Inside Diagnostics IASLC Atlas of PD-L1 Testing in Lung Cancer November 2017 webinar: a resource for understanding emerging PD-L1 IHC assays


Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) IHC remains the most rigorously validated biomarker for immune checkpoint therapies. PD-L1 testing implementation in routine clinical practice requires thorough understanding of individual assay features and their associated clinical algorithms, and pathologists’ training on scoring. The IASLC, the leading global organization for lung cancer research, designed an Atlas for PD-L1 testing in lung cancer for clinicians, pathologists, other healthcare personnel and patients, that presents current information on emerging PD-L1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays, and highlights areas of clarity and debate. A thorough description of the Atlas was given by Dr Ming-Sound Tsao (MD/FRCPC), thoracic pathologist and Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Toronto, in a webinar in November last year.



Dr. Tsao introduced the Atlas as a valuable resource for healthcare professionals in treating lung cancer patients, who can also benefit from a more comprehensive overview of current biomarker treatment options. He underlined the positive shift occurring in the last two decades from the traditional ‘one glove fits all’ treatment approach, to a biomarker-driven personalised immunotherapy approach. Various PD-L1 antibodies associated with current therapeutic checkpoint inhibitors for lung cancer treatment including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were described, as well as pivotal trials that have defined the clinical utility of PD-L1 assays.
Dr. Tsao stressed the importance of published studies comparing PD-L1 assays towards assay harmonisation, helping to solve current challenges faced by pathology departments. As an example, he explained the IASLC Blueprint comparability lung cancer project that compared the four currently available PD-L1 assays (SP263, 28-8, 22C3 and SP142), as well as the treatment determining scoring algorithms developed for each assay and used in respective clinical trials.
The Atlas’ recommendation on PD-L1 assay results’ reporting was also described, as well as alternate predictive biomarkers that can be potentially used for immune checkpoint therapy selection in lung cancer. The webinar concluded by presenting an IASLC-developed workflow to help healthcare professionals select appropriate biomarker testing assays and immunotherapies for NSCLC patients.
The IASLC encourages active sharing of the Atlas amongst the lung cancer community, and hopes it will provide a better understanding of the current biomarker testing landscape, resulting in patients receiving the most recent and well-suited treatment options. The webinar recording is freely available here: The Atlas resource can be freely downloaded here:


Rudy Hovelinck
Diagnostics Manager at AstraZeneca


NS ID BE 1449-RD01/2018

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Rudy Hovelinck

Diagnostics Manager AstraZeneca

M. +32 (0) 476 22 58

Rudy Hovelinck obtained a scientific degree first in biochemistry at Ghent University and later in Molecular Biology at the ULB. Initially exploring the academic world in diverse fields as genetics, protein chemistry and virology, he soon realised that bridging scientific knowledge to the medical world was a more meaningful way of spending his professional life. This journey started in the field of pathology biomarker testing, introducing HER2 IHC and ISH testing for patient therapy selection and continued in the field of molecular oncology. Today at AstraZeneca he works as a diagnostics manager. In this role he is passionately contributing to the successful introduction of novel biomarkers and support current testing strategies for patient selection. In his own time he enjoys travelling with his family exploring the world and spending time close to nature. Specialties: Oncology, Anatomic Pathology, Biomarker Development, Medical Devices.