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Good prognostic factor in patients with nonmetastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Programmed death ligand-1 expression in tumor cells


1 Department of Oncology, Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of Pathology, Gazi University Medical University Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
3 Department of Oncology, Gazi University Medical University Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
4 Department of Pathology, Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
5 Department of Oncology, Dr. Abdurrahman Yurtaslan Ankara Oncology Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
6 Department of Pathology, Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
7 Department of Oncology, Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Hayriye Sahinli,
Dışkapı Yıldırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, Ömer Halis Demir Street, Ankara, Altındaǧ
Turkey
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_759_19

Purpose: Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) is the main ligand for programmed death-1 (PD-1), and is one of the major targets for cancer immunotherapy. Only a few studies are available for the clinical significance of PD-1/PD-L1 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). There is a controversial association between PD-L1 expression and survival in NPC. This study aimed at defining any potential association between PD-L1 expression in tumor cells (TCs) and prognosis in NPC. Patients and Methods: A total of seventy NPC patients treated between January 2008 and December 2016 were included in the study. PD-L1 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in tumor specimens. The IHC assay was considered positive if ≥5% of TCs are stained. Clinicopathological variables were documented. Variables included in the analysis were PD-L1 expression, clinicopathological characteristics, and prognosis. Results: The estimated 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 62%. Nearly 55.7% (n = 39) of the TCs tested positive for PD-L1 expression. No associations were found between the level of PD-L1 in TCs and clinicopathological characteristics. Comparisons between patients with PD-L1-positive tumors and PD-L1-negative tumors revealed that OS was statistically significantly longer in patients with PD-L1-positive tumors as assessed by the univariate Cox regression analysis (hazard ratio [HR], 0.378; 95% confidence interval, 0.158–0.905; P = 0.029) and Kaplan–Meier curves (P = 0.023). Conclusion: PD-L1 expression is an important prognostic factor in NPC. PD-L1 expression positively correlates with survival.


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