Prognostic impact of serum procalcitonin in non-small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer

Tumori. 2020 Oct 20:300891620966647. doi: 10.1177/0300891620966647. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Increased serum procalcitonin (PCT), a well-known biomarker for sepsis, has been reported in several cancer types. We aimed to investigate the prognostic impact of PCT in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

METHODS: Medical records of 51 consecutive patients with NSCLC (Aichi Medical University Hospital) admitted between July 2017 and July 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. The patients were divided into PCT-low (PCT < 0.1 ng/mL) and PCT-high (PCT ⩾ 0.1 ng/mL) groups, and their clinical characteristics and survival were compared.

RESULTS: In contrast to the PCT-low group (n = 24), the PCT-high group (n = 27) showed significantly worse Performance Status (PS) and overall survival (OS) (PS 0-2/3-4, 16/8 versus 12/15, p = 0.034; median OS, not reached versus 127 days, p < 0.001), irrespective of the presence of infection (p = 0.785). Multivariate analysis showed that the disease stage (IV versus I-III) and high PCT level (⩾0.1 versus <0.1 ng/mL) were significantly worse prognostic factors with hazard ratios of 3.706 (p = 0.023) and 3.951 (p = 0.010), respectively.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that serum PCT in NSCLC was elevated regardless of the presence of infection. Higher PCT levels are associated with poor PS and shorter OS in NSCLC.