Clinical Research Papers:

Predictive value of pretreatment lymphocyte count in stage II colorectal cancer and in high-risk patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy

Lei Liang, Ji Zhu, Huixun Jia, Liyong Huang, Dawei Li, Qingguo Li and Xinxiang Li _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:1014-1028. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5835

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Lei Liang1,2, Ji Zhu1,2,3, Huixun Jia1,2, Liyong Huang1,2, Dawei Li1,2, Qingguo Li1,2, Xinxiang Li1,2

1Department of Colorectal Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

2Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

3Department of Radiation Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Xinxiang Li, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: pretreatment lymphocyte count, stage II colorectal cancer, prognosis, high risk, adjuvant chemotherapy

Received: June 22, 2015     Accepted: October 07, 2015     Published: October 20, 2015


Pretreatment lymphocyte count (LC) has been associated with prognosis and chemotherapy response in several cancers. The predictive value of LC for stage II colorectal cancer (CRC) and for high-risk patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) has not been determined. A retrospective review of prospectively collected data from 1332 consecutive stage II CRC patients who underwent curative tumor resection was conducted. A pretreatment LC value <1.3 Giga/L(28.1%, 373/1332) was defined as low LC. A total of 738 patients (55.4%) were considered high-risk, 459 (62.2%) of whom received AC. Patients with low LCs had significantly worse 5-year OS (74.6% vs. 90.2%, p < 0.001) and DFS (61.3% vs. 84.6%, p < 0.001). High-risk patients with low LCs had the poorest DFS (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that low LC value or combined with high-risk status were both independent prognostic factors(p <0.001). High-risk, AC-treated patients with high LCs had significantly longer DFS than untreated patients (HR, 0.594; 95% CI, 0.364–0.970; p = 0.035). There was no difference or trend for DFS or OS in patients with low LCs, regardless of the use of AC (DFS, p = 0.692; OS, p = 0.522). Low LC was also independently associated with poorer DFS in high-risk, AC-treated patients (HR, 1.885; 95% CI, 1.112–3.196; p = 0.019). CONCLUSIONS: Pretreatment LC is an independent prognostic factor for survival in stage II CRC. Furthermore, pretreatment LC reliably predicts chemotherapeutic efficacy in high-risk patients with stage II CRC.

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