Inflammatory biomarkers and dynamics of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma

Endocrine. 2020 Oct;70(1):115-122. doi: 10.1007/s12020-020-02313-5. Epub 2020 Apr 19.


Purpose: Studies have shown that inflammatory biomarkers, such as neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), are associated with prognosis or treatment efficacy in various cancers. The present study investigated the association between the inflammatory biomarkers and dynamics of NLR, and prognosis or disease progression in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC).

Methods: This study included 55 patients with ATC who had available complete blood count (CBC) data. Overall survival based on inflammatory biomarker value, and the dynamics of NLR among patients with ATC were investigated. Change in NLR was obtained by subtracting the baseline value from the max value obtained during follow-up period, and we subclassified 51 ATC patients who had follow-up CBC data into the increased group (change of NLR > 5.5) and non-increased group (change of NLR ≤ 5.5).

Results: There were no significant differences in OS according to baseline NLR, PLR, and LMR values. Among the 51 patients with ATC who had follow-up CBC data, the median OS was 7.7 [95% confidence interval (CI): 5.2-12.1] months in the increased group (n = 27), versus 23.5 [95% CI: 13.9-not available] months in the non-increased (n = 24) group (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The present study found no association between baseline inflammatory biomarkers and OS among patients with ATC. However, ATC patients whose NLR increased compared with individual baseline during follow-up period had worse prognosis than non-increased patients.

Keywords: Carcinoma; Inflammation; Oncology; Thyroid.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes*
  • Neutrophils*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Carcinoma, Anaplastic* / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms* / diagnosis


  • Biomarkers