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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research