Peripheral venous blood neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio predicts survival in patients with advanced gastric cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Li Chen, Yanjiao Zuo, Lihua Zhu, Yuxin Zhang, Sen Li, Fei Ma, Yu Han, Hongjiang Song, Yingwei Xue
OncoTargets and Therapy 2017, 10: 2569-2580

BACKGROUND: Accurate and useful predictors of gastric carcinoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy are lacking at present. We aim to explore the potential prognostic significance of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in advanced gastric cancer receiving S-1 plus oxaliplatin (SOX) or oxaliplatin and capecitabine (XELOX) regimen.

METHODS: We enrolled 91 patients with advanced gastric cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy from August 2008 to September 2015. The peripheral venous blood samples were collected before neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The NLR was divided into two groups: low NLR <2.17 group and high NLR ≥2.17 group. Univariate analysis on disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. Prognostic factors were assessed by univariate analyses, and the independent prognostic factors were evaluated using multivariate analysis (Cox's proportional-hazards regression model).

RESULTS: The univariate analysis showed that median DFS and median OS were worse for high NLR values than low NLR values before neoadjuvant chemotherapy (median DFS: 19.97 and 26.87 months, respectively, P=0.299; median OS: 25.83 and 29.73 months, respectively, P=0.405). Multivariate analysis showed that the NLR before neoadjuvant chemotherapy was not an independent prognostic factor for DFS and OS. However, median DFS and median OS were worse for high neutrophil values than for low neutrophil values (median DFS: 21.03 and 26.87 months, respectively, P=0.396; median OS: 24.43 and 29.37 months, respectively, P=0.534); for low lymphocyte values than for high lymphocyte values before neoadjuvant chemotherapy (median DFS: 22.33 and 26.87 months, respectively, P=0.624; median OS: 26.37 and 27.93 months, respectively, P=0.584). Nevertheless, patients with low NLR had better 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year DFS and OS rates.

CONCLUSION: NLR may serve as a cheap and convenient prognostic indicator in gastric carcinoma patients receiving SOX or XELOX neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Low NLR may help the doctors to take efficient treatment measures for gastric cancer.

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