Research Papers:

The prevalence and clinicopathological features of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression: a pooled analysis of literatures

Ziying Lin, Yutong Xu, Yaxiong Zhang, Qihua He, Jianrong Zhang, Jianxing He and Wenhua Liang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:15033-15046. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7590

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Ziying Lin1,2,3,*, Yutong Xu1,2,3,*, Yaxiong Zhang1,2,3,4,*, Qihua He1,2, Jianrong Zhang1,2, Jianxing He1,2, Wenhua Liang1,2

1Department of Thoracic Surgery and Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China

2Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease & China State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease & National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou, China

3Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

4Department of Medical Oncology of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Wenhua Liang, e-mail: [email protected]

Jianxing He, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: programmed death-ligand 1, clinicopathological features, cancer, meta-analysis

Received: September 15, 2015    Accepted: January 20, 2016    Published: February 22, 2016


Background & Aims: Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) has been recognized as a critical and promising target in therapies that direct immune escape of cancers. However, its association with aggressive clinicopathological features in solid tumors remains unclear. We investigated this question by synthesizing published articles.

Methods: Electronic databases were searched for relevant studies. Outcomes of interest included age, gender, tumor size, tumor size, lymph node metastasis and tumor cell differentiation.

Results: A total of 61 studies involving 17 types of malignancies were included. The overall expression rate of PD-L1 was 44.5% (95% CI, 37.5% to 51.6 %). Patients with regional lymph node metastases (OR 1.38; P < 0.01), large size tumor (OR 1.89; P < 0.01) or poor differentiated tumors (OR 1.71; P < 0.01) were associated with higher PD-L1 expression rate. However, no significant association was observed between young and elder patients (OR 1.04; P = 0.58), or male and female patients (OR 1.13; P = 0.06). A numerically higher PD-L1 expression rate was detected in polyclonal antibodies (57.2%) than monoclonal antibodies (39.6%). In addition, the PD-L1 expression rate reported by studies from Asian areas (52.3%) was numerically higher than those from non-Asian areas, namely Caucasians (32.7%).

Conclusions: This meta-analysis indicated that patients with larger tumors, regional lymph node metastases, or poor-differentiated tumors were associated with a higher PD-L1 expression rate; in addition the expression rate of PD-L1 in Asians might be higher than that of Caucasians. This information might be useful in screening candidates for relevant tests and treatments.

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