Immune profiles and clinical outcomes between sepsis patients with or without active cancer requiring admission to intensive care units

Wen Feng Fang, Yu Mu Chen, Chiung Yu Lin, Kuo Tung Huang, Hsu Ching Kao, Ying Tang Fang, Chi Han Huang, Ya Ting Chang, Yi His Wang, Chin Chou Wang, Meng Chih Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background Immunoparalysis was observed in both patients with cancer and sepsis. In cancer patients, Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 and programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1 axis are two key components of immunoparalysis. Several emerging therapies against these two axes gained significant clinical benefit. In severe sepsis patients, immunoparalysis was known as compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome and this has been suggested as an important cause of death in patients with sepsis. It would be interesting to see if immune status was different in severe sepsis patients with or without active cancer. The aim of this study was to assess the differences in immune profiles, and clinical outcomes between severe sepsis patients with or without cancer admitted to ICU. Methods A combined retrospective and prospective observational study from a cohort of adult sepsis patients admitted to three medical ICUs at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan between August 2013 and June 2016. Results Of the 2744 patients admitted to the ICU, 532 patients with sepsis were included. Patients were divided into those with or without active cancer according to their medical history. Of the 532 patients, 95 (17.9%) patients had active cancer, and 437 (82.1%) patients had no active cancer history. Patients with active cancer were younger (p = 0.001) and were less likely to have diabetes mellitus (p < 0.001), hypertension (p < 0.001), coronary artery disease (p = 0.004), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p = 0.002) or stroke (p = 0.002) compared to patients without active cancer. Patients with active cancer also exhibited higher baseline lactate levels (p = 0.038), and higher baseline plasma interleukin (IL)-10 levels (p = 0.040), higher trend of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) (p = 0.004) compared to patients without active cancer. The 14-day, 28-day and 90-day mortality rates were higher for patients with active cancer than those without active cancer (P < 0.001 for all intervals). Conclusions Among patients admitted to the ICU with sepsis, those with underling active cancer had higher baseline levels of plasma IL-10, higher trend of G-CSF and higher mortality rate than those without active cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0179749
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - 07 2017

Bibliographical note

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© 2017 Fang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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