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Prognostic and clinicopathologic significance of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: evidence from a meta-analysis

Authors Huang Y, Sun Y, Peng P, Zhu S, Sun W, Zhang P

Received 4 November 2016

Accepted for publication 17 December 2016

Published 23 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 1165—1172


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Samir Farghaly

Yu Huang, Yue Sun, Ping Peng, Sixian Zhu, Wei Sun, Peng Zhang

Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: Evidence from an increasing number of studies has demonstrated that the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a prognostic factor for various cancers. However, it is unclear whether NLR predicts prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the prognostic and clinicopathologic significance of NLR in patients with ESCC.
Patients and methods: Selected studies were identified by searches in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases and filtered using our prepared criteria. The hazard ratio (HR) and odds ratio were chosen as effect measures to assess the prognostic role of NLR and its clinicopathologic significance in ESCC. In total, nine studies containing 2,513 patients were enrolled.
Results: We demonstrated that elevated NLR was associated with worse overall survival in ESCC patients (pooled HR =1.314; 95% confidence interval, 1.164–1.484; P<0.001). Elevated NLR was also associated with unfavorable characteristics regarding depth of tumor invasion, tumor size, clinical stage, and differentiation degree.
Conclusion: The results of our meta-analysis suggest that a high NLR value might represent a poor prognosis and worse clinicopathologic characteristics for patients with ESCC.

Keywords: ESCC, NLR, prognosis, meta-analysis, inflammation

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