The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is an inflammatory marker which has been investigated as a prognostic indicator in post-therapeutic recurrence and survival of patients with HCC. Our aim was to review all studies that assessed the prognostic value of pre-treatment NLR in predicting patient survival, cancer recurrence, and graft survival in patients undergoing various therapies for HCC. We searched the database of PubMed and Google Scholar to review all studies that have the word “NLR” and the word “HCC.” We included all studies that assessed pre-treatment NLR as a prognostic factor in predicting outcomes in HCC patients. We excluded studies that assessed the correlation between post-treatment NLR or dynamic changes in NLR after treatment and HCC outcomes in an effort to minimize the confounding effect of each treatment on NLR. We reviewed 123 studies that studied the correlation between pre-treatment NLR and patient survival, 72 studies that evaluated the correlation between pre-treatment NLR and tumor recurrence, 21 studies that evaluated the correlation between NLR and tumor behavior, and 4 studies that assessed the correlation between NLR and graft survival. We found a remarkable heterogeneity between the methods of the studies, which is likely responsible for the differences in outcomes. The majority of the studies suggested a correlation between higher levels of pre-treatment NLR and poor outcomes. We concluded that NLR is a reliable and inexpensive biomarker and should be incorporated into other prognostic models to help determine outcomes following HCC treatment.
- Chemotherapy and other therapies
- HCC outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas