Programmed death 1 expression in the peritumoral microenvironment is associated with a poorer prognosis in classical Hodgkin lymphoma
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Programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) inhibitor may be therapeutic in patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL). This study examined the prognostic significance of PD-1 and two PD-1 ligands (PD-L1 and PD-L2) in uniformly treated cHL. Diagnostic tissues from 109 cHL patients treated with a doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine regimen were evaluated retrospectively by immunohistochemical analysis of PD-L1, PD-L2, and PD-1 expressions. The median follow-up time was 4.91 years (range, 0.17–17.33 years). Thirteen patients (11 %) expressed PD-1 protein in the peritumoral microenvironment, which was associated with poor overall survival (OS) (P = 0.017). PD-L1 or PD-L2 expression was not associated with OS. There was no correlation between PD-L1 and PD-1 expression or between PD-L2 and PD-1 expression. Multivariate analysis identified PD-1 protein as an independent prognostic factor for OS (P = 0.019). Subgroup analysis according to the Ann Arbor stage of cHL showed that PD-1 protein expression had a prognostic value in limited-stage cHL (P = 0.048). PD-1 is an independent prognostic factor in cHL and may allow the identification of a subgroup of patients with limited-stage cHL who require more intensive therapy and who may benefit from anti-PD-1 agents.