Future Oncol. 2021 Jun 30. doi: 10.2217/fon-2021-0092. Online ahead of print.
Aims: To explore the prognostic value of high PD-L1 expression on tumor cells (TC) and tumor-infiltrating immune cells (TIIC) in urothelial carcinoma (UC). Patients & methods: 162 UC specimens were evaluated for PD-L1 expression on TIIC and TC with the SP263 assay. High PD-L1 expression was defined as ≥25% staining. Results: High PD-L1 expression on TC in UC patients with stage T1-4 disease was associated with poor overall survival. However, high PD-L1 expression on TIIC in UC patients with stage T1-4 disease revealed favorable disease-free and overall survival; more significant differences were observed in patients with stages T2-4. Multivariate analysis revealed that high PD-L1 expression on TIIC was an independent prognostic predictor for better disease-free and overall survival. Conclusion: High PD-L1 expression on TIIC, but not on TC, is a favorable prognostic factor in UC.