PD-L1 Expression in High-Risk Early-Stage Colorectal Cancer—Its Clinical and Biological Significance in Immune Microenvironment

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is an immune checkpoint molecule that can regulate immune responses in the tumor microenvironment (TME); however, the clinical applications of PD-L1 in early-stage colorectal cancer (CRC) remain unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between PD-L1 expression and survival outcome and explore its relevant immune responses in CRC. PD-L1 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining to determine the tumor proportion score and combined positive score (CPS) in a Taiwanese CRC cohort. The oncomine immune response research assay was conducted for immune gene expression analyses. CRC datasets from the TCGA database were reappraised for PD-L1-associated gene enrichment analyses using GSEA. The high expression of PD-L1 (CPS ≥ 5) was associated with longer recurrence-free survival (p = 0.031) and was an independent prognostic factor as revealed by multivariate analysis. High PD-L1 expression was related to six immune-related gene signatures, and CXCL9 is the most significant overexpressed gene in differential analyses. High CXCL9 expression correlated with increased infiltration levels of immune cells in the TME, including CD8+ T lymphocytes and M1 macrophages. These findings suggest that high PD-L1 expression is a prognostic factor of early-stage CRC, and CXCL9 may play a key role in regulating PD-L1 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13277
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume23
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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