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Peripheral CD4+ naïve/memory ratio is an independent predictor of survival in non-small cell lung cancer.


To investigate the clinical significance of naïve T cells, memory T cells, CD45RA+CD45RO+ T cells, and naïve/memory ratio in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.Pretreatment peripheral blood samples from 76 NSCLC patients and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were collected and tested for immune cells by flow cytometry. We compared the expression of these immune cells between patients and healthy controls and evaluated their predictive roles for survival in NSCLC by cox proportional hazards model.Decreased naïve CD4+ T cells, naïve CD8+ T cells, CD4+ naïve/memory ratios and CD4+CD45RA+CD45RO+ T cells, and increased memory CD4+ T cells, were observed in 76 NSCLC patients compared to healthy volunteers. Univariate analysis revealed that elevated CD4+ naïve/memory ratio correlated with prolonged progression-free survival (P=0.013). Multivariate analysis confirmed its predictive role with a hazard ratio of 0.35 (95% confidence interval, 0.19-0.75, P=0.012).Peripheral CD4+ naïve/memory ratio can be used as a predictive biomarker in NSCLC patients and used to optimize personalized treatment strategies.