The prognostic value of neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio is superior to derived neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio in advanced gastric cancer treated with preoperative chemotherapy and sequential R0 resection: a 5-year follow-up

Hailong Jin, Jianyi Sun, Kankai Zhu, Xiaosun Liu, Qing Zhang, Qianyun Shen, Yuan Gao, Jiren Yu
OncoTargets and Therapy 2017, 10: 2655-2664

AIM: The role of neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and derived neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (d-NLR) in outcome prediction is assessed in patients with advanced gastric cancer receiving preoperative chemotherapy in a 5-year follow-up cohort.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients undergoing preoperative chemotherapy and sequential R0 resection for advanced gastric cancer were enrolled from July 2004 to November 2011. Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test was used to evaluate the change of peripheral blood parameters. Receiver operating curve was used to identify the optimal cutoff values of NLR and d-NLR. Survival function was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazard model.

RESULTS: Significant difference was found between baseline and post-chemotherapy blood parameters, including leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, NLR and d-NLR (all P<0.05). High baseline NLR group (NLR ≥2.230) had a significant shorter recurrence-free survival (RFS) (hazard ratio [HR] =1.814, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.112-2.960, P=0.015) and shorter overall survival (OS) (HR =1.867, 95% CI: 1.129-3.089, P=0.013) than those of the low baseline NLR group (NLR <2.230). High baseline d-NLR group (d-NLR ≥1.885) also had a shorter RFS (HR =1.805, 95% CI: 1.116-2.919, P=0.014) and shorter OS (HR =1.783, 95% CI: 1.091-2.916, P=0.019) than those of the low baseline d-NLR group (d-NLR <1.885). However, post-chemotherapy NLR and d-NLR showed no prognostic significance on RFS and OS (all P>0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that higher baseline NLR but not d-NLR was identified as an independent factor associated with worse RFS (HR =1.707, 95% CI: 1.042-2.797, P=0.034) and worse OS (HR =1.758, 95% CI: 1.058-2.919, P=0.029).

CONCLUSION: Baseline NLR and d-NLR may serve as convenient, easily measured prognostic indicators in advanced gastric cancer treated with preoperative chemotherapy and sequential R0 resection, especially to baseline NLR, which showed independent prognostic significance on RFS and OS, while post-chemotherapy NLR and d-NLR lost their usefulness due to the inhibition of bone marrow hematopoietic function. Patients with high baseline NLR and d-NLR values need multimodal therapy.

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