Cytokines, key contributors to tumorigenesis, are mediators between inflammatory immune or nonimmune and cancer cells. Here, IL-6 production by tumor cells was assessed in a cohort of patients with lung adenocarcinoma treated with conventional therapy. IL-6 levels and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) or systemic immune-inflammation index (SII) markers were evaluated. Changes in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, HMGB1 concentration, and CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocyte populations and their subpopulations were investigated. IL-6 expression was detected immunohistochemically in lung adenocarcinoma biopsies. Cytokines were quantified using the cytometric bead array, and TGF-β and HMGB-1 through ELISA. Clinical parameters were collected to assess NLR and SII. CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes and naïve, memory, and effector subpopulations were quantified by flow cytometry. The data obtained were associated with patients' median overall survival (OS). IL-6 showed the highest increase, probably because the lung adenocarcinoma cells produced IL-6. Patients with higher OS had lower NLR and SII from the third cycle of chemotherapy. Patients with lower OS had significantly lower percentages of CD8+ T-lymphocyte and its effector subpopulations, with a concomitant increase in the naïve subpopulation. This study suggests that in addition to the known inflammatory markers, IL-6, CD8+ T-lymphocytes and their effector and naïve subpopulations could be useful as predictive markers in lung adenocarcinoma.
Keywords: CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocyte populations; HMGB-1; IL-6; NLR; SII; TGF-β; and effector subpopulations; lung adenocarcinoma; memory; naïve; predictive markers.