Prognostic value of neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio and level of C-reactive protein in a large cohort of pancreatic cancer patients: a retrospective study in a single institute in Japan

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Recent studies suggest that systemic inflammatory response is closely associated with cancer patient prognosis. Although several inflammatory prognostic markers have been proposed, the data to support their validity are lacking in large Japanese cohorts.


This is a retrospective study to examine the prognostic value of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio, platelet–lymphocyte ratio and modified Glasgow prognostic scale, in pancreatic cancer. Selection criteria were admittance to hospital between January 2008 and December 2012, histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma, diagnosis of invasive ductal pancreatic cancer compatible by computed tomography imaging, and followed-up until death or for 180 days or longer. The primary end point was overall survival, which was measured from the day of histological diagnosis.


There were 440 patients who met the selection criteria. Of the 440 cases, 200 (45.5%) received curative resection (166 Stage I/II and 34 Stage III patients), 237 (53.9%) received chemotherapy (4 Stage I/II, 92 Stage III and 141 Stage IV patients), and the remaining 3 received palliative care. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses revealed that advanced computed tomography stage, high level of C-reactive protein (0.45 mg/dl or greater), neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (2.0 or greater) and CA19-9 level (1000 U/ml or greater) were significantly associated with worse prognosis.


We verified the results of previous studies, and showed that neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio and C-reactive protein also had prognostic value in a large Japanese PC cohort.

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