Two biomarkers were correlated with poor outcomes for patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors, according to the results of a multicenter retrospective study.
Furthermore, these two biomarkers – derived neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (dNLR) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) – could make up a lung immune prognostic index (LIPI) to help predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy, Laura Mezquita, MD, of the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and her associates reported in.
The median overall survival for the population evaluated was 10.1 months (95% CI, 9.0-11.7 months), and the population’s median progression-free survival was 4.0 months (95% confidence interval, 3.4-5.0 months).
Overall survival was independently associated with both a dNLR greater than three (HR, 2.22) and an LDH level greater than the upper limit of normal (HR, 2.51), they reported.
The researchers sought to examine dNLR and LDH after previously reported data had shown that those biomarkers predict immunotherapy response for other types of disease.
“We hypothesized that the combination of baseline dNLR and LDH could be correlated with resistance to ICI [immune checkpoint inhibitor] therapy ... and could be used to develop a long immune prognostic index,” Dr. Mezquita and her associates wrote.
The researchers examined whether, at baseline, patients had a dNLR greater than three or an LDH level greater than the upper limit of normal. They then derived the LIPI by categorizing patients based on whether they met both biomarker criteria (“poor”), only one (“intermediate”), or neither (“good”), and analyzed the results accordingly.
Researchers evaluated 431 patients using the LIPI: 15% of these patients were in the poor group, 48% were in the intermediate group, and 38% were in the good group.
Patients in the poor group experienced worse median overall survival (4.8 months) and progression-free survival (2 months) than did those who had an LIPI considered intermediate (OS, 10 months; PFS, 3.7 months) or good (OS, 16.5 months; PFS, 6.3 months), according to Dr. Mezquita and her associates.
The investigators noted that the retrospective nature of the study and unknown clinical and pathological data may have limited these findings, but they concluded that LIPI with PD-L1 expression ought to be explored in future prospective trials and that LIPI could be used for patient stratification in future randomized trials.
The researchers reported no disclosures.
SOURCE: Mezquita L et al. Jama Oncol. 2018 Jan 11. .