Effect of systemic inflammation biomarkers on overall survival after lung cancer radiotherapy: a single-center large-cohort study

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Introduction: Recent studies suggest that immune-related cells can be recruited for anti-tumor functions as well as tumor progression and the interplay between systemic inflammation and local immune response may play a major role in the development and progression of various cancers including lung cancer. Inflammatory markers, such as neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and systemic immune-inflammation index (SII) can be used as surrogate biomarkers of host immune status. In this work, associations between neutrophils, lymphocytes, platelets, NLR, PLR, SII and overall survival (OS) are investigated in two cohorts of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with fractionated radiotherapy (RT) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and a cohort of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients treated with fractionated RT. Material and Methods: Data from 2513 lung cancer patients were retrospectively analyzed. Baseline NLR, PLR, and SII (NLR × platelet count) were calculated from full blood test prior to RT initiation. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to evaluate the association between systemic inflammation markers and known clinical factors with OS. Results: The two-year OS was 42%, 63%, and 62% in the NSCLC fractionated RT, SBRT, and SCLC cohort. NLR (per 1 unit: hazard ratio [HR]: 1.04, p < 0.05) and SII (per 100 × 10 9/L: HR: 1.01, p < 0.05) remained the strongest independent factors of OS in multivariable Cox analyses, correcting for clinical factors in early-stage and locally advanced NSCLC and SCLC patients treated with RT. Discussion: This single-center large-cohort study suggests that baseline NLR and SII are independent prognostic biomarkers associated with OS in locally advanced and early-stage NSCLC patients treated with either curative-intent fractionated RT or SBRT and SCLC patients treated with curative-intent fractionated RT. External validation is warranted to evaluate the utility of these biomarkers for patients’ stratification and adapting new treatment approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalActa oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Biomarkers
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/radiotherapy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Lung Neoplasms/radiotherapy
  • Lymphocytes
  • Neutrophils
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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