14 December 2020
In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and systemic inflammatory biomarkers, such as neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), have significant association with prognosis. NLR and PLR also predict mortality in patients with COPD alone. A combination of the two parameters may be helpful in a more individualized approach for predicting prognosis in NSCLC.
Medical records of patients with stage IIIB and IV NSCLC from January 2012 to January 2018 in seven university hospitals were reviewed. Patients were categorized into four subgroups based on pulmonary function test results and cutoffs for NLR or PLR.
A total of 277 patients were evaluated and categorized into non-COPD and COPD groups; 194 patients were in the non-COPD group and 83 patients were in the COPD group. The non-COPD group showed significantly longer overall survival (OS) compared with the COPD group (P = 0.019). Median survival was significantly different between high/low PLR groups (P < 0.001), between high/low NLR groups (P = 0.001), and between high/low c-reactive protein (CRP) groups (P < 0.001). PLR, NLR and CRP showed significant correlations with each other. PLR showed a significant negative linear correlation with FVC (absolute) (r = −0.149, P = 0.015), FVC (%) (r = −0.192, P = 0.002), DLCO (absolute) (r = −0.271, P < 0.001), DLCO (%) (r = −0.139, P = 0.032), and NLR (r = 0.718, P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the high PLR, COPD sub-group showed significantly higher risk for mortality (HR 2.066 (1.175–3.633), P = 0.012) compared with the low-PLR non-COPD group. However, COPD-NLR subtype was not an independent predictor for OS.