Clinical and Experimental Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 407–416 | Cite as

The clinicopathological and prognostic value of PD-L1 in urothelial carcinoma: a meta-analysis

  • Yaoan Wen
  • Yeda Chen
  • Xiaolu Duan
  • Wei Zhu
  • Chao Cai
  • Tuo Deng
  • Guohua ZengEmail author
Review Article


The prognostic value of programed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) in urothelial carcinoma (UC) has been assessed in previous studies, while the results remain controversial and heterogeneous. Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis to explore the prognostic effect of PD-L1 in patients with UC. PubMed, Embase and Web of Science were searched to identify the studies. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) and clinicopathological factors were extracted from included studies. A total of 1819 patients with UC from 11 published studies were incorporated. The results of meta-analysis showed that positive PD-L1 expression was significantly associated with poorer overall survival (OS) (HR 1.59, 95% CI 1.05–2.40) and disease-free survival (DFS) (HR 1.83, 95% CI 1.03–3.25), but not recurrence-free survival. Moreover, in the subgroup analysis, significant associations between PD-L1 expression and OS or DFS were found in bladder UC, the cutoff value of positive expression of PD-L1 ≥ 5% and the expression of PD-L1 on the tumor cell membrane. Interestingly, positive PD-L1 expression was correlated with poorer pathological T stage (OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.46–2.82). Our meta-analysis implies that PD-L1 might be a valuable biomarker of poor prognosis for UC, especially bladder UC, although further large-scale and well-designed studies are warranted to verify the prognostic value of PD-L1 for UC.


PD-L1 Urothelial carcinoma Prognosis Meta-analysis Biomarker 



This work was financed by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81402430), the Collaborative Innovation Project of Guangzhou Education Bureau (No. 1201620011) and the Guangzhou Science Technology and Innovation Commission (No. 201704020193).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. All the data involved in this study were extracted from published articles.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urology, Minimally Invasive Surgery CenterThe First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangdong Key Laboratory of UrologyGuangzhouChina

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