Dynamic evaluation of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio as prognostic factor in stage III non-small cell lung cancer treated with chemoradiotherapy

Lung Cancer

Palomar-Abril V, et al. Clin Transl Oncol 2020.


PURPOSE: Locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) is frequently treated with chemoradiotherapy (CRT). Despite the efforts, long-term outcomes are poor, and novel therapies have been introduced to improve results. Biomarkers are needed to detect early treatment failure and plan future follow-up and therapies. Our aim is to evaluate the role of dynamics of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in patients with locally advanced NSCLC treated with CRT.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients diagnosed with LA-NSCLC receiving definitive CRT at our center from 2010 to 2015. Baseline and post-treatment NLR were collected from our center database. NLR was dichotomized (threshold = 4) and patients were divided into two groups based on the variation from baseline to post-treatment NLR. The prognostic role and association with response were examined with logistic regression and multivariate Cox regression model, respectively.

RESULTS: Ninety-two patients were included. Our analysis shows that NLR after treatment is associated with response to treatment [OR in the multivariate analysis 4.94 (1.01-24.48); p value = 0.048]. Furthermore, NLR and ECOG are independent prognostic factors for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Specifically, PFS was 25.79 months for the good prognosis group and 12.09 for the poor prognosis group [HR 2.98 (CI 95% = 1.74-5.10), p < 0.001]; and OS was 42.94 months and 18.86 months, respectively [HR 2.81 (CI 95% = 1.62-4.90), p < 0.001].

CONCLUSION: Dynamics of NLR have a prognostic value in stage III NSCLC treated with definitive CRT. Pre- and post-CRT NLR should be evaluated in prospective clinical trials involving consolidation treatment with immunotherapy.