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Is a Shift in Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio Predictive of Outcomes in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2020

There does not appear to be an association between baseline inflammatory biomarker values and overall survival among patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer, found a retrospective study published in the journal Endocrine. However, Koichi Ito, PhD, of Ito Hospital, Tokyo, and colleagues did identify a worse prognosis in patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer whose neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio increased during the follow-up period from their baseline value compared with patients with no such ratio increase.

In this study, the baseline and follow-up complete blood cell count data of 51 patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were assigned to either the increased (n = 27) or non-increased (n = 24) neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio group—with a change of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio from baseline to follow-up of more than 5.5 or up to 5.5, respectively.

The researchers detected no significant differences in overall survival, based on baseline neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio values. The median overall survival in patients whose neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio had increased during follow-up, however, it was significantly shorter than that for patients without such a ratio increase (7.7 vs. 23.5 months, P < .001) Additionally, in 37 patients who exhibited disease progression during follow-up, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio was significantly higher after disease progression than at baseline (P < .001).

“Further large-scale studies are needed to clarify the association between inflammatory biomarkers and overall survival or disease progression in anaplastic thyroid cancer,” concluded the authors.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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