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Evaluation of Treatments with Radiotherapy Alone and Radiotherapy Plus Chemo-immunotherapy in Patients with Primary Liver Cancer based on Blood Biomarkers


Shigao Huang*, Yutian Yin, Jianping Li, Mei Shi, Huijie Bian* and Lina Zhao*   Pages 1 - 10 ( 10 )


Purpose: It is critical to assess primary liver cancer patients likely to benefit from radiotherapy (RT) or RT plus chemo-immunotherapy. Many potential peripheral biomarkers from blood samples have been proposed for clinical application. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate treatments with radiotherapy alone and radiotherapy plus chemo-immunotherapy in patients with unresectable primary liver cancer based on blood biomarkers.

Methods: From January, 2017, to February, 2022, 63 unresectable primary liver cancer patients receiving radiotherapy alone (RT, n = 21) or radiotherapy plus chemo-immunotherapy (RT plus C/IT, n = 42) were included in this study. We compared the clinical outcomes and adverse effects of these two groups. Also, distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), overall survival (OS), and progress-free survival (PFS) were retrospectively analyzed. Finally, univariable and multivariable Cox analyses were used to explore the prognostic role of blood biochemical biomarkers.

Results: In this study, 1, 2, and 3 years of OS after RT treatment were 63.9%, 27.0%, and 13.5%, and after RT plus C/IT were 68.2%, 37.0%, and 24.7%, respectively (p = 0.617). Compared with baseline, white blood cells (WBC) and lymphocytes were significantly decreased after RT (p = 0.002 and p = 0.001, respectively) or RT plus C/IT therapy (p = 0.135 and p<0.001, respectively). In multivariable Cox regression analyses, higher lymphocyte counts before RT (pre-Lymphocyte) were associated with better OS and PFS (HR=0.439, p = 0.023; HR=0.539, p = 0.053; respectively), and higher lymphocyte counts before RT (pre- Platelets) were a poor prognostic factor associated with DMFS (HR=1.013, p = 0.040). Importantly, OS and PFS were significantly better for patients (pre-Lymphocyte ≥1.10 x 109 /L) (p = 0.006; p = 0.066, respectively). The DMFS was significantly better for patients (pre-platelets < 233.5 ×109 /L) (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Our evaluation of blood biomarkers before and after radiotherapy or plus chem-immunotherapy for primary liver cancer revealed a potential marker for clinics to decide on precise treatment strategies.


Blood biochemical biomarkers,radiotherapy,cancer immunotherapy,primary liver cancer,treatment strategy


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