Medical Oncology

, 36:84 | Cite as

Circulating CD16+CD56+ nature killer cells indicate the prognosis of colorectal cancer after initial chemotherapy

  • Feng Cui
  • Di Qu
  • Ruya Sun
  • Kejun NanEmail author
Original Paper


As the prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) does not always coincide with the pathology and/or surgical findings, a reliable noninvasive prediction tool for the prognosis of CRC is needed. Patients admitted for initial treatment of CRC between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 were retrieved and reviewed. Records of circulating CD16+ CD56+ natural killer (NK) cells were analyzed before and after the initial chemotherapy of FOLFOX plan. Patients were followed up until June 30, 2019. One hundred and twenty-four cases after the FOLFOX chemotherapy were enrolled into this study. There were no significant differences in gender, age, or number of metastasis cases between the survival group and the nonsurvival group (p > 0.05), but significant differences in pre-chemotherapy, post-chemotherapy, and the differences between pre- and post-chemotherapy circulating CD16+ CD56+ NK cells between the survival group and the nonsurvival group (p < 0.01, p < 0.01, and p < 0.05, respectively) were observed. For the prediction of survival and nonsurvival CRC cases, the Areas Under the Curve were 0.626 and 0.759 in the Receiver-Operating Characteristic curves for the pre- and post-chemotherapy circulating CD16+ CD56+NK cells, respectively. Using an optimal cutoff value of 11.8% in post-chemotherapy circulating CD16+CD56+NK cells to differentiate survival and nonsurvival cases, the odds ratio was 0.12 (0.05, 0.27), p < 0.001. The percentages of both pre-chemotherapy and post-chemotherapy circulating CD16+CD56+NK cells were negatively correlated with the prognosis of CRC. The percentage of post-chemotherapy circulating CD16+CD56+NK cells was able to effectively predict the prognosis of CRC cases.


Colorectal cancer Nature killer cells Prognosis 




Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare there are no conflicts of interest involved in the submission of this manuscript, and the manuscript has been approved by all authors for publication.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OncologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiao Tong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of OncologyThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina

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