Background and objectives: Simple methods to identify colorectal cancer patients at risk of recurrence are needed. This study aimed to determine if neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) predicts survival in colorectal cancer patients.
Methods: Two-hundred thirty patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer over a two-year period were identified from a prospectively maintained colorectal cancer database. NLR was calculated from pre-operative full blood counts. In the case of patients who did not undergo surgery, the full blood count from their out-patient visit was used. Known prognostic factors were recorded. Overall and cancer-specific survival were calculated.
Results: Pre-operative NLR greater than 5 correlated with overall and cancer-specific survival in univariate analyses. NLR was not independent of Dukes stage.
Conclusions: Pre-operative NLR may represent a simple method of identifying colorectal cancer patients with a poor prognosis pre-operatively.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.