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Thomas Flaig, MD


Targeted PD-L1 Therapy for Bladder Cancer: View From the Middle East

By: Joshua Swore, PhD
Posted: Monday, January 9, 2023

The use of anti–PD-L1 therapy for patients with bladder cancer may serve as a beneficial therapeutic alternative, since 44.4% of bladder cancers in a study from the Middle East were found to be positive for PD-L1. Additional efforts should be targeted at investigating the efficacy of this treatment strategy, given the association between tumor grade and PD-L1 expression, explained Safia Al Nabhani, MD, of the Oman Medical Specialty Board, Muscat, Oman, and colleagues. These findings were published in the Oman Medical Journal.

From 2006 to 2017, a total of 68 patients with bladder cancer were recruited for the study from Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Seeb, Oman. Most patients had either stage II (32.8%) or stage II (38.8%) cancer. A total of 79.4% of these cancers were classified as invasive urothelial carcinoma, and 83.8% of patients had high-grade tumors. Tissue samples were collected from patients and subjected to immunohistochemical analysis to assess PD-L1 expression by tumor cells. To assess PD-L1–positive expression in tumor cells via membrane or cytoplasmic staining, cutoff values of 5% and 25% were selected.

The study findings revealed that 44.4% of patients had PD-L1–positive tumors when the cutoff value was 5%. In addition, a significant association was identified between PD-L1 and tumor grade. However, no significant associations between PD-L1 expression and overall patient outcomes were noted. When the cutoff value was set to 25%, just 30.2% of the tumors were PD-L1–positive. Moreover, there was no significant association identified between PD-L1 expression and both tumor grade and overall patient outcomes.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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