Research Papers:

Expression of PD-L1 and prognosis in breast cancer: a meta-analysis

Minghui Zhang, Houbin Sun, Shu Zhao, Yan Wang, Haihong Pu, Yan Wang and Qingyuan Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:31347-31354. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15532

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Minghui Zhang1,*, Houbin Sun2,*, Shu Zhao1,*, Yan Wang3, Haihong Pu1, Yan Wang1 and Qingyuan Zhang1

1Department of Medical Oncology, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, 150081, China

2Department of Intervention, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, 150081, China

3Department of Medical Oncology, Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital, Harbin, 150000, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Qingyuan Zhang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: meta-analysis, prognosis, programed death-ligand 1, breast cancer

Received: July 04, 2016    Accepted: January 31, 2017    Published: February 20, 2017


The associations between programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and the prognosis of various cancers have always been a research topic of considerable interest. However, the prognostic value of PD-L1 in breast cancer patients remains a controversial subject. We aimed to assess the association between PD-L1 protein expression and clinicopathological features and the impact of this relationship on breast cancer survival. We performed a systematic search of the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases to determine the correlations among PD-L1 expression, clinicopathological features and overall survival (OS). A total of 5 studies containing 2,546 cases were included in the analysis. The combined hazard ratio (HR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) for OS were 1.76 (95% CI 1.09–2.82; P=0.02) for patients with tumors exhibiting PD-L1 overexpression. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) indicated that PD-L1 expression was associated with positive lymph node metastasis, higher histological grades, estrogen receptor (ER)-negativity, and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Our findings indicate that PD-L1 expression is a promising biomarker for the prognosis of breast cancer, and may be helpful to clinicians aiming to select the appropriate immunotherapy for breast cancer.

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