, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 893-904

Thrombocytosis and immunohistochemical expression of connexin 43 at diagnosis predict survival in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy

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Abstract

Purpose

Patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have poor survival, and platinum-based chemotherapy agents are the standard first-line chemotherapy agents for advanced NSCLC. This study aimed to identify predictive factors associated with the response to chemotherapy and survival in 258 patients with advanced NSCLC treated with platinum-based chemotherapy.

Methods

Stage IIIA–IV NSCLC patients diagnosed in Kaifeng second people’s hospital (Henan, China) between March 2002 and September 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. All of the patients had received platinum-based chemotherapy, and patients were followed up to date of death or last follow-up to obtain data of response to chemotherapy and survival. Potential prognostic factors such as gender, age, tumor size, tumor type, histologic stage, anemia, calcium levels, ECOG performance status (PS), thrombocytosis, TTF-1, p63, and connexin 43 were analyzed. Response to chemotherapy, overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were calculated by the Kaplan–Meier method and Cox regression model.

Results

A univariate analysis indicated that thrombocytosis and connexin 43 were found to be significant prognostic factors (p < 0.001) and ECOG PS, Hb levels, and p63 presented a tendency toward association with survival. Kaplan–Meier survival showed that the mean OS and PFS in chemotherapy responders with connexin 43 ≥+2 were significantly longer than in chemotherapy responders with connexin 43 ≤1+. In contrast, thrombocytosis was associated with increased mortality and resistance to chemotherapy in chemotherapy responders. In addition, all 21 patients of the 5-year OS were from chemotherapy responders with connexin 43 ≥+2 or non-thrombocytosis.

Conclusions

Thrombocytosis and connexin 43 absence may be reliable surrogate markers for the prediction of chemotherapy response and prognosis for patients with advanced NSCLC, and assessment of these factors may identify a population of patients with advanced NSCLC that is likely to have a prolonged life expectancy.

Gangjun Du and Yingming Yang have contributed equally to this work.