Time-sequencing of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio to predict prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer

Joo Heung Kim, Nak Hoon Son, Jun Sang Lee, Ji Eun Mun, Jee Ye Kim, Hyung Seok Park, Seho Park, Seung Il Kim, Byeong Woo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Since triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) have varying prognoses, it is important to identify subgroups with particularly poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to assess whether changes in the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) during the treatment process were associated with poor prognosis in TNBC patients. This study included 600 TNBC patients who underwent surgery from January 2005 to December 2016. The associations of the NLR and clinicopathologic factors with breast cancer recurrence and survival in patients who underwent both definitive local treatment (total mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery with radiotherapy) and systemic chemotherapy were analyzed. The NLRs at four time points (before surgery, before chemotherapy, before radiotherapy, and 1 year after surgery) were assessed. The univariate analysis showed that changes in the NLR before the start of radiotherapy (odds ratio: 1.115, confidence interval: 1.011–1.229) and 1 year after surgery (odds ratio: 1.196, confidence interval: 1.057–1.354) significantly increased the risk of recurrence or death. In multivariate analysis, T stage, N stage, and changes in the NLR were significant factors. A time-sequenced NLR may reflect the prognosis of TNBC patients. A poor prognosis is expected in patients whose NLR increases during treatment compared to the preoperative NLR, and additional treatment is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3472
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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