Research Papers:

Direct bilirubin levels are prognostic in non-small cell lung cancer

Ying-Jian Song, Xin-Huai Gao, Yong-Qing Hong and Li-Xin Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:892-900. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23184

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Ying-Jian Song1, Xin-Huai Gao1, Yong-Qing Hong1 and Li-Xin Wang1

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Huai’an First People’s Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Huai’an 223300, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence to:

Li-Xin Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: non-small cell lung cancer; bilirubin; chemotherapy; outcome; nomogram

Received: October 06, 2017     Accepted: November 16, 2017     Published: December 12, 2017


We investigated the prognostic value of serum bilirubin levels in stage I–II non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and evaluated the relationship between bilirubin levels and response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. We divided 634 NSCLC patients from a single hospital in China into retrospective training (n = 307) and prospective validation (n = 327) cohorts. X-tile was used to identify the optimal serum bilirubin cutoff value for sorting retrospective cohort patients into low and high overall survival (OS) groups. TNM stage and serum bilirubin levels were associated with OS on univariate analysis. Direct bilirubin (DBIL) levels were correlated with tumor progression and response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy, and were associated with OS after adjusting for TNM stage. Our findings indicate a DBIL-based prognostic nomogram is more accurate than the TNM staging system in predicting clinical outcomes, and that the DBIL level is an independent predictor of OS in NSCLC. Thus, an index that combines DBIL with TNM stage may better predict patient outcomes than TNM stage alone.

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