Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 7149–7154 | Cite as

Prognostic value of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio for overall and disease-free survival in patients with surgically treated esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

  • Joonho Jung
  • Seong Yong Park
  • Soo-jin Park
  • Jiye Park
Original Article


Although increasing evidence indicates that cancers are associated with inflammation, the prognostic role of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma remains controversial. We determined the prognostic roles of NLR and PLR in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma who underwent surgical treatment. We retrospectively reviewed 119 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma who underwent surgical resection and complete lymph node dissection from 2004 to 2012. The preoperative NLR and PLR were measured. The patients included 112 (94.1 %) males (mean age, 63.64 ± 8.42 years) of whom 37 (31.1 %) were pathological stage I, 33 (27.7 %) were stage II, and 49 (41.2 %) were stage III. The median follow-up period was 28.68 months. Recurrence was reported in 48 (40.3 %) patients. Mean NLR and PLR were 2.35 ± 1.39 and 140.77 ± 70.47, respectively. A multivariate analysis revealed that NLR was a risk factor for disease-free survival (DFS) (hazard ratio [HR], 1.194; p = 0.031) and overall survival (OS) (HR, 1.230; p = 0.011), whereas PLR was not a risk factor for DFS or OS. The 3-year OS rates were 51.0 % in low-NLR (<2.97) patients and 17.4 % in high-NLR (≥2.97) patients (p = 0.007). Akaike’s information criterion decreased when the NLR was included in the multivariate model compared to the multivariate model without NLR. A high NLR was a significant prognostic factor for OS and DFS in patients with surgically treated esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, whereas PLR showed no prognostic significance.


Esophageal cancer Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio Statistics Survival analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

The institutional review board of our institution approved this retrospective study (AJIRB-MED-MDB-15-400), and the requirement to obtain informed consent was waived.

Conflicts of interest


Funding sources

This study was supported by the new faculty research fund of Ajou University School of Medicine.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joonho Jung
    • 1
  • Seong Yong Park
    • 1
  • Soo-jin Park
    • 1
  • Jiye Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular SurgeryAjou University School of MedicineSuwon-siSouth Korea

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