Background: To externally validate the prognostic impact of preoperative neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (pre-NLR) in patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) following radical nephroureterectomy (RNU).
Methods: A total of 665 patients from 12 institutions were included. The median follow-up was 28 months. Associations between pre-NLR level and outcome were assessed using multivariate analysis. A pre-NLR level of >3.0 was defined as elevated.
Results: Pre-NLR levels were elevated in 184 patients (27.7 %), and pre-NLR elevation was significantly associated with worse pathological features such as tumor grade 3, advanced pT stage, positive lymphovascular invasion (LVI), and lymph node involvement in RNU specimens. The 5-year recurrence-free and cancer-specific survival rates were 57.0 % (p < 0.001) and 60.2 % (p < 0.001), respectively, in patients with elevated pre-NLR, and 69.2 and 77.3 %, respectively, in their counterparts. Multivariate analysis showed that elevated pre-NLR was an independent risk factor for predicting subsequent disease recurrence (p = 0.037; hazard ratio (HR) 1.38) and cancer-specific mortality (p = 0.036;, HR 1.47), although the addition of pre-NLR slightly improved the accuracies of the base model for predicting both disease recurrence and cancer-specific mortality to 79.8 % (p = 0.041) and 83.0 % (p = 0.039), respectively (gain in predictive accuracy: 0.2 and 0.1 %, respectively).
Conclusion: This multi-institutional study revealed that elevated pre-NLR was significantly associated with worse pathological features such as tumor grade 3, advanced pT stage, positive LVI, and lymph node involvement in RNU specimens, and elevated pre-NLR was an independent risk factor of disease recurrence and cancer-specific mortality in UTUC patients treated with RNU.
ASJC Scopus subject areas