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Peripheral Blood Cell Ratios as Prognostic Indicators in a Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy-Treated Breast Cancer Cohort

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posted on 2023-03-24, 10:06 authored by Amirhossein JalaliAmirhossein Jalali, David Miresse, Matthew R. Fahey, Niamh Ní Mhaonaigh, Andrew McGuire, Emer Bourke, Michael J. Kerins, JAMES BROWNJAMES BROWN

Breast cancer represents a heterogeneous condition in which the interaction between host  immune response and primary oncogenic events can impact disease progression. Ratios of systemic  blood-based immunocytes have emerged as clinically-relevant prognostic biomarkers in cancer patients. The NLR (neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio) has been shown to be prognostic in a variety of  cancers, including breast cancer. However, evaluation of the prognostic value for overall survival  (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of other key immunocyte ratios—neutrophil-to-lymphocyte  ratio (NLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), neutrophil-to-white cell count ratio (NWR), lymphocyte-to-white cell count ratio (LWR), monocyte-to-white cell count ratio (MWR), platelet-tolymphocyte (PLR)—by breast cancer subtypes in a neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) cohort remains to be fully explored. An NAC-treated breast cancer cohort, comprised of Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-positive, and triple negative/basal breast cancers, treated at a tertiary referral center (minimum 3-year follow-up), was used to calculate immunocyte ratios and immunocyte cut-off values,  calculated with >80% specificity (using decision tree modeling). The association with subtype-specific OS, DFS, and tumor grade was analyzed using cut offs calculated using both receiver operating  characteristic curves and decision tree modelling. Decision tree calculated ratios showed that LMR  (5.29) and MWR (0.06) were significantly associated with Luminal A OS (p = 0.004 and p = 0.022)  and DFS (p = 0.004 and p = 0.022), and Luminal B OS (p = 0.027 and p = 0.008) and DFS (p = 0.005 and  p = 0.007). NLR (1.79) and LWR (0.30) were significantly associated with HER2-positive OS (p = 0.013  and p = 0.043). NLR (1.79) and NWR (0.62) were significantly associated with DFS (p = 0.035 and p =  0.021). No significant association we observed between any immunocyte ratio in the triple negative  cohort. Our results demonstrate the subtype-specific prognostic value of immunocyte ratios in  NAC-treated breast cancer patients. Further validation of immunocyte ratios will provide clinicians  with a new prognostic aid for disease management and monitoring. 



Current Oncology 29(10) pp. 7512–7523.



Other Funding information

Breast Cancer Research Wellcome Trust

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  • Bernal Institute
  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

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  • School of Medicine

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