Systemic Immunological Determinants of Oncological Outcomes After Surgery for Localized Renal Cell Carcinoma


      Introduction & Objectives

      In systemic therapy trials, a decreasing neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) after treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has been associated with improved oncologic outcomes. Paradoxically, for patients with localized RCC treated with upfront surgery the opposite effect has been reported. We thus aimed to evaluate NLR dynamics on localized RCC recurrence.

      Materials and Methods

      Treatment naïve patients with localized RCC managed surgically between 2005 and 2020 were included. Preoperative NLR was calculated within 6-weeks prior to surgery and postoperative NLR was calculated between 4 and twelve-weeks after surgery. Patients were followed for disease recurrence, noting metastatic sites and postoperative infections. Cox regression were used to determine whether the relative change in postoperative NLR was associated with metastasis-free survival (MFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS), adjusted for preoperative NLR.


      In the cohort of 3310 patients, 996 (30%) had postoperative NLR available. These patients generally had more advanced disease, with 100 developing metastases and 38 dying from kidney cancer. Median MFS follow-up was 4.4 years. Decreasing 2-month postoperative NLR was associated with non–statistically significant worse MFS and CSS (HR 0.79, 95% 0.50, 1.24, P = .3; HR 0.83, 95% C.I. 0.40, 1.73; P = .6). On sensitivity analysis, across all NLR measurements, with NLR as a time-dependent covariate, results were similar, with a declining NLR associated with adverse MFS (HR 0.85, 95% CI 0.69, 1.30, P-value = .10), though not meeting conventional levels of significance.


      In higher-risk localized RCC patients, postoperative NLR is not suitable as a biomarker for predicting recurrences.


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