Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio: Prognostic indicator for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

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Publication Title

Head & Neck


Background: The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has prognostic significance for many cancers, with higher values correlating with poor outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the prognostic significance of this inflammatory marker for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

Methods: Univariate logistic regression and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed on a retrospective cohort of 123 patients treated with primary chemoradiotherapy.

Results: The NLR is an indicator of both recurrence-free and overall survival, but the NLR does not have independent prognostic significance when the favorable prognostic influence of human papillomavirus (HPV) status is incorporated into multivariate models.

Conclusion: The interaction between NLR and HPV status suggests that HPV status may be a determining factor in the favorable prognosis associated with a decreased NLR in HNSCC; these findings also suggest that HPV status may interact with the prognostic associations of indicators of systemic inflammation in HNSCC. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 39: 662-667, 2017.

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Publication Date

Spring 4-2017