Advanced lung cancer inflammation index and its prognostic value in HPV-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a multicentre study

Piergiorgio Gaudioso, Daniele Borsetto, Giancarlo Tirelli, Margherita Tofanelli, Fiordaliso Cragnolini, Anna Menegaldo, Cristoforo Fabbris, Gabriele Molteni, Daniele Marchioni, Piero Nicolai, Paolo Bossi, Andrea Ciorba, Stefano Pelucchi, Chiara Bianchini, Simone Mauramati, Marco Benazzo, Vittorio Giacomarra, Roberto Di Carlo, Mantegh Sethi, Jerry PoleselJonathan Fussey, Paolo Boscolo-Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study is to evaluate the prognostic value of pre-treatment advanced lung cancer inflammation index (ALI) in patients with HPV-negative HNSCC undergoing up-front surgical treatment. Methods: The present multi-centre, retrospective study was performed in a consecutive cohort of patients who underwent upfront surgery with or without adjuvant (chemo)-radiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Patients were stratified by ALI, and survival outcomes were compared between groups. In addition, the prognostic value of ALI was compared with two other indices, the prognostic nutritional index (PNI) and systemic inflammatory index (SIM). Results: Two hundred twenty-three patients met the inclusion criteria (151 male and 72 female). Overall and progression-free survival were significantly predicted by ALI < 20.4 (HR 3.23, CI 1.51–6.90 for PFS and HR 3.41, CI 1.47–7.91 for OS). Similarly, PNI < 40.5 (HR = 2.43, 95% CI: 1.31–4.51 for PFS and HR = 2.40, 95% CI: 1.19–4.82 for OS) and SIM > 2.5 (HR = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.23–5.10 for PFS and HR = 2.60, 95% CI: 1.19–5.67 for OS) were found to be significant predictors. Among the three indices, ALI < 20.4 identified the patients with the worst 5-year outcomes. Moreover, patients with a combination of low PNI and low ALI resulted to be a better predictor of progression (HR = 5.26, 95% CI: 2.01–13.73) and death (HR = 5.68, 95% CI: 1.92–16.79) than low ALI and low PNI considered alone. Conclusions: Our results support the use of pre-treatment ALI, an easily measurable inflammatory/nutritional index, in daily clinical practice to improve prognostic stratification in surgically treated HPV-negative HNSCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Advanced lung cancer inflammation index
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Inflammatory indexes
  • Nutrition
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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