Are neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio and platelet/lymphocyte ratio associated with prognosis in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer receiving adjuvant trastuzumab?

Arife Ulas, Nilufer Avci, Tugba Kos, Erdem Cubukcu, Omer Fatih Olmez, Nilufer Bulut, Mustafa Degirmenci
Journal of B.U.ON.: Official Journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology 2015, 20 (3): 714-22

PURPOSE: To investigate whether the pretreatment neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the platelet lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have any prognostic significance in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer receiving adjuvant trastuzumab.

METHODS: 187 patients were retrospectively analyzed. The patients were separated into two groups according to the mean value of NLR and PLR (low NLR≤2.38, high NLR>2.38; and low PLR≤161.28, high PLR>161.28, respectively). The relationship between pretreatment NLR, PLR and clinicopathological factors was investigated. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed. To evaluate survival rates, the Kaplan-Meier method with log rank test were used.

RESULTS: The median duration of follow up was 26.0 months (range 6.0-84.0). In high NLR and PLR groups, the mean age was lower, tumor size was larger and the number of hormone receptor positive patients was higher. No statistically significant relationship was found between clinicopathological factors and both NLR and PLR groups. During follow up, the rate of relapse was 12.6% in the low NLR group, 16.2 % in the high NLR group, 12.6% in the low PLR group and 15.8% in the high PLR group (p=non significant). Although median disease free survival (DFS) was shorter in the high NLR than in the low NLR group, the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.45). No statistically significant difference was found between high and low PLR groups with regard to median DFS and overall survival (OS) (p=0.76, p=0.29, respectively).

CONCLUSION: We conclude that in HER2-positive early breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant trastuzumab with high pretreatment NLR, DFS was shorter. As for PLR, no effect either on DFS or on OS was registered. Prospective studies with larger number of patients are required in order to evaluate the prognostic effect of NLR and PLR in HER2-positive breast cancer patients.

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