Background: Evaluating tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is important to predict survival and to select the optimal strategy for patients with esophageal cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the relation between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) change after NAC and histological response and oncological outcomes in patients with esophageal cancer. Methods: This study enrolled 209 patients who underwent NAC and thoracic esophagectomy for esophageal cancer as the primary treatment between 2000 and 2019 in our department. Several predictors of survival including NLR change, which was calculated as post-NAC NLR/pre-NAC NLR, were investigated. We used classification and regression tree (CART) analysis to determine the optimal cutoff values of NLR change for the prediction of histological response. Results: The best cutoff value of NLR change was 0.55 using the CART analysis. Then we divided all patients into two groups; the patients with NLR change below the cutoff were allocated to the NLR reduction group (n = 53), whereas the patients with NLR change above the cutoff were allocated to the no-NLR reduction group (n = 156). NLR change was identified as a significant predictor for histological responder (odds ratio 3.80; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.69–8.58; p = 0.001) and recurrence-free survival (hazard ratio 0.55; 95% CI 0.33–0.89; p = 0.015) in multivariable analysis. Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that NLR change is associated with both histological response to and oncological outcomes of NAC for patients with esophageal cancer. NLR change can help not only to predict survival, but also to facilitate personalized multidisciplinary treatment.
- Esophageal cancer
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
- Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio
ASJC Scopus subject areas