Clinicopathological and prognostic significance of programmed death ligand-1 expression in breast cancer: A meta-analysis

Hye Min Kim, Jinae Lee, Ja Seung Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) may be a useful molecule for targeted immunotherapy. Therefore, this meta-analysis aimed to investigate PD-L1 expression in breast cancer and its associations with clinicopathological factors and outcomes, which may help determine whether PD-L1 expression is a useful prognostic marker. Methods: The Medline Ovid, Cochrane, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Knowledge databases were searched for studies that evaluated the prognostic or clinicopathological significance of PD-L1 expression in patients with breast cancer, and reported at least one survival-related outcome. Results: Six studies that included 7877 cases were selected for the analysis. Higher PD-L1 expression in all cells was related to higher histological grade and lymph node metastasis. Higher PD-L1 expression in tumor cell was related to larger tumor size, estrogen receptor negativity, progesterone receptor negativity, human epidermal growth factor type-2 positivity, and triple-negative breast cancer. PD-L1 positivity in all cells was associated with poorer disease-free survival, although it was not significantly associated with overall survival. Conclusion: The present meta-analysis revealed that cases of breast cancer with PD-L1 positivity in all cells exhibited higher histological grades, lymph node metastasis, and poorer disease-free survival. Therefore, positive expression of PD-L1 may be a useful prognostic marker in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number690
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National R&D Program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (1420080) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2015R1A1A1A05001209). The funder had no role in study design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation, and writing the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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