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Korean J Intern Med. 2018 Oct 26. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2018.076. [Epub ahead of print]

Inflammatory markers as prognostic indicators in pancreatic cancer patients who underwent gemcitabine-based palliative chemotherapy.

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Division of Oncology/Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) generally have poor clinical outcomes. Early determination of their prognosis is crucial for developing a therapeutic strategy. Recently, various inflammatory markers have been validated as prognostic indicators for many cancers, including PC. However, few studies have evaluated these markers together. Thus, the purpose of this study was to comprehensively evaluate the value of inflammatory markers as prognostic indicators in patients with advanced PC treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy as the first line regimen.


This was a single-center retrospective study evaluating 302 patients with advanced PC who began first line treatment between November 2004 and August 2016. These patients were monitored until June 2017. Survival rates were assessed with univariate and multivariate analyses. Continuous variables were separated using the normal range or ideal cut-off levels determined by receiver operating curve analyses.


Among inflammatory markers evaluated, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) to albumin ratio (CRP-albumin ratio) were independent predictors of overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.712, 1.345, and 1.454, respectively). Difference in survival rates was significant (p < 0.001) among three groups divided by the number of marker-related risks.


Baseline inflammatory markers including NLR, PLR, and CRP-albumin ratio are useful in predicting survival rates in patients with PC. Combining these three markers is proven to be valuable.


Inflammation; Pancreatic neoplasms; Prognosis

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