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J Surg Oncol. 2011 Oct;104(5):504-10. doi: 10.1002/jso.21986. Epub 2011 May 25.

Elevated preoperative neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio predicts poor survival following resection in late stage gastric cancer.

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Division of Gastroenterologic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.



Elevated neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (N/L ratio) has been shown to be a prognostic indicator in various cancers. We aimed to investigate the prognostic significance of the preoperative N/L ratio in late stage gastric cancer.


From April 2004 to August 2007, 293 patients who had undergone gastrectomy with curative intent for the AJCC/UICC TNM Stage III or IV gastric cancer were included. N/L ratio was calculated from lymphocyte and neutrophil counts on routine blood tests taken prior to surgery.


The median follow-up time for surviving patients was 38.2 months (4.2-65.5 months) and median preoperative N/L ratio was 2.06 (range 0.47-19.73). Subjects were dichotomized at the N/L value of 2.0. A multivariate analysis established a significant relationship between the N/L ratio and overall survival (HR=1.609; 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.144-2.264; P=0.006). The cutoff value up to 3.0, the value of 75 percentiles, showed a significant prognostic effect on disease-free survival (HR=1.654; 95% CI, 1.088-2.515; P=0.019).


The results suggest that the elevated preoperative N/L ratio predicts poor disease-free and overall survival following resection for late stage gastric cancer. It may be utilized as a simple, reliable prognostic factor for risk stratification and will provide better treatment allocation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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