Peripheral lymphocyte count as a surrogate marker of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy outcomes in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer

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Abstract

Degree of expression of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is related with Immune check point inhibitors (ICIs) response but it needs sufficient tumor tissue. There is unmet need for easily accessible and prognostic peripheral blood (PB) biomarkers. We investigated the application of serum peripheral lymphocyte count (PLC) as a predictive PB biomarker for ICI response in patients with NSCLC. We conducted a retrospective study and reviewed the patients with NSCLC who were treated with ICIs from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2019. The PLC before and after 1 month of immunotherapy was collected. We evaluated the association between PLC and progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and adverse events. A total of 231 patients were treated with ICIs for NSCLC. The median follow-up period was 4.7 months and the disease progressed in 138 patients (59.7%). Compared with the lowest quartile (Q1: the lowest 25%), the highest quartile (Q4: the highest 25%) of post-treatment PLC showed a significantly higher PFS (HR 0.28, 95% CI 0.16–0.52) and OS (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.19–0.65) in the adjusted model. An association between adverse events and PLC was not observed. We revealed that an increased pre- and post-treatment PLC was associated with favorable PFS and OS with NSCLC patients treated with ICIs. PLC could be a helpful for ICI responses in NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number626
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

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