Int J Biol Sci 2017; 13(9):1172-1179. doi:10.7150/ijbs.20868

Research Paper

High PD-L1 Expression Is Closely Associated With Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes and Leads to Good Clinical Outcomes in Chinese Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients

NiJiati AiErken1, 4*, Hui-juan Shi2*, Yu Zhou1, Nan Shao1, Jin Zhang1, Yawei Shi1, Zhong-yu Yuan3, Ying Lin1✉

1. Breast Disease Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China;
2. Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China;
3. Department of Medical Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou 510060, China;
4. Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, The Seventh Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, ShenZhen, 518107, China.
* These two authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Background: To investigate the role of Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in tumor recurrence and metastasis of Chinese patients suffering from triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

Methods: PD-L1 immunohistochemistry was performed on 215 TNBCs. Also, the prevalence of TILs correlated the expression of PD-L1 and TILs with clinical outcomes. Kaplan-Meier and the model analyses of univariate Cox proportional hazards were utilized to compare the survival of patients with positive PD-L1 expression with those with negative PD-L1 expression.

Results: The median follow-up time was 67.7 months (range: 7-159 months). PD-L1-positive breast cancer patients had significantly longer disease-free survival (DFS) and Overall survival (OS) compared with PD-L1-negative patients (P=0.046; P=0.019) in TNBC. The presence of increased stromal lymphocytic infiltrates (STILs) was significantly associated with overall survival (P=0.026). The model analysis of univariate Cox proportional hazards showed that PD-L1 and STILs were independent prognostic factors for tumor prognosis.

Conclusions: Our study found that high levels of PD-L1 could be expressed in TNBC, which was correlated with the prevalence of TILs.

Keywords: PD-L1, TIL, breast cancer, TNBC, prognosis.

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How to cite this article:
AiErken N, Shi Hj, Zhou Y, Shao N, Zhang J, Shi Y, Yuan Zy, Lin Y. High PD-L1 Expression Is Closely Associated With Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes and Leads to Good Clinical Outcomes in Chinese Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients. Int J Biol Sci 2017; 13(9):1172-1179. doi:10.7150/ijbs.20868. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v13p1172.htm