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Programmed Cell Death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) Expression in Anal Cancer

Govindarajan, Rangaswamy, MD, MRCP(UK)*; Gujja, Swetha, MD*; Siegel, Eric R., MS*; Batra, Anu, MD*; Saeed, Anwaar, MD; Lai, Keith, MD*; James, Jennifer D., MS*; Fogel, Bradley J., MD*; Williamson, Stephen, MD

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: July 2018 - Volume 41 - Issue 7 - p 638–642
doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000343
Original Articles: Gastrointestinal

Objective: To evaluate the expression of programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) in anal cancer.

Patients and Methods: In a retrospective cohort analysis, subjects with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal were tested for PD-L1 expression, then followed for recurrence and survival. Crude recurrence rates (CRRs), crude mortality rates (CMRs), and crude event rates (CERs) were assessed for PD-L1-dependent differences using Poisson regression. All 3 types of crude rate were expressed as the number that occurred per hundred person-years (hPY) of follow-up.

Results: Samples from 41 subjects were evaluated for PD-L1 expression; 23 (56%) were positive. Subjects with PD-L1-expressing versus PD-L1-negative tumors respectively had CRRs of 30.8 versus 12.1 recurrences/hPY (P=0.082), CMRs of 16.7 versus 12.0 deaths/hPY (P=0.47), and CERs of 39.2 versus 16.9 events/hPY (P=0.069).

Conclusions: PD-L1 positivity was associated with worse CRR and CER, and marginally worse CMR. The effect on progression-free and overall survival needs to be validated in a study with a larger sample size.

*University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR

Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Rangaswamy Govindarajan, MD, MRCP(UK), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W Markham, Slot 508, Little Rock, AR 72205. E-mail:

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