Background: As the mechanism of systemic inflammatory response in the course of cancer progression is gradually revealed, research has begun to focus on the two indictors of neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR) which may be associated with clinical disease development, treatment, and prognosis in patients who are undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. We aim to define the clinical application values of those two biomarkers in multiple cancers.
Methods: PubMed and Web of Science are used to perform the systematic literature research. Related articles and references were identified for analyzing the association of between NLR and PLR with treatment outcome, as well as progression of cancers.
Results: NLR and PLR are convenient, easy to calculate, economical, and practical biomarkers, effectively predicting treatment outcome and risk of death based on inflammatory cells. Elevated NLR and PLR are significantly in line with worse clinical pathological characteristics, deeper invasiveness, more lymph node metastasis and advanced TNM stage. A significant association was observed that high NLR and PLR predict poor overall survival and disease-free survival.
Conclusions: NLR and PLR can be used as available biomarkers in prognostic survival and formulation of treatment strategy of multiple cancers.