Higher PD-L1 Expression Indicative of Worse Overall Survival in Mesothelioma

For patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, the over-arching question is always how much time they have left to them. Though physicians can never provide an exact number of days or months, researchers are identifying specific indicators that provide insight into which patients are likely to have better rates of survival and which will likely succumb early. One sure sign appears to be the level at which programmed cell death ligand 1, or PD-L1, is expressed.

PD-L1 Levels Are Predictive Biomarker for Mesothelioma Survival

The latest research on the role of programmed cell death ligand 1 in mesothelioma was presented during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which was held virtually this year due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.  Researchers from the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas detailed their findings, which were recently published in the journal Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

The scientists analyzed data on 1,655 patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma across 14 studies that recorded both PD-L1 expression and overall survival. They found that higher tumor PD-L1 expression was associated with much briefer survival times for patients.

Lower Levels of PD-L1 Expression Indicates Longer Survival

Following their meta-analysis of previous mesothelioma studies, the group conducted their own analysis of 75 patients. They conducted macroscopic complete resection of patient tumors and found that 65% of patients had tumors that expressed PD-L1 at a rate of 1% or higher. They then determined that PD-L1 expression of 50% or more was more frequently identified in nonepithelial tumor cells than in epithelial tumor cells. Among the 75 patients, those with greater-than-50% PD-L1 expression experienced worse recurrence-free survival as well as unfavorable overall survival.

In their published conclusion, the researchers wrote that the higher PD-L1 expression can be viewed as a “biomarker for tumors with aggressive clinical behavior in patients undergoing surgical resection for MPM, and may be useful in perioperative decision making in the clinic.” 

When it comes to battling malignant pleural mesothelioma, knowledge is power, and the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to provide you with all the information you need. For help, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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