Roles of the systemic inflammatory response biomarkers in the diagnosis of cancer patients with solid tumors

Keywords: Solid tumors, systemic inflammatory response, diagnosis, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio


Aim: Cancer is still considered as one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Various tumor factors have been used for the diagnosis and follow-up of solid tumors; however, their clinical features remains controversial in terms of their diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive values. In this study, we aimed to investigate the use of the systemic inflammatory response biomarkers, including the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), in the diagnosis of solid tumors.

Method: We retrospectively analyzed the records of 256 patients with solid tumors, including lung, breast, liver, and pancreatic cancers, who were diagnosed at the outpatient clinics of our institution between January 2017 and July 2018. The neutrophil, lymphocyte, monocyte, and platelet counts were measured using a hematology analyzer and the results were analyzed statistically.

Results: The results of the receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that the NLR and LMR could be statistically reliable biomarkers, with area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.574 (p = 0.017) and 0.596 (p = 0.002). However, the PLR statistically failed to discriminate the patients and the control subjects, with AUC values of 0.545 (p = 0.148).

Conclusions: Certain systemic inflammatory response biomarkers, such as the NLR and LMR, can play roles in the clinical diagnosis of patients with solid tumors.