Prognostic significance of PD-L1 expression and 18F-FDG PET/CT in surgical pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma
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Minghui Zhang1,*, Dalong Wang2,3,*, Qi Sun4,*, Haihong Pu1, Yan Wang5, Shu Zhao1, Yan Wang1 and Qiangyuan Zhang1
1Department of Medical Oncology, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin 150081, China
2Department of Radiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150040, China
3Department of PET/CT, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin 150081, China
4Department of Radiology, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin 150081, China
5Department of Medical Oncology, Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital, Harbin 150000, China
*These authors have contributed equally to this work
Qiangyuan Zhang, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: programmed cell death ligand 1, squamous cell carcinoma, prognostic factor, PET-CT
Received: March 14, 2017 Accepted: April 28, 2017 Published: May 29, 2017
Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression is commonly observed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The prognostic value of PD-L1 expression and the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) on 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18FDG-PET) in surgical pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma(SCC)remains unclear. Furthermore, the correlation between the SUVmax and PD-L1 expression has not been assessed. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between PD-L1 expression and the SUVmax on 18FDG-PET and to examine the prognostic significance of PD-L1 expression and the SUVmax in surgical pulmonary SCC. Expression of PD-L1 was examined in 84 patients with resected SCC using immunohistochemistry. Positive PD-L1 expression in tumour cells was observed in 58.3% (49/84) of patients with SCC. High PD-L1 expression levels were significantly correlated with histological differentiation (P=0.006), and a high SUVmax was associated with histological differentiation (P=0.037), and lymph node metastasis (P=0.025).Spearman’s test showed that there was a significant correlation between PD-L1 expression levels and the SUVmax. High PD-L1 expression levels and a high SUVmax were both independent risks factors for poor overall survival. Our results suggested that high PD-L1 expression levels and a high SUVmax was associated with poor prognosis in surgical pulmonary SCC. The existence of a statistically significant correlation between the SUVmax and PD-L1 expression levels justifies exploring the usefulness of the SUVmax as a predictor of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor activity.
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