J Cancer 2020; 11(23):7001-7008. doi:10.7150/jca.47816 This issue

Research Paper

Plasma soluble PD-L1 and STAT3 predict the prognosis in diffuse large B cell lymphoma patients

Yue Fei1#, Jingwei Yu1#, Yang Li1#, Linyu Li1,2#, Shiyong Zhou1#, Tingting Zhang1, Lanfang Li1, Lihua Qiu1✉, Bin Meng3, Yi Pan3, Xiubao Ren4, Zhengzi Qian1✉, Xianhuo Wang1✉, Huilai Zhang1✉

1. Department of Lymphoma, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center of Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, the Sino-US Center for Lymphoma and Leukemia Research, Tianjin, China.
2. Department of Radiotherapy, The Second People Hospital of Dezhou, Shandong, China.
3. Department of Pathology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China.
4. Department of Immunology/Biotherapy, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this paper.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Fei Y, Yu J, Li Y, Li L, Zhou S, Zhang T, Li L, Qiu L, Meng B, Pan Y, Ren X, Qian Z, Wang X, Zhang H. Plasma soluble PD-L1 and STAT3 predict the prognosis in diffuse large B cell lymphoma patients. J Cancer 2020; 11(23):7001-7008. doi:10.7150/jca.47816. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v11p7001.htm

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Purpose: Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is one of the most common B cell lymphomas, which displays heterogeneous pathologies. Programmed cell death 1/ programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) plays an essential role in immunosuppression in multiple malignancies. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3)-positive patients also have an independently inferior clinical outcome. However, there are no reports on the effect of plasma soluble PD-L1 (sPD-L1) combined with plasma STAT3 on the prognosis of DLBCL. In this study, we investigate the relationships between plasma sPD-L1 combined with STAT3 and clinical prognosis of DLBCL.

Methods: Levels of plasma sPD-L1 and STAT3 were quantified using ELISA in eighty-seven DLBCL patients. Multiplexed immunofluorescence staining was performed to visualize the expression of PD-L1 in twenty-nine matched FFPE specimens from all patients.

Results: The survival analysis revealed that the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in high sPD-L1 level group were poorer than that in low sPD-L1 level group (PFS, P < 0.001; OS, P < 0.001). Similarly, the PFS and OS in high STAT3 level group were also poorer than that in low STAT3 level group. Multivariate cox regression analysis showed that both high sPD-L1 and high STAT3 levels were the independent prognostic factors negatively affecting survival. In addition, patients with DLBCL having high levels of both sPD-L1 and STAT3 had a worse outcome than those patients having any one high or low levels of both (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: We therefore revealed that high levels of plasma sPD-L1 and STAT3 are associated with inferior outcome for DLBCL patients, suggesting that combined measurement of their levels in plasma may be a promising prognostic strategy for DLBCL patients.

Keywords: sPD-L1, STAT3, DLBCL, prognosis, biomarker