Research Papers:

Prognostic role of lymphocyte to monocyte ratio for patients with cancer: evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis

Liangyou Gu, Hongzhao Li, Luyao Chen, Xin Ma, Xintao Li, Yu Gao, Yu Zhang, Yongpeng Xie and Xu Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:31926-31942. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7876

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Liangyou Gu1,*, Hongzhao Li1,*, Luyao Chen1,*, Xin Ma1, Xintao Li1, Yu Gao1, Yu Zhang1, Yongpeng Xie1,2, Xu Zhang1

1Department of Urology/State Key Laboratory of Kidney Diseases, Chinese PLA General Hospital/PLA Medical School, Beijing, China

2School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Xu Zhang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: inflammation, lymphocyte to monocyte ratio, cancer, prognosis, meta-analysis

Received: August 30, 2015     Accepted: February 10, 2016     Published: March 03, 2016


Inflammation influences cancer development and progression, and a low lymphocyte to monocyte ratio (LMR) has been reported to be a poor prognostic indicator in several malignancies. Here we quantify the prognostic impact of this biomarker and assess its consistency in various cancers. Eligible studies were retrieved from PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases. Overall survival (OS) was the primary outcome, cancer-specific survival (CSS), disease-free survival (DFS), recurrence-free survival (RFS), and progression-free survival (PFS) were secondary outcomes. Pooled hazard ratios (HRs), odds ratios (ORs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Fifty-six studies comprising 20,248 patients were included in the analysis. Overall, decreased LMR was significantly associated with shorter OS in non-hematological malignancy (HR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.53–0.66; P < 0.001) and hematological malignancy (HR: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.34–0.56; P < 0.001). Similar results were found in CSS, DFS, RFS and PFS. Moreover, low LMR was significantly associated with some clinicopathological characteristics that are indicative of poor prognosis and disease aggressiveness. By these results, we conclude that a decreased LMR implied poor prognosis in patients with cancer and could serve as a readily available and inexpensive biomarker for clinical decision.

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