Research Papers:

Prognostic significance of programmed death-1 and programmed death-ligand 1 expression in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Kaiyan Chen, Guoping Cheng, Fanrong Zhang, Nan Zhang, Dan Li, Jiaoyue Jin, Junzhou Wu, Lisha Ying, Weimin Mao and Dan Su _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:30772-30780. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8956

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Kaiyan Chen1,2,*, Guoping Cheng1,3,*, Fanrong Zhang1, Nan Zhang1, Dan Li1,2, Jiaoyue Jin1, Junzhou Wu1, Lisha Ying1, Weimin Mao1, Dan Su1

1Cancer Research Institute, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital and Key Laboratory Diagnosis and Treatment Technology on Thoracic Oncology of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China

2Department of Oncology, The Second Clinical Medical College of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China

3Department of Pathology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Dan Su, email: [email protected]

Weimin Mao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: esophageal cancer, PD-1, PD-L1, immunochemistry, prognosis

Received: February 14, 2016     Accepted: April 02, 2016     Published: April 23, 2016


Aims: To evaluate the expression of programmed death-1 (PD-1) and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and their clinical and prognostic significance in primary esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

Results: The expression rate of PD-1 and PD-L1 in ESCC was 33.5% (117/349) and 41.4% (222/536), respectively. PD-L1 expression differed significantly by tumor location, grade, lymph node metastases, and disease stage (P < 0.05). Moreover, its expression was associated with the disease free survival (DFS). Patients with positive PD-L1 expression had reduced risk for disease relapse compared to those without PD-L1 expression (Hazard ratio [HR] = 0.75, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.56–1.00, P = 0.048). Kaplan-Meier curves showed the similar result, P = 0.047. However, there was no significant correlation between PD-1 expression and clinicopathological factors or outcome in ESCC (P > 0.05).

Methods: The expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 was assessed by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays from 536 primary ESCC who underwent surgery during January 2008 and April 2012 in Zhejiang Cancer Hospital. Chi-square test and Cox proportional hazards regression were employed to analyze the associations between their expressions and clinicopathological variables and survival.

Conclusions: Our results suggested that PD-L1 could be a favorable indicator of prognosis in ESCC.

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