The International journal of biological markers 2017 11 15() 0 pii 10.5301/ijbm.5000309
There is an unmet need for identification of additional prognostic markers for lung cancer. The aim of this study was to identify novel clinical and immunological predictors of prognosis in lung cancer patients.
Lymphocyte subsets CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD4+/8+, CD25+, CD69+, CD44+ and CD54+ were quantified in peripheral blood using flow cytometry, for 203 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients and 120 healthy controls.
The levels of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD4+/CD8+ and CD69+ lymphocytes were significantly lower in patients with lung cancer compared with the healthy control group, while CD54+ and CD44+ lymphocytes were significantly higher. In stage III/IV patients with lymph node metastasis or distant metastasis, the levels of CD44+ and CD54+ lymphocytes were significantly increased compared with patients with stage I/II disease (p<0.05). The levels of CD44+ and CD54+ lymphocytes markedly reduced after chemotherapy, and follow-up analysis indicated that patients found without increase of CD44+ and CD54+ lymphocytes after chemotherapy had survival advantages. Independent predictors of survival in lung cancer patients included clinical stage (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.791; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.42-3.54, p<0.001), CD44+ lymphocytes (HR = 1.282; 95% CI, 1.02-1.49, p = 0.002) and CD54+ lymphocytes (HR = 1.475; 95% CI, 1.22-1.73, p = 0.003). Elevated levels of CD44+ and CD54+ lymphocytes correlated with poor prognosis in lung cancer patients. CONCLUSIONS
Peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets in patients with lung cancer are different from those in healthy people, and circulating CD44+ and CD54+ lymphocytes seem to be a promising criterion to predict survival in lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.