Pretreatment neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio independently predicts disease-specific sur vival in resectable gastroesophageal junction and gastric adenocarcinoma

Sam C. Wang, Joanne F. Chou, Vivian E. Strong, Murray F. Brennan, Marinela Capanu, Daniel G. Coit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Objective: Preoperative methods to estimate disease-specific survival (DSS) for resectable gastroesophageal (GE) junction and gastric adenocarcinoma are limited. We evaluated the relationship between DSS and pretreatment neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR). Background: The patient's inflammatory state is thought to be associated with oncologic outcomes, and NLR has been used as a simple and convenient marker for the systemic inflammatory response. Previous studies have suggested that NLR is associated with cancer-specific outcomes. Methods: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained institutional database was undertaken to identify patients who underwent potentially curative resection for GE junction and gastric adenocarcinoma from 1998 to 2013. Clinicopathologic findings, pretreatment leukocyte values, and follow-up status were recorded. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate DSS, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the association between variables and DSS. Results: We identified 1498 patients who fulfilled our eligibility criteria. Univariate analysis showed that male sex, Caucasian race, increased T and N stage, GE junction location, moderate/poor differentiation, nonintestinal Lauren histology, and vascular and perineural invasion were associated with worse DSS. Elevated NLR was also associated with worse DSS [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.11; 95% CI: 1.08-1.14; P < 0.01]. On multivariate analysis, pretreatment NLR as a continuous variable was a highly significant independent predictor of DSS. For every unit increase in NLR, the risk of cancer-associated death increases by approximately 10% (HR = 1.10; 95% CI: 1.05-1.13; P < 0.0001). Conclusions: In patients with resectable GE junction and gastric adenocarcinoma, pretreatment NLR independently predicts DSS. This and other clinical variables can be used in conjunction with cross-sectional imaging and endoscopic ultrasound as part of the preoperative risk stratification process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-297
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


  • Gastric cancer
  • Gastroesophageal junction cancer
  • NLR
  • Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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