Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio as a Prognostic Factor of Disease-free Survival in Postnephrectomy High-risk Locoregional Renal Cell Carcinoma: Analysis of the S-TRAC Trial

Patel A, Ravaud A, Motzer RJ, et al.
Clin Cancer Res 2020 Jun 16.
DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0704



In the S-TRAC trial, adjuvant sunitinib improved disease-free survival (DFS) compared with placebo in patients with locoregional renal cell carcinoma (RCC) at high risk of recurrence. This post hoc exploratory analysis investigated the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) for predictive and prognostic significance in the RCC adjuvant setting.

Experimental design

Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional analyses were performed on baseline NLR and change from baseline at week 4 to assess their association with DFS. Univariate P values were two-sided and based on an unstratified log-rank test.


609 of 615 patients had baseline NLR values; 574 patients had baseline and week 4 values. Sunitinib-treated patients with baseline NLR <3 had longer DFS versus placebo (7.1 vs. 4.7; HR, 0.71; P = 0.02). For baseline NLR ≥3, DFS was similar regardless of treatment (sunitinib 6.8 vs. placebo not reached; HR, 1.03; P = 0.91). A ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 was associated with longer DFS versus no change (6.8 vs. 5.3 years; HR, 0.71; P = 0.01). A greater proportion of sunitinib-treated patients had ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 (71.2%) versus placebo (17.4%). Patients with ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 received a higher median cumulative sunitinib dose (10,137.5 mg) versus no change (8,168.8 mg) or ≥25% increase (6,712.5 mg).


In the postnephrectomy high-risk RCC patient cohort, low baseline NLR may help identify those most suitable for adjuvant sunitinib. A ≥25% NLR decrease at week 4 may be an early indicator of those most likely to tolerate treatment and derive DFS benefit.

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