Stromal tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (sTILs) are a strong prognostic marker in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Consistency scoring sTILs is good and was excellent when an internet-based scoring aid developed by the TIL-WG was used to score cases in a reproducibility study. This study aimed to evaluate the reproducibility of sTILs assessment using this scoring aid in cases from routine practice and to explore the potential of the tool to overcome variability in scoring. Twenty-three breast pathologists scored sTILs in digitized slides of 49 TNBC biopsies using the scoring aid. Subsequently, fields of view (FOV) from each case were selected by one pathologist and scored by the group using the tool. Inter-observer agreement was good for absolute sTILs (ICC 0.634, 95% CI 0.539–0.735, p < 0.001) but was poor to fair using binary cutpoints. sTILs heterogeneity was the main contributor to disagreement. When pathologists scored the same FOV from each case, inter-observer agreement was excellent for absolute sTILs (ICC 0.798, 95% CI 0.727–0.864, p < 0.001) and good for the 20% (ICC 0.657, 95% CI 0.561–0.756, p < 0.001) and 40% (ICC 0.644, 95% CI 0.546–0.745, p < 0.001) cutpoints. However, there was a wide range of scores for many cases. Reproducibility scoring sTILs is good when the scoring aid is used. Heterogeneity is the main contributor to variance and will need to be overcome for analytic validity to be achieved.
- Breast cancer
- International immuno-oncology biomarker working group
- Triple negative
Field of Science*
- 3.1 Basic medicine
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database