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Abstract | Full HTML Article | PDF ecancer 10 702 / DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2016.702

Review

The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio: a narrative review

Cellular-mediated inflammatory response, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and monocytes are increasingly being recognised as having an important role in tumorigenesis and carcinogenesis. In this context, studies have suggested that the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) can be used as an independent prognostic factor in a variety of cancers. Particularly in breast cancer, several studies have shown that a high NLR is associated with shorter survival. Because the NLR can be easily determined from the full blood count, it could potentially provide a simple and inexpensive test cancer prognosis. This review addresses the possibilities and limitations of using the NLR as a clinical tool for risk stratification helpful for individual treatment of breast cancer patients. The potential underlying phenomena and some perspectives are discussed.

Keywords: breast cancer, inflammation, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, prognosis

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Founding partners

European Cancer Organisation European Institute of Oncology

Founding Charities

Foundazione Umberto Veronesi Fondazione IEO Swiss Bridge

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Cancer Intelligence