Research Papers:

The significance of programmed cell death ligand 1 expression in resected lung adenocarcinoma

Shafei Wu, Xiaohua Shi, Jian Sun, Yuanyuan Liu, Yufeng Luo, Zhiyong Liang, Jinghui Wang and Xuan Zeng _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:16421-16429. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14851

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Shafei Wu1,*, Xiaohua Shi1,*, Jian Sun1, Yuanyuan Liu1, Yufeng Luo1, Zhiyong Liang1, Jinghui Wang2, Xuan Zeng1

1Department of Pathology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China

2Department of Medical Oncology, Beijing Tuberculosis and Thoracic Tumor Research Institute, Beijing Chest Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

*These authors are co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Xuan Zeng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: lung adenocarcinoma, programmed cell death ligand 1, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization

Received: October 11, 2016     Accepted: January 16, 2017     Published: January 27, 2017


Background: Lung adenocarcinoma (AD) is a common variant of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Programmed cell death protein 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD1/PD-L1) are promising immunotherapy targets and its expression may be an important biomarker of predicting clinical response. In this study, we evaluated PD-L1 expression in conjunction with clinicopathological characteristics and outcomes in resected lung adenocarcinoma.

Results: This study included 133 cases of lung adenocarcinoma. PD-L1 expression rate in lung adenocarcinoma was 16.5% at the mRNA level and 13.5% at the protein level, and the kappa coefficient of the two examination methods was 0.824 (P = 0.219, highly correlated). PD-L1 was highly expressed in male patients and smokers with lung adenocarcinoma (P = 0.019 and 0.002, respectively), while no associations were identified between PD-L1 expression and age, tumor size, clinical stage, positive pleural invasion, lymph node metastasis, or therapy methods. Overexpression of PD-L1 was a significant indicator of shorter recurrence free survival time and overall survival (P = 0.000 and 0.000, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that PD-L1 expression was an independent risk factor for poor recurrence free survival and overall survival (P = 0.009 and 0.016, respectively).

Materials and Methods: Expression of PD-L1 was examined with immunohistochemistry, using the VENTANA PD-L1 (SP263) rabbit monoclonal antibody. mRNA levels of PD-L1 were evaluated using in situ hybridization.

Conclusions: PD-L1 overexpression is more frequently observed in male patients and smokers in lung adenocarcinoma. PD-L1 expression is an indicator of worse prognosis in surgically resected lung adenocarcinoma patients.

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