Swedish lung cancer radiation study group: the prognostic value of anaemia, thrombocytosis and leukocytosis at time of diagnosis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Med Oncol. 2012 Dec;29(5):3176-82. doi: 10.1007/s12032-012-0247-3. Epub 2012 May 8.


There is a need to improve the prognostic and predictive indicators in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). At present, the main focus is on genetic predictive markers while the prognostic value of the standard blood variables related to haematopoiesis has been subjected to relatively limited attention. To study the prognostic potential of haemoglobin (Hgb), platelet (Plt) and white blood cell (WBC) levels at time of diagnosis in NSCLC patients, 835 NSCLC patients, stage I-IV, who received radiotherapy with curative intention (>50 Gy), were included in the study. WBC, Plt, Hgb, gender, age at diagnosis, stage, surgery and first-line chemotherapy were studied in relation to overall survival. For patients with Hgb < 110 g/L and Hgb ≥ 110 g/L), the median survival was 11.2 and 14.5 months, respectively (p = 0.0032). For WBC > 9.0 × 10(9)/L and < 9.0 × 10(9)/L, the median survival was 11.6 and 15.4 months, respectively (p < 0.0001). For Plt > 350 × 10(9)/L and <350 × 10(9)/L, the median survival was 11.2 and 14.9 months, respectively (p < 0.0001). The median survival in patients with pathological results in all three markers was half of that in patients with normal levels of all three markers (8.0 and 16.0 months, respectively (p < 0.0001). The level of the three studied haematological biomarkers corresponds significantly to outcome in NSCLC. These results indicate that standard haematological variables may be used as guidance for the clinician in the decision-making regarding treatment intensity and patient information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / complications
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leukocytosis / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood*
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden
  • Thrombocytosis / complications*