Platelet Count and Survival after Cancer

Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jan 21;14(3):549. doi: 10.3390/cancers14030549.


Thrombocytosis is associated with cancer progression and death for many cancer types. It is unclear if platelet count is also associated with cancer survival. We conducted a cohort study of 112,231 adults in Ontario with a diagnosis of cancer between January 2007 and December 2016. We included patients who had a complete blood count (CBC) completed in the 30 days prior to their cancer diagnosis. Subjects were assigned to one of three categories according to platelet count: low (≤25th percentile), medium (>25 to <75th percentile), and high (≥75th percentile). Study subjects were followed from the date of their cancer diagnosis for cancer-specific death. Of the 112,231 eligible cancer patients in the cohort study, 40,329 (35.9%) died from their cancer in the follow-up period. Relative to those with a medium platelet count, the rate of cancer-specific death was higher among individuals with a high platelet count (HR 1.52; 95%CI 1.48-1.55) and was lower among individuals with a low platelet count (HR 0.91; 95%CI 0.88-0.93). A high platelet count was associated with poor survival for many cancer types. Platelet count could potentially be used as a risk stratification measure for cancer patients.

Keywords: cancer survival; marginal structural model; platelet count; platelets; thrombocytosis.