To examine the longitudinal relationship between the systemic inflammatory response, circulating T-lymphocyte subpopulations, interleukin-6 and -10 in patients undergoing immunotherapy for metastatic renal cancer, as the inflammation-based Glasgow Prognostic Score (GPS) provides additional prognostic information in patients with advanced renal cancer, but the basis of the relationship between the systemic inflammatory response and poorer survival is not clear, and nor is the effect of immunotherapy on related variables.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
The study included 23 patients with metastatic renal cancer and starting immunotherapy. Samples of blood were drawn for routine laboratory analysis and to quantify cytokines using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays before immunotherapy, and repeated after 2 weeks of treatment.
Most patients had a good performance status, favourable or intermediate Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) risk scores, and with elevated C-reactive protein (>10 mg/L), GPS (1 or 2), interleukin-6 (>4 pg/mL) and interleukin-10 (>10 pg/mL). Patients who completed one cycle of immunotherapy were more likely to have a normal MSKCC (P < 0.05) or GPS (P < 0.05) scores, whilst the percentage of lymphocytes was lower (P < 0.05). The MSKCC and the GPS scores did not alter significantly during one cycle of immunotherapy. Similarly, leukocyte counts, CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes, interleukin-6 and -10 concentrations did not change significantly.
The pretreatment systemic inflammatory response and its related lymphopenia are important in determining the tolerance to immunotherapy in patients with metastatic renal cancer. Immunotherapy is not associated with changes in circulating T-lymphocytes, nor the systemic inflammatory response.