Objective: In cancer patients, the balance between neutrophil (N) and lymphocyte (L) cell counts fluctuates with advancing disease. The objective of our study was to determine the prognostic implications of the N/L ratio in the peripheral blood of rectal cancer patients.
Methods: Study participants were identified from a prospective cohort of patients with rectal cancer in Dalian of China (n = 123).
Results: The median baseline N/L ratio was 2.41 +/- 2.206 (range, 0.76-20.45). Our results revealed that the N/L ratio was significantly associated with tumor size (P = 0.003) and level of cancer antigen 125 (P = 0.027). A multivariate Cox model established a significant relationship between the N/L ratio and survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.615; 95% confidence interval, 1.152-5.933; P = 0.021).
Conclusions: These results suggest that the N/L ratio is an independent prognostic factor in rectal cancer, and the N/L ratio may serve as a clinically accessible and useful biomarker for patient survival.