Clinical Research Papers:

Association of immunologic markers from complete blood counts with the response to preoperative chemoradiotherapy and prognosis in locally advanced rectal cancer

Sung Woo Jung _, In Ja Park, Se Heon Oh, Seung-Seop Yeom, Jong Lyul Lee, Yong Sik Yoon, Chan Wook Kim, Seok-Byung Lim, Jung Bok Lee, Chang Sik Yu and Jin Cheon Kim

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:59757-59765. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15760

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Sung Woo Jung1, In Ja Park1, Se Heon Oh1, Seung-Seop Yeom1, Jong Lyul Lee1, Yong Sik Yoon1, Chan Wook Kim1, Seok-Byung Lim1, Jung Bok Lee2, Chang Sik Yu1 and Jin Cheon Kim1

1 Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to:

In Ja Park, email:

Keywords: rectal cancer, preoperative chemoradiotherapy, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, tumor response, oncologic outcome

Received: January 13, 2017 Accepted: February 20, 2017 Published: February 27, 2017


We investigated retrospectively whether immunologic markers from a complete blood count (CBC) are associated with the responsiveness to preoperative chemoradiotherapy (PCRT) and oncologic outcomes in 984 patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) who also underwent radical surgery from 2005 to 2013. CBC parameters including the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), lymphocyte to monocyte ratio (LMR), and platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR) were recorded. Pathologic responses to PCRT were evaluated in the resected specimens using the tumor regression grade system. The cut-off values of the immunologic markers were calculated to analyze their association with recurrence-free survival (RFS). One hundred ninety-five patients achieved total regression of their primary tumor. By receiver operating characteristic analysis, NLR, PLR, and LMR could not distinguish total regression from residual disease after PCRT. The NLR, LMR and PLR cut-off values were 1.7, 6.8 and 92.88, respectively. By univariate analysis, low NLR (≤1.7), high LMR (>6.8) and high PLR (>92.88) were indicators of a favorable RFS outcome. By multivariate analysis, high PLR was associated with an improved RFS (HR, 0.649; 95% CI, 0.473-0.89; P=0.007). High NLR (>1.7) was an independent negative prognostic factor for RFS in stage II (HR, 1.868; 95% CI, 1.08-3.109; P=0.025) and high PLR was a positive prognostic factor in stage III (HR, 0.675; 95% CI, 0.421-0.957; P=0.03). Immunologic markers derived from CBCs are independently associated with the RFS outcome in LARC patients treated with PCRT followed by radical resection. However, these markers are not predictive of total primary tumor regression after PCRT.

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