Background: Preoperative blood-based inflammatory biomarkers have been suggested to improve staging and prognostication in patients with upper-tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is the most studied blood-based biomarker. NLR is an indicator of systemic inflammation and has been shown to be associated with a poor prognosis in various malignancies. The aim of this study was to analyze the current evidence regarding the prognostic significance of preoperative NLR in patients undergoing radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for UTUC to assess its prognostic potential. Materials and methods: A systematic search of Web of Science, Medline/PubMed and Cochrane library was performed on the 1st of October, 2017. Studies were deemed eligible if they compared patients with high NLR before surgical treatment for UTUC to patients with low NLR to determine its predictive value for survival using multivariable logistic regression analysis. We performed a formal meta-analysis for cancer-specific survival (CSS), recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). Results: Nine studies including a total of 4385 patients assessing the importance of NLR were included in this meta-analysis. The cut-off NLR varied in the eligible studies ranging from 2 to 3. Increased pretreatment NLR predicted OS (pooled HR 1.64 95% CI; 1.23–2.17), RFS (pooled HR 1.60 95% CI; 1.16–2.20) and CSS (pooled HR 1.73 95% CI; 1.23–2.44) in multivariable analyses. Conclusion: In this meta-analysis, preoperative blood-based NLR is associated with worse prognosis in patients who underwent RNU for UTUC. NLR could be used to improve clinical decision making regarding RNU vs. kidney-sparing surgery, extent of lymphadenectomy, perioperative systemic therapy and follow-up schedule.
- Cancer-specific survival
- Neutrophil-to-lymphocytes ratio
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