critical part of patient management for immunotherapy. However, studies have shown that pathologist-based analysis lacks reproducibility, especially for immune cell expression. The purpose of this study was to validate reproducibility of the automated machine-based Optra image analysis for PD-L1 immunohistochemistry for both tumor cells (TCs) and immune cells. We compared conventional pathologists' scores for both tumor and immune cell positivity separately using 22c3 antibody on the Dako Link 48 platform for PD-L1 expression in non-small cell lung carcinoma. We assessed interpretation first by pathologists and second by PD-L1 image analysis scores. Lin's concordance correlation coefficients (LCCs) for each pathologist were measured to assess variability between pathologists and between pathologists and Optra automated quantitative scores in scoring both tumor and immune cells. Lin's LCCs to evaluate the correlation between pathologists for TC was 0.75 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.64-0.81] and 0.40 (95% CI, 0.40-0.62) for immune cell scoring. Pathologists were highly concordant for tumor scoring, but not for immune cell scoring, which is similar to previously reported studies where agreement is higher in TCs than immune cells. The LCCs between conventional pathologists' read and the machine score were 0.80 (95% CI, 0.74-0.85) for TCs and 0.70 (95% CI, 0.60-0.76) for immune cell population. This is considered excellent agreement for TCs and good concordance for immune cells. The automated scoring methods showed concordance with the pathologists' average scores that were comparable to interpathologist scores. This suggests promise for Optra automated assessment of PD-L1 in non-small cell lung cancer.

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