Relationship of the lung microbiome with PD-L1 expression and immunotherapy response in lung cancer

Hye Jin Jang, Ji Yeon Choi, Kangjoon Kim, Seung Hyun Yong, Yeon Wook Kim, Song Yee Kim, Eun Young Kim, Ji Ye Jung, Young Ae Kang, Moo Suk Park, Young Sam Kim, Young Jae Cho, Sang Hoon Lee

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Lung cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The human lung serves as a niche to a unique and dynamic bacterial community that is related to the development of multiple diseases. Here, we investigated the differences in the lung microbiomes of patients with lung cancer. Methods: 16S rRNA sequencing was performed to evaluate the respiratory tract microbiome present in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Patients were stratified based on programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression levels and immunotherapy responses. Results: In total, 84 patients were prospectively analyzed, of which 59 showed low (< 10%), and 25 showed high (≥ 10%) PD-L1 expression levels. The alpha and beta diversities did not significantly differ between the two groups. Veillonella dispar was dominant in the high-PD-L1 group; the population of Neisseria was significantly higher in the low-PD-L1 group than in the high-PD-L1 group. In the immunotherapy responder group, V. dispar was dominant, while Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria perflava were dominant in the non-responder group. Conclusion: The abundances of Neisseria and V. dispar differed significantly in relation to PD-L1 expression levels and immunotherapy responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number322
JournalRespiratory research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea [Grant No. 2018R1C1B5043991] and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital [Grant No. 14-2016-011].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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