In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out if certain levels of compounds in the blood could predict survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study found that levels of some of the compounds tested were related to how well the patients survived.
The levels of certain compounds in the blood are tested often during cancer treatment. These compounds may tell us certain things about the treatment and how it is working. Sometimes, these blood measurements are performed before treatment starts. It is not known if the levels of some compounds in the blood can predict how well a person will survive treatment. It is also not known how this works specifically in patients with NSCLC.
Methods & findings
This study had 337 patients with NSCLC. All of these patients were treated with radiotherapy. Before they began treatment, blood tests were taken. The levels of six compounds in the blood were measured. These compounds were osteopontin (OPN; a protein in the bone), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF; a protein that promotes the growth of new blood vessels), erythropoietin (EPO; stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells), high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1; a protein involved in inflammation), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1; a protein involved in the growth process) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF; a protein involved in cell growth). The study also looked at the patients' characteristics, and treatments.
Some factors were identified that were associated with survival. Patients who had ever smoked cigarettes were 3.62 times more likely to have a lower survival. Patients who did not have chemotherapy were 2.03 times more likely to have lower survival compared to those who did have chemotherapy.
Patients who had a high concentration of OPN (over 104ng/mL) in their blood were 1.67 times more likely to have poorer outcomes than patients who had a low concentration. Also, patients with a high concentration of VEGF (over 362 pg/ml) were 1.51 times more likely to have lower survival than patients who had a low concentration.
The bottom line
The study concluded that levels of OPN and VEGF in the blood can predict the outcomes of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
The fine print
This is a small study. It looked at a number of different factors. More research is needed.
Published By :
May 08, 2019