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In a recent study, published in BMC Cancer last month, it was reported that the levels of the programmed cell death proteins PD-1, PD-L1 and PD-L2 varied between primary tumour, metastases and site of metastases. For example, PD-L1 was higher in metastatic tumours compared with primary tumours, and PD-1 expression was 65.3% in lung/lymph metastases compared with 10.5% in brain metastases and 12.5% in visceral metastases. Both PD-1 expression and PD-L1 expression in the primary or metastatic lesion was associated with shorter overall survival.
The researchers suggest that metastases should be analysed for these proteins to facilitate effective individualised treatment.