The immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) had shown to increase progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). The prognostic nutritional index (PNI) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) are biomarkers easy to measure by blood tests and they had been studied as possible prognostic predictors in patients (pts) with various types of cancer treated with ICI. This study intends to analyze the impact of the NLR and PNI in pts with NSCLC treated with ICI.
Thirty-four pts with stage IV NSCLC that had started ICI in 1st and subsequent lines between 03/2016 and 06/2019 were retrospectively analyzed. The pre-treatment NLR and PNI were calculated and the cut-off 5 and 50 were respectively considered. The Kaplan-Meier method and Log Rank test and the Cox regression were used in survival analysis.
Twenty-seven (79%) were male, with a median age of 67 (34-79) years; ECOG 0-1 (n = 30; 88%); stage IVA (n = 14; 41%); PD-L1 ≥50% (n = 18; 53%); NLR ≥5 (n = 13; 38%); PNI ≥50 (n = 14; 41%). Eleven pts (32%) were submitted to ICI in 1st line. The median follow-up time was 19,3 months (mo.). The median PFS was 6,1 mo. (95%CI 1,94-10,26) and median OS was 9,3 mo. (95%CI 0,31-18,29) - 16,5 mo. in 1st line vs 8,6 mo. in subsequent lines. The median PFS was superior in patients with PNI ≥50 (7,0 vs 2,1 mo., p = 0,039), but there weren’t differences considering the NLR. The median OS was also superior when PNI ≥50 (16,8 vs 6,7 mo., p = 0,019). In multivariate analysis (sex, age, 1st line, PD-L1, stage, ECOG, NLR and PNI), the mortality probability was superior in pts with ≥70 years [HR 6,14 (95%CI 1,49-25,39)]. Moreover, PD-L1 ≥50% [HR 0,09 (95%CI 0,01-0,52)], male sex [HR 0,03 (95%CI 0,004-0,24)], stage IVA [HR 0,26 (95%CI 0,07-0,997)] and PNI ≥50 [HR 0,15 (95%CI 0,03-0,69)] were associated to a reduced mortality risk.
PNI ≥50 was predictive of a better PFS and OS and the NLR wasńt a predictor of survival. Regarding OS, PNI ≥50 was an independent survival prognostic factor. In order to understand the impact of this biomarker in NSCLC treated with ICI, it is important to evaluate it in more studies with a larger population and prolonged follow-up time.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.