Programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is expressed on both tumor and tumor-infiltrating nonmalignant cells in lymphoid malignancies. The programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/PD-L1 pathway suppresses host antitumor responses, although little is known about the significance of PD-1/PD-L1 expression in the tumor microenvironment. To investigate the clinicopathological impact of PD-L1 expression in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL), we performed PD-L1 immunostaining in 135 ATLL biopsy samples. We observed 2 main groups: 1 had clear PD-L1 expression in lymphoma cells (nPD-L1(1), 7.4% of patients), and the other showed minimal expression in lymphoma cells (nPD-L1(2), 92.6%). Within the nPD-L1(2) group, 2 subsets emerged: the first displayed abundant PD-L1 expression innonmalignant stromal cells of the tumor microenvironment(miPD-L1(1), 58.5%) and the second group did not express PD-L1 in any cell (PD-L1(2), 34.1%). nPD-L1(1) ATLL (median survival time [MST] 7.5 months, 95% CI [0.4-22.3]) had inferior overall survival (OS) compared with nPD-L1(2) ATLL (MST 14.5 months, 95% CI [10.1-20.0]) (P 5 .0085). Among nPD-L1(2) ATLL, miPD-L1(1) ATLL (MST 18.6 months, 95% CI [11.0-38.5]) showed superior OS compared with PD-L1(2) ATLL (MST 10.2 months, 95% CI [8.0-14.7]) (P 5 .0029). The expression of nPD-L1 and miPD-L1 maintained prognostic value for OS in multivariate analysis (P 5 .0322 and P 5 .0014, respectively). This is the first report describing the clinicopathological features and outcomes of PD-L1 expression in ATLL. More detailed studies will disclose clinical and biological significance of PD-L1 expression in ATLL.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology