We developed a novel tumor-immune index (TII) based on carcinoembryonic antigen levels, lymphocyte counts, and platelet counts, and explored its prognostic value in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The prognostic value of the TII was evaluated based on a retrospective study of 205 patients with early NSCLC, who underwent resection in the whole year of 2006, and validated in another group of 228 patients enrolled in the next year of 2007.
The optimal cut-off point for the TII was 578 × 10−9, and this value was used to stratify patients with NSCLC into low TII (≤578 × 10−9) and high TII (>578 × 10−9) groups. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that high TII was an independent predictor for overall survival and recurrence-free survival in both the training and validation cohorts. The areas under the curve of the TII for survival and recurrence were significantly larger than those for tumor, node, metastasis (TNM) stage and carcinoembryonic antigen. In the subgroup analysis, the TII was also significantly correlated with overall survival (P = 0.001, P = 0.009, and P = 0.007 in the TNM I, II, and IIIa subgroups, respectively) and recurrence-free survival (P < 0.001, P = 0.006, and P = 0.014 in the TNM I, II, and IIIa subgroups, respectively). Similarly, for patients with N2-positive tumors, the overall survival and recurrence-free survival rates for patients in the high TII group were also significantly lower than the respective values for patients in the low TII group (P = 0.026 and P = 0.007, respectively).
The TII can be used to distinguish patients with similar pathologies and stages into high and low-risk categories based on the probability of recurrence according to a convenient blood-based test.