Dr. Barbara J. Gitlitz on Why PD-L1 is Not a Good Biomarker for Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer

Barbara J. Gitlitz, MD, associate professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Southern California, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital, discusses the role of PD-L1 testing for immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in lung cancer.

In second-line lung cancer therapy, where all the data is currently, it appears that PD-L1 by immunohistochemistry staining is not the best marker, says Gitlitz.

It can enrich for some patients that are more likely to respond, but it is hard to pick the people who should not get these drugs. This is because patients with low levels or no levels of PD-L1 are having a response.

At this time, PD-L1 is not a good enough marker to exclude patients from receiving immunotherapy, says Gitlitz.