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TGF-beta 1 levels are associated with lymphocyte percentages in patients with lung cancer treated with radiation therapy

Authors Luo J, Hu S, Wei T, Sun J, Liu N, Wang J

Received 2 June 2018

Accepted for publication 11 September 2018

Published 26 November 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 8349—8355

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S175956

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yao Dai


Jing Luo,1–3 Sainan Hu,4 Tingting Wei,1–3 Jifeng Sun,1–3 Ningbo Liu,1–3 Jun Wang1–3

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, 2Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, 3Tianjin’s Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin 300060, China; 4Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research, The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210000, China

Purpose: Plasma TGF-β1 protein levels reportedly may predict the treatment outcomes of lung cancer. We hypothesized that in patients with lung cancer treated with radiation therapy (RT), TGF-β1 levels may correlate with the percentages of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and the CD4+/CD8+ T cell ratio in peripheral blood.
Patients and methods:
Eighty-two lung cancer patients satisfied the inclusion criteria. Platelet-poor plasma was obtained before RT, at the second and fourth weeks during RT, and at the end of RT (pre-, during-, and post-RT, respectively). TGF-β1 was measured via ELISA, while recording the percentages of lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood. Short-term efficacy was categorized as complete response, partial response, stable disease, or progressive disease.
Results: Patients who had significantly lower TGF-β1 protein levels after RT than pre-RT seemed to have a better short-term effect (P<0.05) than those who had higher TGF-β1 levels. There was a significant association between the TGF-β1 levels and percentages of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, or CD4+/CD8+ T cell ratio during and at the end of RT. Changes in CD3+ T cells, B cells, or natural killer cells were not statistically related to the changes in TGF-β1 levels.
Conclusion: Lung cancer patients with TGF-β1 levels in plasma after RT that are below pre-RT levels may experience better short-term efficacy. The underlying mechanism may be related to the influence of TGF-β1 on antitumor immunity.

Keywords:
lung cancer, radiotherapy, TGF-β1, lymphocytes, prognosis

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