High PD-L1 expression in the tumour cells did not correlate with poor prognosis of patients suffering for oral squamous cells carcinoma: A meta-analysis of the literature

Giuseppe Troiano, Vito C.A. Caponio, Khrystyna Zhurakivska, Claudia Arena, Giuseppe Pannone, Marco Mascitti, Andrea Santarelli, Lorenzo Lo Muzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Oral cancer represents one of the most common malignancies in humans. Its prognosis is still poor, despite the most recent improvements in therapies. An increasing attention is placed on the role of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in the tumour immunity and its potential function as a marker for tumour prognosis. Whether PD-L1 expression is a prognostic factor for the poor outcomes in oral squamous cell carcinoma is still controversial. This study aimed to investigate, through a meta-analysis, a potential correlation between PD-L1 expression and the prognostic outcomes in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma. Materials and methods: The studies were identified by searching PubMed, SCOPUS, Web of Science and were assessed by two of the authors. After the selection process, 11 articles met eligibility criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Quality assessment of studies was performed according to the REMARK guidelines, and the risk of biases across studies was investigated through Q and I2 tests. Meta-analysis was performed to investigate the association between the PD-L1 expression either overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), gender and lymph node metastasis. Results: A total of 1060 patients were analysed in the 11 studies included in the meta-analysis. Pooled analysis revealed that the expression of PD-L1 did not correlate with poor OS (HR, 0.60; 95% CI: [0.33, 1.10]; P = 0.10), DFS (HR, 0.62; 95% CI: [0.21, 1.88]; P = 0.40), DSS (HR, 2.05; 95% CI: [0.53, 7.86]; P = 0.29 and lymph node metastasis (HR, 1.15; 95% CI: [0.74, 1.81]; P = 0.53). Furthermore, results of the meta-analysis showed that high expression of PD-L1 is two times more frequent in female patients (OR, 0.5; 95% CI: [0.36, 0.69]; P < 0.0001) compared to males. For all the three outcomes analysed, a high rate of heterogeneity was detected (I2> 50%). Discussion: High PD-L1 expression did not correlate with poor prognosis of patients suffering for oral squamous cell carcinoma. Studies published on the topic showed a significant variation in results, limiting the use of PD-L1 expression by immunohistochemistry as prognostic biomarker in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12537
JournalCell Proliferation
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2018

Keywords

  • cancer
  • checkpoint inhibitors
  • immunity
  • meta-analysis
  • mouth neoplasms
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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