Objective: Inflammatory cells can both suppress and stimulate tumour growth and their influence on clinical outcome in cancer patients has been studied in various cancer types. Here we have investigated their influence on outcome in primary epithelial ovarian cancer.
Study design: Serum white blood cell numbers according to subtype were recorded prior to treatment in 136 patients with primary epithelial ovarian cancer. Their correlation with overall survival and disease-free survival was analysed using both univariate and multivariate analysis adjusting for the known prognostic factors (age, stage and debulking status).
Results: Multivariate analysis demonstrated that a lower lymphocyte fraction of total white blood cells was significantly associated with mortality (p<0.01). On univariate analysis (p=0.0027, HR=1.15), and multivariate analysis of those patients who were optimally debulked (p=0.036, HR=1.17), a higher monocyte count was significantly associated with recurrence. On multivariate analysis amongst those who were suboptimally debulked, a higher eosinophil count was predictive of both recurrence (p=0.0037, HR=1.77) and mortality (p=0.033, HR=1.73).
Conclusion: High monocyte counts amongst those who were optimally debulked independently predict adverse outcome in primary epithelial ovarian cancer.