Elevated preoperative neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio is associated with poor prognosis in soft-tissue sarcoma patients

J Szkandera, G Absenger, B Liegl-Atzwanger, M Pichler, M Stotz, H Samonigg, M Glehr, M Zacherl, T Stojakovic, A Gerger, A Leithner
British Journal of Cancer 2013 April 30, 108 (8): 1677-83

BACKGROUND: Recent data indicate that tumour microenvironment, which is influenced by inflammatory cells, has a crucial role in cancer progression and clinical outcome of patients. In the present study, we investigated the prognostic relevance of preoperative neutrophil/lymphocyte (N/L) ratio on time to tumour recurrence (TTR) and overall survival (OS) in soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) patients who underwent curative surgical resection.

METHODS: In all, 260 STS patients were included in this retrospective study. Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariate Cox proportional models were calculated for TTR and OS.

RESULTS: In univariate analysis, elevated N/L ratio was significantly associated with decreased TTR (hazard ratio (HR), 2.32; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.30-4.14; P=0.005) and remained significant in the multivariate analysis (HR, 1.98; 95%CI, 1.05-3.71; P=0.035). Patients with elevated N/L ratio showed a median TTR of 77.9 months. In contrast, patients with low N/L ratio had a median TTR of 99.1 months. Regarding OS, elevated N/L ratio was also significantly associated with decreased survival in univariate analysis (HR, 2.90; 95%CI, 1.82-4.61; P=0.001) and remained significant in multivariate analysis (HR, 1.88; 95%CI, 1.14-3.12; P=0.014).

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our findings suggest that an elevated preoperative N/L ratio predicts poor clinical outcome in STS patients and may serve as a cost-effective and broadly available independent prognostic biomarker.

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