Background: Nephrectomy is a curative treatment for localized renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but patients with poor prognostic features may experience relapse. Understanding the prognostic impact of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in patients who underwent nephrectomy for RCC may aid in future development of adjuvant therapy. Methods: Of 770 surgical specimens collected from Japanese patients enrolled in the ARCHERY study, only samples obtained from patients with recurrent RCC after nephrectomy were examined for this secondary analysis. Patients were categorized into low- and high-risk groups based on clinical stage and Fuhrman grade. Time to recurrence (TTR) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Results: Both TTR and OS were shorter in patients with PD-L1-positive than -negative tumors (median TTR 12.1 vs. 21.9 months [HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.17, 1.81]; median OS, 75.8 vs. 97.7 months [HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.00, 1.75]). TTR and OS were shorter in high-risk patients with PD-L1-positive than -negative tumors (median TTR 7.6 vs. 15.3 months [HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.11, 2.00]; median OS, 55.2 vs. 83.5 months [HR 1.53, 95% CI 1.06, 2.21]) but not in low-risk patients. Conclusions: This ARCHERY secondary analysis suggests that PD-L1 expression may play a role in predicting OS and risk of recurrence in high-risk patients with localized RCC. Clinical Trial Registration: UMIN000034131.
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