Gastric cancer is common in developing regions, and we hope to find out an economical but practical prognostic indicator. It was reported that pre-treatment peripheral neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), as well as differentiation status, were associated with cancer progression. Hence, we introduced a novel combined Neutrophil/platelet/lymphocyte/differentiation Score (cNPLDS) to improve the prediction value of palliative chemotherapeutic response in advanced gastric cancer.
According to statistical sample size estimation, 136 primary diagnosed unresectable advanced ptaients were included for a retrospective study. The follow-up end-point was progression free survival (PFS) during the first-line palliative chemotherapy. Differentiation stratified patients into well, medium and poor groups by score 1 to 3, while patients with neither elevated NLR and PLR, only one elevated, or both elevated were of the combined NLR-PLR score (cNPS) 1 to 3, respectively. The cNPLDS was calculated by multiplying the tumor differentiation score and cNPS.
Determined by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, the optimal cut-off points for NLR and PLR were 3.04 and 223. Through univariate analysis and survival analysis, poor differentiation, high NLR, high PLR, high cNPS, and high cNPLDS respectively indicated inferior PFS during the first-line palliative chemotherapy. Patients were furhter classified into low to high risk groups by cNPLDS. Groups of elevated NLR, PLR, cNPS, and cNPLDS showed lower disease control rate. Compared to other parameters, cNPLDS significantly improved the accuracy in predicing the first-progression.
This study indicates that the novel parameter cNPLDS is superior to NLR or PLR alone, or even cNPS, in predicting the first-line chemosensitivity in advanced gastric cancer.