Article Abstract

Systemic inflammatory response predicts poor prognoses in Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage B/C hepatocellular carcinoma with transarterial chemoembolization: a prospective study

Authors: Zhiliang Huang, Weiqun Lu, Nanrong Yu, Guohua Yang, Houwei Xu, Haiying Liu

Abstract

Background: Chronic inflammation has been demonstrated to be an important factor in the initiation, promotion, and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic values of systemic inflammation markers in Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage B/C HCC.
Methods: A prospective non-randomized study was performed from June 2016 to May 2017; 51 of 123 BCLC stage B/C HCC patients were enrolled and received transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). Clinical and laboratory data were recorded. Serum IL-6, IL-10, C-reactive protein (CRP), and blood-neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) levels were analyzed during the perioperative period. Patient prognosis was investigated. Twenty-eight stage A cases and 10 stage B/C patients who received resection were also collected as controls.
Results: Compared to the stage A group, the BCLC stage B/C HCC patients had significantly higher serum IL-6, CRP, and blood NLR levels. Serum IL-6, IL-10, CRP, and blood NLR levels increased significantly 3 days after treatment (TACE/resection) and returned to baseline levels after 30 days. By univariate analyses, tumor size, high pretreatment serum IL-6, CRP, and blood NLR levels predicted worse progression-free survival (PFS) after TACE (log-rank test P<0.001, P=0.007, P=0.001, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that both high serum IL-6 (P=0.018) and CRP (P=0.042) were independent predictors of worse PFS, meanwhile blood NLR was the only inflammatory factor associated to overall survival (OS) (P=0.046).
Conclusions: Serum IL-6, CRP, and blood NLR levels were significantly elevated in stage B/CHCC. Serum IL-6 and CRP were independent predictors of poor PFS while NLR independently predicted worse OS in BCLC stage B/C HCC.