Clinical Research Papers:

High PD-L1 expression was associated with poor prognosis in 870 Chinese patients with breast cancer

Tao Qin, Yin-duo Zeng, Ge Qin, Fei Xu, Jia-bin Lu, Wen-feng Fang, Cong Xue, Jian-hua Zhan, Xin-ke Zhang, Qiu-fan Zheng, Rou-jun Peng, Zhong-yu Yuan, Li Zhang and Shu-sen Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:33972-33981. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5583

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Tao Qin1,*, Yin-duo Zeng1,2,*, Ge Qin1,*, Fei Xu1,*, Jia-bin Lu1, Wen-feng Fang1, Cong Xue1, Jian-hua Zhan1, Xin-ke Zhang1, Qiu-fan Zheng1, Rou-jun Peng1, Zhong-yu Yuan1, Li Zhang1 and Shu-sen Wang1

1 Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, The State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P. R. China

2 Sun Yat-sen University Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Guangzhou, Guangdong, P. R. China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Shu-sen Wang, email:

Li Zhang, email:

Zhong-yu Yuan, email:

Keywords: PD-L1, breast cancer, ER, PR, prognosis, nomogram

Received: July 07, 2015 Accepted: August 22, 2015 Published: September 10, 2015


Background: To investigate the role of PD-L1 expression in tumor recurrence and metastasis in Chinese patients with breast cancer.

Methods: Suitable tissue samples were available from 870 patients with breast cancer. Paraffin-embedded tumor sections were stained with PD-L1 antibody. The correlations between PD-L1 expression and clinical characteristics, ER/PR/HER2 status and survival parameters were analyzed. Kaplan-Meier and univariate Cox proportional hazards model analyses were used to compare the survival of patients with high PD-L1 expression and patients with no PD-L1 expression.

Results: The median follow-up time was 98 months(range, 17–265 months).The positive rate of PD-L1 expression in breast cancer was 21.7% (189/870). PD-L1 high expression was inversely associated with larger tumor size, higher tumor grade, more positive lymph node number, as well as negative ER and PR status. PD-L1 expression was particularly higher in TNBC compared with non-TNBC, although no statistical significance was observed. Nomogram logistic regression results based on clinical and pathological features showed that the following factors were more likely associated with high PD-L1 expression: patient age younger than 35 years, larger tumor size, lymphovascular invasion and advanced stage. Our data indicated that patients with high PD-L1 expression had poor DFS, DMFS and overall survival compared with those with no PD-L1 expression. Univariate Cox proportional hazards model analysis showed that PD-L1 was an independent prognostic factor for tumor prognosis.

Conclusions: PD-L1 expression is an important indicator of unfavorable prognosis in breast cancer patients.

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