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PD-L1

Test code(s) 93279, 93359, 93793, 94047, 94007

Question 1. How does PD-L1 therapy work?

PD-L1 therapy blocks PD-L1 function, thereby enabling the immune system to attack PD-L1-expressing cancer cells. Therapies that target PD-L1 function belong to a class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs harness the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells by blocking PD-L1 inhibition of T-cells. PD-L1 protects normal cells from destruction when T-cells are activated. Some cancer cells take advantage of this protective role; they highly express PD-L1 to evade the immune system.

Question 2. Which drugs target PD-L1 function?

  1. Keytruda® (pembrolizumab): FDA-approved for treating patients with metastatic, PD-L1-expressing,non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLS) now approved for first line treatment; also approved for treating unresectable or metastatic melanoma (https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_pi.pdf)
  2. Opdivo® (nivolumab): FDA-approved for treating patients with metastatic, nonsquamous, non-small-cell lung cancer and progression following first-line therapy; also approved for treating unresectable or metastatic melanoma, advanced renal cell carcinoma, and classical Hodgkin lymphoma (http://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi_opdivo.pdf)
  3. Tecentriq® (atezolizumab): FDA-approved for treating patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer and progression following first-line therapy (http://www.gene.com/download/pdf/tecentriq_prescribing.pdf)

Question 3. Are there additional drug indications or drugs expected in the future?

Yes, clinical studies are ongoing for both other drugs and other indications. These studies include close to 30 different types of tumors.

Question 4. Why test for PD-L1 expression and which test code should I use?

Question 5. Which methods are used to detect PD-L1 expression?

Question 6. What is the contact number if I have a question?

If you have a question regarding this test or a patient report, you can call:

  • Nichols Institute, San Juan Capistrano, CA: 1.800.642.4657
  • Nichols Institute, Chantilly, VA: 1.800.336.3718

Question 7. How do I order the test? 

These tests can be ordered from:

  • Nichols Institute San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Nichols Institute Chantilly, VA
  • Your regional Quest Diagnostics laboratory
  • Your local AmeriPath laboratory
This FAQ is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. A physician’s test selection and interpretation, diagnosis, and patient management decisions should be based on his/her education, clinical expertise, and assessment of the patient.
Document FAQS.190 Version: 0
Effective 12/05/2016 to present