Background: Beyond programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), no other biomarkers for immunotherapy are used in daily practice. We previously created EPSILoN (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS), smoking, liver metastases, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR)) score, a clinical/biochemical prognostic score, in 154 patients treated with second/further-line immunotherapy. This study’s aim was to validate EPSILoN score in a different population group. Methods: 193 patients were included at National Cancer Institute of Milan (second-line immunotherapy, 61%; further-line immunotherapy, 39%). Clinical/laboratory parameters such as neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and lactate dehydrogenase levels were collected. Kaplan–Meier and Cox hazard methods were used for survival analysis. Results: Overall median progression-free survival and median overall survival were 2.3 and 7.6 months, respectively. Multivariate analyses for Progression-Free Survival (PFS) identified heavy smokers (hazard ratio (HR) 0.71, p = 0.036) and baseline LDH < 400 mg/dL (HR 0.66, p = 0.026) as independent positive factors and liver metastases (HR 1.48, p = 0.04) and NLR ≥ 4 (HR 1.49, p = 0.029) as negative prognostic factors. These five factors were included in the EPSILoN score which was able to stratify patients in three different prognostic groups, high, intermediate and low, with PFS of 6.0, 3.8 and 1.9 months, respectively (HR 1.94, p < 0.001); high, intermediate and low prognostic groups had overall survival (OS) of 24.5, 8.9 and 3.4 months, respectively (HR 2.40, p < 0.001). Conclusions: EPSILoN, combining five baseline clinical/blood parameters (ECOG PS, smoking, liver metastases, LDH, NLR), may help to identify advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) patients who most likely benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research