INTRODUCTION: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have become the standard of treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there are still many uncertainties regarding the selection of the patient who could benefit more from this treatment. This study aims to evaluate the prognostic and predictive role of clinical and biological variables in unselected patients with advanced NSCLC candidates to receive ICIs.
METHODS: This is an observational and prospective study. The primary objective is the evaluation of the relationship between clinical and biological variables and the response to ICIs. Secondary objectives included: safety; assessment of the relationship between clinical and biological parameters/concomitant treatments and progression-free survival at 6 months and overall survival at 6 and 12 months. Nomograms to predict these outcomes have been generated.
RESULTS: A total of 166 patients were included. An association with response was found in the presence of the high immunohistochemical PD-L1 expression, squamous cell histotype, and early line of treatment, whereas a higher probability of progression was seen in the presence of anemia, high LDH values and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR), pleural involvement, and thrombosis before treatment. The nomogram showed that anemia, PD-L1 expression, NLR, and LDH represented the most informative predictor as regards the three parameters of interest.
CONCLUSIONS: In the era of personalized medicine, the results are useful for stratifying the patients and tailoring the treatments, considering both the histological findings and the clinical features of the patients.