Prognostic Value of Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio in Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients Undergoing Inguinal Lymph Node Dissection

Further biomarkers are warranted to improve prognostic stratification of penile squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) patients undergoing inguinal lymph node dissection (ILND).

To assess the prognostic value of pretreatment neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in PSCC patients undergoing ILND and to investigate its role in predicting pathologic node-positive (pN+) disease.

In total, 84 consecutive patients undergoing ILND for PSCC at our institution between 1994 and 2014 were identified. Sixty-eight patients with a complete blood count and differential prior to surgery were included. Median follow-up was 35.5 mo.

Cut-off point analysis of NLR was performed using the Contal and O'Quigley method. Estimates of overall survival (OS), cancer-specific survival, and recurrence-free survival stratified by NLR were provided by the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox regression models were performed to determine predictors of survival and recurrence. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with pathologic node-positivity.

The cut-off point value was determined to be 3. Median OS was significantly shorter for patients with NLR ≥3 than those with NLR <3 (30 vs 158 mo, p<0.001). NLR ≥3 was an independent predictor of worse OS (hazard ratio=2.48; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02-6.06, p=0.046). On univariable analysis, NLR ≥3 was associated with an increased risk of pN+ disease (odds ratio [OR]=3.75; 95% CI: 1.30-10.81, p=0.014). However, on multivariable analysis adjusted for primary tumor grade, lymphovascular invasion, clinical N stage, and neoadjuvant treatment receipt, the association between NLR and pN+ disease was no longer significant (OR=3.66; 95% CI: 0.82-16.42, p=0.091). The retrospective design and limited size of the study are acknowledged limitations.

Pretreatment NLR is an independent predictor of OS in PSCC patients undergoing ILND and highlights the association between systemic inflammation and survival. Our data suggests that a simple biomarker of inflammation can serve as a prognosticator in PSCC.

Penile cancer is a rare malignancy in North America and Europe. Therefore, there is a lack of prognostic parameters to help predict oncologic and survival outcomes. In this report, patients with an elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio had an increased risk of mortality.

European urology focus. 2018 Jun 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Mounsif Azizi, Charles C Peyton, David C Boulware, Juan Chipollini, Timothy Juwono, Julio M Pow-Sang, Philippe E Spiess

Department of Genitourinary Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA. Electronic address: ., Department of Genitourinary Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA., Department of Biostatistics, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA., Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.