Prognostic significance of pre-treatment ALBI grade in advanced non-small cell lung cancer receiving immune checkpoint therapy

Ryosuke Matsukane, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Kojiro Hata, Kimitaka Suetsugu, Toshikazu Tsuji, Nobuaki Egashira, Yoichi Nakanishi, Isamu Okamoto, Ichiro Ieiri

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The liver is an essential organ for regulating innate and acquired immunity. We hypothesized that the pre-treatment hepatic function affects the clinical outcome of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We analyzed 140 patients with NSCLC who received ICIs. We investigated the association between pre-treatment liver function, assessed using the albumin–bilirubin (ALBI) grade, and clinical outcomes in univariate, multivariate, and propensity score matching analyses. Patients were divided into four grades according to pre-treatment liver function. Eighty-eight patients had good hepatic reserve (ALBI grade 1 or 2a), whereas 52 patients had poor hepatic reserve (ALBI grade 2b or 3). In the univariate Kaplan–Meier analysis, the ALBI grade 1, 2a group had a significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS, 5.3 versus 2.5 months, p = 0.0019) and overall survival (OS, 19.6 vs. 6.2 months, p = 0.0002). These results were consistent, regardless of whether the analysis was performed in patients with a performance status of 0 or 1 at pre-treatment (N = 124) or in those selected using propensity score matching (N = 76). In the multivariate analysis, pre-treatment ALBI grade was an independent prognostic factor for both PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.57, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.38–0.86, p = 0.007) and OS (HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.29–0.72, p = 0.001). Our results suggest that pre-treatment hepatic function assessed by ALBI grade could be an essential biomarker for predicting the efficacy of treatment with ICIs in NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15057
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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