Immune Netw.  2020 Jun;20(3):e27. 10.4110/in.2020.20.e27.

Baseline Serum Interleukin-6 Levels Predict the Response of Patients with Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer to PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2Lung Cancer Clinic, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Korea
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 4Clinical Trials Center, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
  • 5Research Institute for Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
  • 6Laboratory of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea

Abstract

Although various studies on predictive markers in the use of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors are in progress, only PD-L1 expression levels in tumor tissues are currently used. In the present study, we investigated whether baseline serum levels of IL-6 can predict the treatment response of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors. In our cohort of 125 NSCLC patients, the objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (DCR) were significantly higher in those with low IL-6 (<13.1 pg/ml) than those with high IL-6 (ORR 33.9% vs. 11.1%, p=0.003; DCR 80.6% vs. 34.9%, p<0.001). The median progression-free survival was 6.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.9–8.7) in the low IL-6 group, significantly longer than in the high IL-6 group (1.9 months, 95% CI, 1.6–2.2, p<0.001). The median overall survival in the low IL-6 group was significantly longer than in the high IL-6 group (not reached vs. 7.4 months, 95% CI, 4.8–10.0). Thus, baseline serum IL-6 levels could be a potential biomarker for predicting the efficacy and survival benefit of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in NSCLC.

Keyword

IL-6; Lung cancer; Immunological antineoplastic agents; PD-1/PD-L1
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