The Blood Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte Ratio Predicts Survival in Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Receiving Sorafenib


Background and Aim: Increasing evidence correlates the presence of systemic inflammation with poorsurvival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate theprognostic significance of the blood neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in patients with advanced HCC whoreceived sorafenib monotherapy.
Methods: A total of sixty-five patients with advanced HCC, not eligible forlocoregional therapy, treated with sorafenib were enrolled. Potential prognostic factors such as age, gender,tumoral characteristics, performance status and NLR were analyzed.
Results: Median OS and TTP for the entirecohort were 10.0 months (95%CI, 7.6-12.3 months) and 4.5 months (95% CI, 4.0-4.9 months). The mean NLRat baseline was 2.89. The median OS of patients with a high NLR (>4) was 6.5 months (95%CI, 5.2-7.7 months)compared with 12.5 months (95%CI, 9.9-15.0) for patients with a normal NLR (≤4) (P=0.01). Age ≤65, NLR>4, extrahepatic metastases and vascular invasion were all predictors of poorer overall survival. Multivariateanalysis showed that NLR > 4, vascular invasion and extrahepatic metastases were independent predictors ofpoorer overall survival. The median TTP of patients with a high NLR was 2.5 months (95%CI, 1.4-3.6 months)compared with 4.5 months (95%CI, 3.9-5.1 months) for patients with a normal NLR (P=0.012).
Conclusions: Highbaseline NLR was associated with worse OS and TTP for patients with advanced HCC treated with sorafenib.