IDO immune status after chemoradiation may predict survival in lung cancer patients

Weili Wang, Lei Huang, Jian Yue Jin, Shruti Jolly, Yong Zang, Huanmei Wu, Li Yan, Wenhu Pi, Lang Li, Andrew L. Mellor, Feng Ming Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Host immunity influences the impact of radiotherapy (RT) in cancer, but mechanistic connections remain obscure. In this study, we investigated the relationship of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) systemic activity on clinical outcomes in RT-treated non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). IDO-mediated production of kynurenine and the kynurenine:tryptophan ratio in patient blood serum were determined for stage III NSCLC patients at times before, during, and after RT administration and then correlated to overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, and disease progression rate in patients. We found the impact of RT on these serum IDO markers to be heterogeneous in patients. On average, kynurenine:tryptophan ratios were reduced during RT but restored after RT. Notably, both baseline levels of kynurenine:tryptophan and changes in the levels of kynurenine after RT were significantly associated with OS. When combined, favorable change and favorable baseline corresponded with very long-term OS (median OS was not reached after 57 months of median follow-up). Favorable change combined with unfavorable baseline still corresponded with a lack of distant metastases. Our results suggest that RT alters IDO-mediated immune status in NSCLC patients and that changes in this serum biomarker may be useful to predict outcomes and perhaps personalize RT dosage to improve survival. Significance: Radiotherapy appears to influence systemic IDO activity and to exert a significant impact on metastatic risk and overall survival, with possible implications for defining a biomarker to optimize radiation dose in patients to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-816
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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