Minimum absolute lymphocyte count during radiotherapy as a new prognostic factor for nasopharyngeal cancer

Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E1061-7. doi: 10.1002/hed.24158. Epub 2015 Sep 2.


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the minimum absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) during radiotherapy (RT) could predict clinical outcome in patients with nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC).

Methods: We analyzed 70 patients with NPC including 63 patients treated with chemoradiotherapy and used multivariate analysis to determine whether minimum ALC affected clinical outcome.

Results: Patients were grouped by minimum ALC, with a cutoff of 245 cells/μL. Five-year disease-specific survival (DSS) and progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with minimum ALC ≥245 versus minimum ALC <245 were 88.1% versus 60.8% (p = .004) and 71.2% versus 35.2% (p = .004). All 10 patients with minimum ALC <120 experienced disease progression. Four of 6 patients (67%) with ALC <120 who died experienced disease progression within 6 months.

Conclusion: Minimum ALC may predict poor 5-year DSS and should be evaluated by prospective studies. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E1061-E1067, 2016.

Keywords: lymphocyte; minimum value; nasopharyngeal cancer; prognosis; radiotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Count*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult