Purpose: We investigated the prognostic value of PD-1 and PD-L1 expression in patients with high grade upper tract urothelial carcinoma. Materials and Methods: Tissue microarrays of 423 patients treated with extirpative surgery for high grade upper tract urothelial carcinoma from the International Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma collaboration were stained for PD-1 and PD-L1 using antibodies, including Cell Marque® NAT105 diluted 1:250 and prediluted E1L3N® via immunohistochemistry. A 1% or greater staining rate of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (PD-1) and tumor cells (PD-L1) was considered positive. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess independent prognosticators of survival outcomes. Results: Median patient age was 70.0 years and median followup was 37.0 months. PD-1 and PD-L1 were positive in 37.2% and 26.2% of patients, respectively. PD-1 positivity was significantly associated with adverse pathological characteristics while PD-L1 positivity was associated with favorable pT stage. On univariate analysis PD-1 expression was associated with worse recurrencefree, cancer specific and overall survival. On multivariate analysis PD-1 expression was an independent prognosticator of cancer specific survival (HR 1.7, 95% CI 1.03-2.66, p = 0.039) and overall survival (HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.05-2.24, p = 0.029) but not recurrence-free survival (HR 1.4, 95% CI 0.9e2.16, p = 0.139). On univariate analysis PD-L1 expression was not significantly associated with survival outcomes. However, on multivariate analysis in patients with organ confined disease (pT2 or less, pN0/x and cM0), PD-L1 positivity was an independent prognosticator of recurrence-free survival (HR 0.2, 95% CI 0.06-0.98, p = 0.046) and overall survival (HR 0.3, 95% CI 0.11-0.63, p = 0.003). Conclusions: PD-1 positivity of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was associated with adverse pathological criteria and independent prognostication of worse survival outcomes. PD-L1 positivity of tumor cells was an independent prognosticator of favorable survival outcomes in cases of organ confined disease.
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