Comparison of PD-L1 Expression in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Premalignant Lesions of Oral Cavity

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Oral Pathology, Senior Lecturer, Faryal Dental College, Lahore, Pakistan.

2 Peshawar Medical College, Pakistan.

3 Department of Oral Pathology, Assistant Professor, Peshawar Dental College, Peshawar, Pakistan.

4 Department of Oral pathology, Peshawar Dental College, Riphah International University, Pakistan.

5 Department of Dental Education, Senior Lecturer, Peshawar Dental College, Peshawar, Pakistan.

6 Department of Oral Pathology, Lecturer, Sardar Begum Dental College, Peshawar, Pakistan.


Objective: Objectives of this study were to compare  expression of Programmed Death-Ligand 1(PD-L1) protein in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and oral potentially malignant disorder (OPMD) cases; and to compare the PD-L1 protein expression in histological grades of OSCC and also in OPMD’s with Dysplasia and without Dysplasia. Materials & Methods: In this study,  25 cases of Oral squamous cell carcinoms, 25 cases of Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders and 10 cases of non-neoplastic oral mucosa (control) cases were included. FFPE blocks of OSCC and OPMD cases were contributed by Department of Pathology, Histopathology Division,Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad. Immunohistochemical staining of cases with PD-L1 monoclonal antibody (1:100; Dako) was carried out at Histopathology division , PMC Labs,  Peshawar Medical College,Peshawar, Riphah International University, Islamabad . Epithelial cells (membranous and cytoplasmic) positivity was observed for PD-L1 Antibody. Data was analyzed in SPSS version20. For qualitative variables frequencies and percentages were calculated whereas for quantitative variables means and standard deviations were recorded. The Chi-square test was applied to evaluate the significant difference in categorical variables . p-value of ≤0.05 was taken as significant. Results: PD-L1 expression in OSCC cases turned out to be 48% (n=12/25) as compared to 8% of OPMD cases (n=2/25) with a significant p value of 0.002 and all non-neoplastic oral mucosa cases were negative. PD-L1 expression in high grade OSCC cases was quite high (61% n=11/18) as compared to low grade OSCC (14% n=1/7) cases with a significant p value of 0.035. Conclusion: A statistically significant increased PD-L1 expression was noted in  OSCC as compared to OPMD. Expression of PD-L1 was more intense in high grade OSCC cases. The relation of PD-L1 expression to age ,gender or location of OSCC and OPMD cases , and presence of dysplasia in OPMD cases was statistically not significant.


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