A large cohort study reveals the association of elevated peripheral blood lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio with favorable prognosis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.PLoS One 2013; 8(12):e83069Plos
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an endemic neoplasm in southern China. Although NPC sufferers are sensitive to radiotherapy, 20-30% of patients finally progress with recurrence and metastases. Elevated lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR) has been reported to be associated with favorable prognosis in some hematology malignancies, but has not been studied in NPC. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether LMR could predict the prognosis of NPC patients.
A retrospective cohort of 1,547 non-metastatic NPC patients was recruited between January 2005 and June 2008. The counts for peripheral lymphocyte and monocyte were retrieved, and the LMR was calculated. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, univariate and multivariate COX proportional hazards analyses were applied to evaluate the associations of LMR with overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and loco-regional recurrence-free survival (LRRFS), respectively.
Univariate analysis revealed that higher LMR level (≥ 5.220) was significantly associated with superior OS, DFS and DMFS (P values <0.001). The higher lymphocyte count (≥ 2.145 × 10(9)/L) was significantly associated with better OS (P = 0.002) and DMFS (P = 0.031), respectively, while the lower monocyte count (<0.475 × 10(9)/L) was associated with better OS (P = 0.012), DFS (P = 0.011) and DMFS (P = 0.003), respectively. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis showed that higher LMR level was a significantly independent predictor for superior OS (hazard ratio or HR = 0.558, 95% confidence interval or 95% CI = 0.417-0.748; P<0.001), DFS (HR = 0.669, 95% CI = 0.535-0.838; P<0.001) and DMFS (HR = 0.543, 95% CI = 0.403-0.732; P<0.001), respectively. The advanced T and N stages were also independent indicators for worse OS, DFS, and DMFS, except that T stage showed borderline statistical significance for DFS (P = 0.053) and DMFS (P = 0.080).
The elevated pretreatment peripheral LMR level was a significant favorable factor for NPC prognosis and this easily accessed variable may serve as a potent marker to predict the outcomes of NPC patients.