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22.01.2019 | Research Article | Ausgabe 8/2019 Open Access

Clinical and Translational Oncology 8/2019

Critical evaluation of platelet size as a prognostic biomarker in colorectal cancer across multiple treatment settings: a retrospective cohort study

Clinical and Translational Oncology > Ausgabe 8/2019
D. A. Barth, J. M. Riedl, F. Posch, M. A. Smolle, A.-K. Kasparek, T. Niedrist, J. Szkandera, H. Stöger, M. Pichler, M. Stotz, A. Gerger
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12094-019-02037-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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The role of mean platelet volume (MPV) as a predictor of outcomes in various cancer entities including colorectal cancer (CRC) has already been analyzed. However, data on the prognostic and predictive value of MPV in CRC over multiple lines of systemic therapy are missing.


In this retrospective single-center cohort study, 690 patients with UICC stage II, III or IV CRC receiving adjuvant and/or palliative chemotherapy were included. Primary endpoints in the adjuvant, palliative and best supportive care (BSC) setting were 3-year recurrence-free survival (RFS), 6-months progression-free survival (PFS), and 6-months overall survival (OS), respectively. Kaplan–Meier estimators, log-rank tests, and uni- and multivariable Cox models were used to analyze RFS, PFS and OS. A cut-off defining patients with low MPV was chosen empirically at the 25th percentile of the MPV distribution in the respective treatment setting.


Three-year RFS was 76%. Median 6-month PFS estimates in 1st, 2nd and 3rd line therapy were 59, 37 and 27%, respectively. Median 6-month OS in BSC was 31%. Small platelets as indicated by low MPV did not predict for shorter RFS. In the first 3 palliative treatment lines a consistent association between low MPV and decreased 6-month PFS was not observed. In the BSC setting, patients with low MPV had numerically but not significantly shorter OS. Higher MPV levels did not consistently predict for ORR or DCR across the first 3 palliative treatment lines.


Small platelets are not predicting CRC outcomes, and thus are hardly useful for influencing clinical decision making.

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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 18 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 375 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 509 kb)
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