Published online Jan 15, 2022. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v14.i1.295
Peer-review started: May 16, 2021
First decision: June 16, 2021
Revised: August 7, 2021
Accepted: November 30, 2021
Article in press: November 30, 2021
Published online: January 15, 2022
Colorectal cancer (CRC) accounts for 9.4% of overall cancer deaths, ranking second after lung cancer. Despite the large number of factors tested to predict their outcome, most patients with similar variables show big differences in survival. Moreover, right-sided CRC (RCRC) and left-sided CRC (LCRC) patients exhibit large differences in outcome after surgical intervention as assessed by preoperative blood leukocyte status. We hypothesised that stronger indexes than circulating (blood) leukocyte ratios to predict RCRC and LCRC patient outcomes will result from combining both circulating and infiltrated (tumour/peritumour fixed tissues) concentrations of leukocytes.
To seek variables involving leukocyte balances in peripheral blood and tumour tissues and to predict the outcome of CRC patients.
Sixty-five patients diagnosed with colon adenocarcinoma by the Digestive Surgery Service of the La Paz University Hospital (Madrid, Spain) were enrolled in this study: 43 with RCRC and 22 with LCRC. Patients were followed-up from January 2017 to March 2021 to record overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) after surgical interventions. Leukocyte concentrations in peripheral blood were determined by routine laboratory protocols. Paraffin-fixed samples of tumour and peritumoural tissues were assessed for leukocyte concentrations by immunohistochemical detection of CD4, CD8, and CD14 marker expression. Ratios of leukocyte concentration in blood and tissues were calculated and evaluated for their predictor values for OS and RFS with Spearman correlations and Cox univariate and multivariate proportional hazards regression, followed by the calculation of the receiver-operating characteristic and area under the curve (AUC) and the determination of Youden’s optimal cutoff values for those variables that significantly correlated with either RCRC or LCRC patient outcomes. RCRC patients from the cohort were randomly assigned to modelling and validation sets, and clinician-friendly nomograms were developed to predict OS and RFS from the respective significant indexes. The accuracy of the model was evaluated using calibration and validation plots.
The relationship of leukocyte ratios in blood and peritumour resulted in six robust predictors of worse OS in RCRC: CD8+ lymphocyte content in peritumour (CD8pt, AUC = 0.585, cutoff < 8.250, P = 0.0077); total lymphocyte content in peritumour (CD4CD8pt, AUC = 0.550, cutoff < 10.160, P = 0.0188); lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio in peritumour (LMRpt, AUC = 0.807, cutoff < 3.185, P = 0.0028); CD8+ LMR in peritumour (CD8MRpt, AUC = 0.757, cutoff < 1.650, P = 0.0007); the ratio of blood LMR to LMR in peritumour (LMRb/LMRpt, AUC = 0.672, cutoff > 0.985, P = 0.0244); and the ratio of blood LMR to CD8+ LMR in peritumour (LMRb/CD8MRpt, AUC = 0.601, cutoff > 1.485, P = 0.0101). In addition, three robust predictors of worse RFS in RCRC were found: LMRpt (AUC = 0.737, cutoff < 3.185, P = 0.0046); LMRb/LMRpt (AUC = 0.678, cutoff > 0.985, P = 0.0155) and LMRb/CD8MRpt (AUC = 0.615, cutoff > 1.485, P = 0.0141). Furthermore, the ratio of blood LMR to CD4+ LMR in peritumour (LMRb/CD4MRpt, AUC = 0.786, cutoff > 10.570, P = 0.0416) was found to robustly predict poorer OS in LCRC patients. The nomograms showed moderate accuracy in predicting OS and RFS in RCRC patients, with concordance index of 0.600 and 0.605, respectively.
Easily obtainable variables at preoperative consultation, defining the status of leukocyte balances between peripheral blood and peritumoural tissues, are robust predictors for OS and RFS of both RCRC and LCRC patients.
Core Tip: This was a prospective study involving 65 patients with colorectal cancer, seeking to find robust predictors of survival after surgical intervention amongst the leukocyte balances in peripheral blood, tumour, and peritumoural tissues. A number of these variables are shown to predict overall survival and recurrence-free survival in both right-sided colorectal cancer and left-sided colorectal cancer patients, thus allowing the improvement of pre- and postoperative patient treatments.