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Prognostic and clinical impact of PD-L2 and PD-L1 expression in a cohort of 437 oesophageal cancers

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Background: The PD-1/PD-L1 pathway plays critical roles in tumour immunology, and serves as an immune-based therapeutic target. Less is known regarding PD-L2, another ligand of PD-1, and its relation to clinical outcome in human cancers. Methods: We used a database of 437 surgically and 100 endoscopically resected oesophageal cancers (squamous cell carcinoma, n = 483; adenocarcinoma, n = 36; others, n = 18) to evaluate PD-L2 and PD-L1 expression by immunohistochemistry. Results: Compared with PD-L2-negative cases (n = 366, 83.8%), PD-L2-positive cases (n = 71, 16.2%) had worse overall survival (P = 0.011, log-rank test). There was not a significant correlation between PD-L2 and PD-L1 expression. Multiplex immunofluorescence revealed that there was variability in the expression pattern of PD-L2 and PD-L1. In early-stage tumours, PD-L2 expression was more frequently observed compared with PD-L1. Conclusions: PD-L2 as well as PD-L1 were associated with an unfavourable prognosis in oesophageal cancer, supporting the role of PD-L2 as a prognostic biomarker. Considering that PD-L2 and PD-L1 had different features in terms of expression timing and responses to chemotherapeutic drugs, evaluation of both PD-L2 and PD-L1 expression may be clinically important.




Okadome, K., Baba, Y., Nomoto, D., Yagi, T., Kalikawe, R., Harada, K., … Baba, H. (2020). Prognostic and clinical impact of PD-L2 and PD-L1 expression in a cohort of 437 oesophageal cancers. British Journal of Cancer, 122(10), 1535–1543.

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