Circulating levels of immune and inflammatory markers and long versus short survival in early-stage lung cancer

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Abstract

Background

Some patients diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer and treated according to standard care survive for only a short period of time, while others survive for years for reasons that are not well understood. Associations between markers of inflammation and survival from lung cancer have been observed.

Materials and methods

Here, we investigate whether circulating levels of 77 inflammatory markers are associated with long versus short survival in stage I and II lung cancer. Patients who had survived either <79 weeks (∼1.5 years) (short survivors, SS) or >156 weeks (3 years) (long survivors, LS) were selected from a retrospective population-based study. Logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The false discovery rate was calculated to adjust for multiple testing.

Results

A total of 157 LS and 84 SS were included in this analysis. Thirteen markers had adjusted OR on the order of 2- to 5-fold when comparing the upper and lower quartiles with regard to the odds of short survival versus long. Chemokine CCL15 [chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 15] was the most significant marker associated with increased odds of short survival (ORs = 4.93; 95% CI 1.90–12.8; q-value: 0.042). Smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were not associated with marker levels.

Conclusions

Our results provide some evidence that deregulation of inflammatory responses may play a role in the survival of early-stage lung cancer. These findings will require confirmation in future studies.

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