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PD-L1 expression associated with poor prognosis in lung SCC

The association between PD-L1 positivity and the clinicopathological features and patient outcomes in lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) remains unclear because the definitive cut-off value for the expression of PD-L1 protein remains to be established. Takada K et al. (ID 7345) showed that the expression of PD-L1 protein was associated with a poor prognosis in lung SCC patients. The 1% cut-off value for PD-L1 might become a better predictive marker than the other cut-off values, and notably, even minimal expression of PD-L1 protein may have a negative prognostic significance.


The expression of PD-L1 protein in 205 surgically resected primary lung SCC patients was evaluated by immunohistochemistry with the antibody clone SP142. We generated a histogram to show the proportion of PD-L1-positive carcinoma cells as described in the figure below, and set the cut-off values as 1%, 5%, 10% and 50%. Moreover, we examined the proliferative capacity of these tumors using Ki-67 immunohistochemistry.


The samples from 106 (51.7%), 72 (35.1%), 61 (29.7%) and 37 (18.0%) patients were positive for the expression of PD-L1 protein at cut-off values of 1%, 5%, 10% and 50%, respectively. Fisher’s exact test showed that, for almost all of the factors, PD-L1 positivity was not associated with the clinicopathological features with any of the four cut-off values. Univariate and multivariate survival analyses revealed that the PD-L1-positive patients only had a poorer prognosis than the PD-L1-negative patients at the 1% cut-off value. The Ki-67 labeling index in the PD-L1-positive patients was higher than that in the PD-L1-negative patients.

Takada K et al., abstract P1.07-002: The Expression of PD-L1 Protein as a Prognostic Factor in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ID 7345)