Predictive Ability of Blood Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte and Platelet-to-Lymphocyte Ratios in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Jennifer M Racz, Michelle C Cleghorn, M Carolina Jimenez, Eshetu G Atenafu, Timothy D Jackson, Allan Okrainec, Lakshmikumar Venkat Raghavan, Fayez A Quereshy
Annals of Surgical Oncology 2015, 22 (7): 2343-50

BACKGROUND: Recent findings have shown that the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is prognostic for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). The platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) can predict outcome for several other disease sites. This study evaluates the prognostic utility of NLR and PLR for patients with GIST.

METHODS: All patients who had undergone surgical resection for primary, localized GIST from 2001 to 2011 were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared by the log-rank test. Univariate Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to identify associations with outcome variables.

RESULTS: The study included 93 patients. High PLR [≥245; hazard ratio (HR) 3.690; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.066-12.821; p = 0.039], neutrophils (HR 1.224; 95 % CI 1.017-1.473; p = 0.033), and platelets (HR 1.005; 95 % CI 1.001-1.009; p = 0.013) were associated with worse RFS. Patients with high PLR had 2- and 5-year RFS of 57 and 57 %, compared with 94 and 84 % for those with low PLR. High NLR (≥2.04) was not associated with reduced RFS (p = 0.214). Whereas more patients in the high PLR group had large tumors (p = 0.047), more patients in the high NLR group had high mitotic rates (p = 0.016) than in the low-ratio cohorts. Adjuvant therapy was given to 41.2 % of the patients with high PLR (p = 0.022). The patients with high PLR/NLR had worse nomogram-predicted RFS than the patients with low PLR/NLR.

CONCLUSIONS: High PLR was associated with reduced RFS. The prognostic ability of PLR to predict recurrence suggests that it may play a role in risk-stratification schemes used to determine which patients will benefit from adjuvant therapy.

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