Evaluation of PD-L1 and B7-H3 expression as a predictor of response to adjuvant chemotherapy in bladder cancer

Ahmed M. Mahmoud, Igor Frank, Jacob J. Orme, Roxane R. Lavoie, Prabin Thapa, Brian A. Costello, John C. Cheville, Sounak Gupta, Haidong Dong, Fabrice Lucien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and objectives: PD-L1 and B7-H3 have been found to be overexpressed in urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the urinary bladder. Recent studies have also demonstrated that B7-H3 and PD-L1 can promote resistance to platinum-based drugs but the predictive value of B7-H3 expression in patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy is unknown. This study aims to investigate the association of PD-L1 and B7-H3 tumor expression with oncological outcomes in patients who underwent radical cystectomy (RC) and received subsequent adjuvant chemotherapy. Materials and methods: Immunohistochemistry was performed on paraffin-embedded sections from bladder and lymph node specimens of 81 patients who had RC for bladder cancer. PD-L1 and B7-H3 expression on tumor cells was assessed by immunohistochemistry in both primary tumors and lymph node specimens. Association with clinicopathologic outcomes was determined using Fisher's exact test and postoperative survival using Kaplan–Meier survival curves and Cox regression model. Results: B7-H3 expression in cystectomy specimens was more common than PD-L1 expression (72.8% vs. 35.8%). For both markers, no association was found with pathologic tumor stage, lymph node (LN) status, and histological subtype. Similar findings were observed for double-positive tumors (PD-L1+B7-H3+). Concordance between the primary tumor and patient-matched lymph nodes was found in 76.2% and 54.1% of patients for PD-L1 and B7-H3, respectively. PD-L1 tumor expression was not associated with oncologic outcomes. However, B7-H3 expression was associated with recurrence-free survival (HR: 2.38, 95% CI 1.06–5.31, p = 0.035) and cancer-specific survival (HR: 2.67, 95% CI 1.18–6.04, p = 0.019). Conclusions: In our single institutional study, B7-H3 is highly expressed in patients with UC treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and it was associated with decreased recurrence-free survival and cancer-specific survival. Pending further validation in larger cohorts, B7-H3 expression may function as a predictor of response to adjuvant chemotherapy and thus be useful in patient and regimen selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
JournalBMC Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • B7-H3
  • Bladder cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • PD-L1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology


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