Background: Nivolumab and pembrolizumab are the standard treatments for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). While there are reports on several inflammatory indices and the prognosis of patients with cancer, no study has combined baseline medication with the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) to predict clinical outcomes. This study investigated the efficacy of baseline medications plus NLR to predict the effectiveness of nivolumab and pembrolizumab in a real-world clinical setting. Methods: We conducted a single-center retrospective observational study of consecutive patients with advanced NSCLC who received nivolumab or pembrolizumab as first-line, second-line, or beyond treatment between December 2015 and November 2018 at the National Cancer Center Hospital in Japan. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. The drug-based prognostic score for baseline medications plus NLR was weighed based on the regression β coefficients. The multivariable Cox proportional hazard model was used to assess the association between the prognostic score-stratified groups and survival outcomes. Results: In total, 259 patients were evaluated in this study. A prognostic score calculated from the baseline medications plus NLR was used to categorize the patients into good (score 0), intermediate (scores 1–2), and poor (scores 3–6) -prognosis groups. The multivariable Cox proportional hazard model revealed a significant association between the poor-prognosis group and reduced OS. The hazard ratio of OS was 1.75 (95% confidence interval: 1.07–2.99; P = 0.031). In contrast, no association between these prognosis groups and PFS was observed. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the baseline medications with nivolumab or pembrolizumab plus NLR could lead to progressively shorter survival outcomes in patients with advanced NSCLC and could be used as a prognostic index for poor outcomes. However, to ascertain the clinical application of these findings, these concomitant medications need further validation in a large-scale multicenter study.
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