High PD-L1 expression correlates with metastasis and poor prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Yueh Min Lin, Wen Wei Sung, Ming Ju Hsieh, Shih Chen Tsai, Hung Wen Lai, Shu Mei Yang, Ko Hong Shen, Mu Kuan Chen, Huei Lee, Kun Tu Yeh, Chih Jung Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)


PD-L1 has been widely demonstrated to contribute to failed antitumor immunity. Blockade of PD-L1 with monoclonal antibody could modulate the tumor immune environment to augment immunotherapy. PD-L1 expression is also detected in several types of cancer and is associated with poor prognosis. However, the prognostic role of PD-L1 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is still controversial. Our aim was to determine the role of PD-L1 in the prognosis of OSCC patients to identify its potential therapeutic relevance. PD-L1 immunoreactivity was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 305 cancer specimens from primary OSCC patients. The medium follow-up time after surgery was 3.8 years (range from 0.1 to 11.1 years). The prognostic value of PD-L1 on overall survival was determined by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazard models. Higher PD-L1 expression is more likely in tumor tissues of female than male OSCC patients (P = 0.0062). Patients with distant metastasis also had high PD-L1 expression (P = 0.0103). Multivariate analysis identified high PD-L1 expression as an independent risk factor in males and smokers (males: hazard ratio = 1.556, P = 0.0077; smokers: hazard ratio = 2.058, P = 0.0004). We suggest that PDL1 expression, determined by IHC staining, could be an independent prognostic marker for OSCC patients who are male or who have a smoking habit.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0142656
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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