Incorporation of TILs in daily breast cancer care: how much evidence can we bear?


One of the most important developments in the breast cancer field has been an improved understanding of prognostic and predictive biomarkers, of which TILs are increasingly gaining importance. The evaluation of TILs by light microscopy on a H&E-stained section is workable in a daily practice setting. Reproducibility of reporting TILs is good, but heterogeneity is a cause of variation. TILs provide clinicians with important prognostic information for patients with TNBC, as early-stage TNBC with high TILs have > 98% 5-year survival and TILs predict benefit to immunotherapy. Importantly, while TILs do not have level of evidence IA, TILs should be used as a prognostic factor with caution and with other accepted prognostic variables, such as tumour size and lymph node status, to inform clinicians and patients on their treatment options. A framework on how to use the TILs in daily practice is proposed, including a co-assessment with PD-L1 for its predictive role to immunotherapy.

More about this publication

Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology
  • Volume 480
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Pages 147-162
  • Publication date 01-01-2022

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