Significance of Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) Immunohistochemical Expression in Colorectal Cancer

Lisha Wang, Fei Ren, Qifeng Wang, Lee Ann Baldridge, M. Francesca Monn, Kurt W. Fisher, Weiqi Sheng, Xiaoyan Zhou, Xiang Du, Liang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Introduction: The significance of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in the prognosis of patients with colorectal cancer remains to be determined. Methods: We assessed the levels of PD-L1 expression in tumor-infiltrating immune cells as well as tumor cells, and evaluated the association between PD-L1 expression and clinical outcome in 262 colorectal cancer patients. Results: In univariate analysis, TNM stage (p < 0.001), PD-L1 expression in tumor-infiltrating immune cells (p = 0.016), tumor location (p = 0.033), and tumor size (p = 0.019) were associated with survival. In multivariate analysis, PD-L1 expression in tumor infiltrating immune cells and TNM stage were independent prognostic factors (HR 1.83, 95 % CI 1.09–3.05, p = 0.021; HR 2.49, 95 % CI 1.51–4.12, p < 0.001, respectively). Eight percent of patients had positive PD-L1 expression in tumor cells. In contrast, PD-L1 expression in tumor cells was not significantly associated with patient clinical outcome. Conclusions: Our data indicate that PD-L1 status in tumor-infiltrating immune cells is a significant prognostic factor in colorectal cancer patients. There is a need for randomized studies that evaluate the role of PD-L1 expression in colorectal cancer in treatment decision protocols for novel immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology


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