Background: Circulating lymphocyte subsets reflect the immunological status and might therefore be aprognostic indicator in cancer patients. Our aim was to evaluate the clinical significance of circulating lymphocytesubset in gastric cancer (GC) cases.
Methods: A retrospective study on a prevalent cohort of 846 GC patientshospitalized at Hospital from Aug 2006 to Jul 2010 was conducted. We calculated the patient’s disease freesurvival (DFS) after first hospital admission, and hazard ratios (HR) from the Cox proportional hazards model.
Results: Our findings indicated a significantly decreased percentage of CD3+, and CD8+ cells, a significantlyincreased proportion of CD4+, CD19+, CD44+, CD25+, NK cells, and an increased CD4+/CD8+ ratio in GC patientsas compared with healthy controls (all P < 0.05). Alteration of lymphocyte subsets was positively correlated withsex, age, smoking, tumor stage and distant metastasis of GC patients (all P<0.05). Follow-up analysis indicatedsignificantly higher DFS for patients with high circulating CD19+ lymphocytes compared to those with lowCD19+ lymphocytes (P=0.037), with CD19+ showing an important cutoff of 7.91±2.98%
Conclusion: Circulatinglymphocyte subsets in GC patients are significantly changed, and elevated CD19+ cells may predict a favorablesurvival.