Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, a biomarker in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer: a single-institutional longitudinal study

Vol. 42 (4): 685-693, July – August, 2016

doi: 10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2015.0243


Vincenzo Favilla 1, Tommaso Castelli 1, Daniele Urzì 1, Giulio Reale 1, Salvatore Privitera 1, Antonio Salici 1, Giorgio Ivan Russo 1, Sebastiano Cimino 1, Giuseppe Morgia 1

1 Sezione Urologia, Dipartimento di Chirurgia, Università di Catania, Italia


Background: Bladder cancer represents one of the most important clinical challenges in urologic practice. In this context, inflammation has an important role in the development and progression of many malignancies. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the prognostic value of pre-treatment Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) on the risk of recurrence and progression in patients with primary non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
Materials and Methods: Data obtained from 178 bladder cancer patients who underwent transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURB) between July 2008 and December 2014 were evaluated prospectively. NLR was obtained from each patient before TURB and defined as the absolute neutrophil count divided by the absolute lymphocyte count. Cox proportional hazards regression model was performed to calculate disease recurrence and progression including NLR.
Results: During the follow-up study (median: 53 months), 14 (23.3%) and 44 (37.9%) (p=0.04) patients respectively with NLR<3 and ≥3experienced recurrence and 2 (3.3%) and 14 (11.9%) experienced progression (p=0.06), respectively. At the multivariate Cox regression analysis, NLR ≥3 was associated with worse disease recurrence (HR: 2.84; p<0.01). No association was found regarding disease progression. The 5-year recurrence free survival was 49% and 62% in patients with NLR≥3 and <3 (p<0.01). The 5-year progression free survival was 77% and 93% in patients with NLR≥3 and <3 (p=0.69).
Conclusion: NLR predicts disease recurrence but not disease progression in NMIBC patients. NLR alterations may depend of tumor inflammatory microenvironment.

Keywords: Urinary Bladder Neoplasms; Urinary Bladder Neoplasms; Neutrophils; Biomarkers

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