ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

The clinical importance of PD‑L1 and PD‑1 expression in diffuse large B cell lymphoma



Introduction. The target pathway programmed cell death‑1 (PD‑1)/ programmed death‑ligand 1 (PD‑L1) shows clinical efficacy in solid tumors, but also in Hodgkin’s and non‑Hodgkin’s lymphoma. PD‑L1 expression most often correlates with a poor prognosis and a PD‑1 regulatory factor that mediates immunosuppression. The presence of an increased number of tumor‑infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) PD‑1 + is a favorable prognostic factor in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) and follicular lymphomas, while the low number of TILs PD‑1 + is associated with an increased risk of histological transformation. In DLBCLs, TILs PD‑1 + may not reflect the depletion of T‑mediated tumor cells but may be an indicator of lymphoid cell origin.

Objectives. The objective of this study was to describe the correlation between PD‑1 and PDL‑1 with survival in patients with the diagnosis of diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

Material and methods We have studied 80 patients and we have analyzed DLBCLs according to the Hans algorithm; in addition, we analyzed PD‑1 and PD‑L1 in tumor cells and in immune cells and we correlated this data with patient’s survival.

Results. We found that there is a tendency of decreased survival and therapeutic response in DLBCL patients, with both an intense and weak PD‑L1 positivity in tumor cells. PD‑1 low positivity was associated in higher percentage with relapse and treatment unresponsiveness.

Conclusions: Our data suggested that PD‑L1 expression correlates with a poor clinical response although it is not an independent prognostic marker and PD‑1 represents a favorable prediction factor for survival.

Keywords: diffuse large B cell lymphomas, PD‑L1, PD‑1, prognostic, survival, therapeutic response.

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Address for correspondence:

Department of Surgery, „Sfanta Maria“ Clinical Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
Address: Ion Mihalache Blvd, no.37‑39, Sector 1, Bucharest, 011172
Email:, phone 0721226020


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Birceanu Corobea A, Evsei A, Rosianu C, Gheorghe M, Birceanu G, Sajin M, Lupu A, Copca N. The clinical importance of PD-L1 and PD-1 expression in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Arch Balk Med Union 2018; 53(3):316-323. DOI 10.31688/ABMU.2018.53.3.01