Expression, prognostic significance and therapeutic implications of PD-L1 in gliomas

Gayaththri Vimalathas, Bjarne Winther Kristensen

7 Citationer (Scopus)


The advent of checkpoint immunotherapy, particularly with programmed death-1 (PD-1) and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors, has provided ground-breaking results in several advanced cancers. Substantial efforts are being made to extend these promising therapies to other refractory cancers such as gliomas, especially glioblastoma, which represents the most frequent and malignant glioma and carries an exceptionally grim prognosis. Thus, there is a need for new therapeutic strategies with related biomarkers. Gliomas have a profoundly immunosuppressive tumour micro-environment and evade immunological destruction by several mechanisms, one being the expression of inhibitory immune checkpoint molecules such as PD-L1. PD-L1 is recognised as an important therapeutic target and its expression has been shown to hold prognostic value in different cancers. Several clinical trials have been launched and some already completed, but PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors have yet to show convincing clinical efficacy in gliomas. Part of the explanation may reside in the vast molecular heterogeneity of gliomas and a complex interplay within the tumour micro-environment. In parallel, critical knowledge about PD-L1 expression is beginning to accumulate including knowledge on expression levels, testing methodology, co-expression with other checkpoint molecules and prognostic and predictive value. This article reviews these aspects and points out areas where biomarker research is needed to develop more successful checkpoint-related therapeutic strategies in gliomas.

TidsskriftNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2022


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