Preoperative neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio is a more valuable prognostic factor than platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio for nonmetastatic rectal cancer

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Several combinations of inflammatory factors, including neutrophil-to- lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), have been reported to be prognostic factors in various malignant tumors, including colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of NLR and PLR for patients with rectal cancer (RC) who underwent curative surgery. Data from patients who underwent curative resection for RC were retrospectively reviewed. The cutoff for NLR and PLR was defined as 2.3 and 144 by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were assessed using Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariable Cox regression model was used to evaluate the independent prognostic significance of variables. A total of 140 patients were eligible in the study. High NLR (> 2.3) and high PLR (> 144) both predicted lower OS and DFS according to Kaplan-Meier method. But in the multivariable Cox regression model, only the high NLR retained significance for reduced OS and DFS. According to Chi-square test, patients with higher NLR had larger tumor size and higher pN-stage. While PLR was only associated with the pN-stage. High preoperative NLR was shown to be a negative independent prognostic factor in patients undergoing resection for nonmetastatic RC. It may be helpful as a factor to guide the postoperative therapies.

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