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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2009 Dec;135(12):1783-90. doi: 10.1007/s00432-009-0625-1. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

Prognostic significance of a pretreatment hematologic profile in patients with head and neck cancer.

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  • 1Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



The purpose of this retrospective study was to test whether the pretreatment hematologic profile can predict the prognosis of patients with head and neck cancer.


Medical records from 278 patients with head and neck cancer were reviewed, and 270 cases were evaluable. Clinical data including age, gender, stage, pretreatment hematologic profile (including white blood cell, platelet, and differential counts, and hemoglobin level) were recorded. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the prognostic effect of these hematologic indicators, as well as clinical variables. The association between the hematologic indicators and clinical factors was also analyzed.


Pretreatment monocytes >1,000 cells/microl (P = 0.028), hemoglobin <11.0 g/dl (P = 0.022), and platelet count >400 x 10(3) cells/microl (P = 0.017) were identified as independent prognostic factors in addition to the nodal status and metastasis. A significant correlation between T-stage/monocyte or platelet count and metastasis/platelet count were shown. Monocytosis, anemia, and thrombocytosis were demonstrated to have a cumulative effect on the prognosis of head and neck cancer patients (normal vs. abnormality in one lineage, P = 0.001; abnormality in one vs. more than one lineage, P = 0.005).


A pretreatment hematologic profile can be considered as a useful prognostic marker in patients with head and neck cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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