Apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like 3B (APOBEC3B) is a recently discovered protein that is considered important in causing mutations in tumor cell genome bases. Whether APOBEC3B is expressed in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) still remains unknown. Studies have shown that programmed-cell-death receptor-1 ligand (PD-L1) is highly expressed in NPC, but its clinical significance has not been fully elucidated. We aimed to evaluate APOBEC3B and PD-L1 protein expression in NPC and also investigate their prognostic significance.
Materials and Methods:
One hundred and three patients with NPC were retrospectively collected in this study, and were followed-up for 5 years. The expression of APOBEC3B and PD-L1/PD-1 in NPC was detected by immunohistochemical staining.
High expression of APOBEC3B was observed in 42.7% of NPC patients. The high expression rate of APOBEC3B was 31.5% in patients without recurrence or metastasis within 5 years, and 55.1% in those patients with recurrence or metastasis, and the difference was statistically significant (P=0.016). There was no significant difference in APOBEC3B expression among patients with different sex, age group, and clinical stage (P>0.05). The positive expression rate of PD-L1 was 55.3% in all patients with NPC. There was no significant difference in PD-L1 expression among patients with different sex, age group, clinical stage, and tumor recurrence or metastasis condition (P> 0.05). There was no significant correlation between the expression of APOBEC3B and PD-L1 in NPC patients. The positive expression rate of PD-1 was 1.9% (2/103) in patients with NPC.
APOBEC3B showed association with aggressive behavior and poor outcome in NPC, and is also considered as a potential marker for predicting NPC recurrence or metastasis. PD-L1 is not associated with the aggressive behavior and poor outcome in NPC.