Blinova E, et al. Cancers (Basel) 2020.
The goal of this study was to assess how PD-L1 expression in tissue specimens of patients with main molecular subtypes of NMIBC (luminal, basal and double-negative p53-mutant) associates with relapsed-free survival in dependence on the tumor grade and prior treatment of primary bladder cancer. PD-L1 expressions on the membrane of neoplastic and CD8+ immune cells were assessed in tumor specimens (n = 240) of primary and relapsed luminal, basal and double-negative p53-mutant NMIBC. Association between relapse-free survival and PD-L1 expression was estimated for high- and low-grade relapsed NMIBC according to previous treatment and their molecular profile, using the Kaplan-Meier method, and assessed by using the log-rank test. Potential confounders were adjusted by Cox regression models. In a group of patients who underwent only TUR without intravesical therapy, there were significant differences in relapse time between high- and low-grade tumors in basal and luminal molecular subtypes; for basal relapsed carcinoma, RFS was shorter in cases where tumors were less malignant. Both intravesical mitomycin and Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) therapy significantly extended the time of recurrence of low-grade luminal and basal bladder malignancies with no intergroup differences in double-negative NMIBC. PD-L1 expression status was associated with RFS for luminal relapsed NMIBCs in the group without previous frontline intervention, and with RFS in the group of patients with luminal relapsed bladder cancer previously utilized BCG. Obtained results may be considered as a promising approach for further clinical implementation.