The host inflammatory response has a vital role in carcinogenesis and tumour progression. We examined the prognostic value of inflammatory markers (albumin, white-cell count and its components, and platelets) in pre-treated patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
Using data from a randomised trial, multivariable proportional hazards models were generated to examine the impact of inflammatory markers and established prognostic factors (performance status, calcium, and haemoglobin) on overall survival (OS). We evaluated a new prognostic classification incorporating additional information from inflammatory markers.
Of the 416 patients, 362 were included in the analysis. Elevated neutrophil counts, elevated platelet counts, and a high neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio were significant independent predictors for shorter OS in a model with established prognostic factors. The addition of inflammatory markers improves the discriminatory value of the prognostic classification as compared with established factors alone (C-statistic 0.673 vs 0.654, P=0.002 for the difference), with 25.8% (P=0.004) of patients more appropriately classified using the new classification.
Markers of systemic inflammation contribute significantly to prognostic classification in addition to established factors for pre-treated patients with advanced RCC. Upon validation of these data in independent studies, stratification of patients using these markers in future clinical trials is recommended.