Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) plays an important role in the immune evasion of cancer cells and, in turn, can influence the outcome of many malignancies. The serum soluble PD-L1 (sPD-L1) levels were measured in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients at diagnosis and at end of treatment. Their impact on end of treatment metabolic response was analyzed. Serum sPD-L1 level was significantly elevated in DLBCL patients at diagnosis than in controls (P < 0.001). Also, serum sPD-L1 level at diagnosis was significantly higher than that at end of treatment (P < 0.001). Patients who achieved partial response (PR) had significantly higher serum sPD-L1 level at end of treatment than controls (P < 0.001). In contrast, all patients especially those who achieved complete response (CR) had insignificantly different serum sPD-L1 level at end of treatment than controls (P = 0.354 and P = 0.090, respectively). There was a significant difference between serum sPD-L1 level at diagnosis and that at end of treatment in patients who achieved PR and CR (P = 0.023 and P < 0.001, respectively).
On univariate analysis, presence of comorbidities, Ann Arbor stage IV, high serum sPD-L1 level at diagnosis and high serum sPD-L1 level at end of treatment were significantly associated with achievement of PR (P = 0.018 and P = 0.043, P = 0.045 and P < 0.001, respectively). On multivariate analysis, serum sPD-L1 levels at diagnosis and at end of treatment were still influencing metabolic response significantly (P = 0.014 and P = 0.007, respectively). Serum sPD-L1 is a predictor for metabolic response to immunochemotherapy in DLBCL patients.
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma Serum soluble programed death ligand 1 End of treatment response Positron emission tomography-computed tomography
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Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the ethical committee of Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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