1522 - PD-L1 (Programmed Death-Ligand 1) immunohistochemistry testing for access to pembrolizumab as first-line therapy for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (co-dependent)

Page last updated: 24 February 2021

Application Detail

Description of Medical Service

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) test for evaluation of Programmed Cell Death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression to determine eligibility for treatment with pembrolizumab in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The biopsy sample taken as part of a standard diagnostic process will be used for immunohistochemical testing with PD-L1. The testing would be done by a pathologist alongside other immunohistochemical tests which are done routinely.

Description of Medical Condition

Recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Head and neck cancer includes tumours arising from the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, thyroid and salivary glands. Individuals who have progressed following initial definitive treatment have recurrent disease and require subsequent treatment. Patient who present with metastatic disease generally receive the same therapy as those with recurrent disease following initial definitive treatment.

Reason for Application

New MBS item

Medical Service Type

Co-dependent technology

Previous Application Number

Not Applicable

Associated Documentation

Application Form

Application Form (Word 552 KB)
Application Form (PDF 726 KB)

Consultation Survey

Consultation Survey (Word 508 KB)
Consultation Survey (PDF 307 KB)

PICO Confirmation

PICO Confirmation (PDF 1593 KB)
PICO Confirmation (Word 273 KB)

Assessment Report


Public Summary Document

Public Summary Document (PDF 739 KB)
Public Summary Document (Word 262 KB)

Meetings for this Application


12-13 April 2018
17 April 2020


8-9 October 2020


26-27 November 2020