Soluble PD-1 and PD-L1: predictive and prognostic significance in cancer

Xinxin Zhu and Jinghe Lang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:97671-97682. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18311

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Xinxin Zhu1 and Jinghe Lang1

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China

Correspondence to:

Jinghe Lang, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Keywords: soluble, PD-1, PD-L1, tumor immunity, biomarker

Received: April 25, 2017     Accepted: May 22, 2017     Published: May 31, 2017


The membrane-bound molecules programmed death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 (PD-1/PD-L1) belong to the immune checkpoint pathway. PD-1 pathway downregulates effector T cells in immune response, thereby causing immune suppression. Recent studies have revealed that membrane-bound PD-1 and PD-L1 also have soluble forms. These soluble forms increase the complexity and diversity of the composition and function of the PD-1/PD-L1 signaling pathway. However, the exact roles of these molecules remain unknown. The objective of this systematic review was to elucidate the biological significance of soluble PD-1/PD-L1 in human cancers and evaluate whether they are potential diagnostic, therapeutic, or prognostic biomarkers. We expect to provide new clues for future research on soluble PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in human malignant tumors.

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