High lymphocyte count during neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy is associated with improved pathologic complete response in esophageal cancer

Penny Fang, Wen Jiang, Rajayogesh Davuluri, Cai Xu, Sunil Krishnan, Radhe Mohan, Albert C. Koong, Charles C. Hsu, Steven H. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and purpose: Neoadjuvant chemoradiation (nCRT) can reduce tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. We examined absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) nadir during nCRT for esophageal cancer (EC) and pathologic complete response (pCR). Materials and methods: Patients with stage I–IVA EC (n = 313) treated 2007–2013 with nCRT followed by surgery were analyzed. ALC was obtained before, during/weekly, and one month after CRT. pCR was defined as no viable tumor cells at surgery. High ALC was defined as nadir of ≥0.35 × 103/μL (highest tertile). Comparison of continuous and categorical variables by pCR was assessed by ANOVA and Pearson's chi-square. Univariate/multivariate logistic regression was used to assess predictors of pCR and high ALC nadir. Results: Eighty-nine patients (27.8%) achieved a complete pathological response (pCR). For patients with pCR, median ALC nadir was significantly higher than those without (0.35 × 103/μL vs 0.29 × 103/μL, p = 0.007). Patients maintaining high ALC nadir had a higher pCR rate (OR1.82, 95%CI 1.08–3.05, p = 0.024). Predictors of high ALC included treatment with proton therapy vs. IMRT (OR4.18, 95%CI 2.34–7.47, p < 0.001), smoking at diagnosis (OR2.80, 95%CI 1.49–5.25, p = 0.001), early stage I–II disease (OR2.33, 95%CI 1.32–4.17, p = 0.005), and SCC histology (OR3.70, 95%CI 1.01–14.29, p = 0.048). Mean body dose (MBD) was inversely related to high ALC nadir (OR0.77 per Gy, 95%CI 0.70–0.84, p < 0.001). Conclusion: A higher ALC level during nCRT is associated with a higher rate of pCR for esophageal cancer patients undergoing trimodality therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-590
Number of pages7
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Volume128
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Absolute lymphocyte count
  • Chemoradiation
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Lymphopenia
  • Neoadjuvant
  • Pathologic response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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