Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and absolute lymphocyte count as prognostic markers in patients treated with curative-intent radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer
AffiliationWythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
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AbstractAims: The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) have been proposed as prognostic markers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The objective of this study was to examine the association of NLR/ALC before and after curative-intent radiotherapy for NSCLC on disease recurrence and overall survival. Materials and methods: A retrospective study of consecutive patients who underwent curative-intent radiotherapy for NSCLC across nine sites in the UK from 1 October 2014 to 1 October 2016. A multivariate analysis was carried out to assess the ability of pre-treatment NLR/ALC, post-treatment NLR/ALC and change in NLR/ALC, adjusted for confounding factors using the Cox proportional hazards model, to predict disease recurrence and overall survival within 2 years of treatment. Results: In total, 425 patients were identified with complete blood parameter values. None of the NLR/ALC parameters were independent predictors of disease recurrence. Higher pre-NLR, post-NLR and change in NLR plus lower post-ALC were all independent predictors of worse survival. Receiver operator curve analysis found a pre-NLR > 2.5 (odds ratio 1.71, 95% confidence interval 1.06-2.79, P < 0.05), a post-NLR > 5.5 (odds ratio 2.36, 95% confidence interval 1.49-3.76, P < 0.001), a change in NLR >3.6 (odds ratio 2.41, 95% confidence interval 1.5-3.91, P < 0.001) and a post-ALC < 0.8 (odds ratio 2.86, 95% confidence interval 1.76-4.69, P < 0.001) optimally predicted poor overall survival on both univariate and multivariate analysis when adjusted for confounding factors. Median overall survival for the high-versus low-risk groups were: pre-NLR 770 versus 1009 days (P = 0.34), post-NLR 596 versus 1287 days (P ≤ 0.001), change in NLR 553 versus 1214 days (P ≤ 0.001) and post-ALC 594 versus 1287 days (P ≤ 0.001). Conclusion: NLR and ALC, surrogate markers for systemic inflammation, have prognostic value in NSCLC patients treated with curative-intent radiotherapy. These simple and readily available parameters may have a future role in risk stratification post-treatment to inform the intensity of surveillance protocols.
CitationPunjabi A, Barrett E, Cheng A, Mulla A, Walls G, Johnston D et al. Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and absolute lymphocyte count as prognostic markers in patients treated with curative-intent radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer. Clinical Oncology. 2021 Apr
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