Continuous monitoring of neutrophils to lymphocytes ratio for estimating the onset, severity, and subsequent prognosis of immune related adverse events

Ryosuke Matsukane, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Haruna Minami, Kojiro Hata, Kimitaka Suetsugu, Toshikazu Tsuji, Satohiro Masuda, Isamu Okamoto, Takashi Nakagawa, Takamichi Ito, Masatoshi Eto, Masaki Mori, Yoichi Nakanishi, Nobuaki Egashira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) play a central role in various cancers. ICIs can cause immune-related adverse events (irAEs). As severe irAEs can be life-threatening, biomarkers for estimating irAE onset are crucial. The neutrophils-to-lymphocytes ratio (NLR) reflects the systemic immune condition and known as a prognostic marker in ICI treatment. Our study evaluated if the NLR corresponded with irAEs, and its feasibility as a biomarker for irAE onset. We retrospectively analyzed 275 cancer patients treated with anti-PD-1 monotherapy. We observed 166 irAEs in 121 patients. The NLR was significantly elevated during irAEs. Patients experiencing interstitial pneumonitis showed NLR elevation 4 weeks before initial symptoms and diagnosis. Analyzing receiver operating characteristics curves revealed that elevated NLR distinguished subsequent pneumonitis severity with high accuracy (AUC 0.93, sensitivity 88.9%, specificity 88.2%, cut-off 2.37, p = 0.0004). After a severe irAE occurred, two NLR trends were observed. Patients who showed a prompt reduction in elevated NLRs had favorable progression-free survival (hazard ratio 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–1.01, p = 0.0140) and overall survival (hazard ratio 0.23, 95% CI 0.06–0.86, p = 0.0057) compared to the patients who maintained elevated NLRs. These findings suggest that continuous monitoring of NLR trends may predict irAE onset and severity and subsequent prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1324
JournalScientific reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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