Purpose: The neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a biochemical marker of the systemic inflammatory response and has been associated with prognosis for various types of cancer. This retrospective study investigates the relationship between the pre- and postoperative NLR and the prognosis of gastric cancer patients. Methods: The subjects were 280 patients who underwent curative surgery for histopathologically diagnosed gastric adenocarcinoma. Results: The preoperative NLR was significantly correlated with tumor size, tumor depth, lymphatic invasion, venous invasion, and disease stage. In contrast, there was no correlation between the postoperative NLR and the various clinicopathological variables. Prognosis was significantly worse for patients with a high preoperative NLR than for those with a low preoperative NLR. Prognosis was also significantly worse for patients with a high postoperative NLR than for those with a low postoperative NLR. Furthermore, the prognosis was worse for gastric cancer patients whose pre- and postoperative NLRs were both high. Multivariate analysis indicated that a high pre- and postoperative NLR was an independent prognostic indicator. Conclusions: The combination of pre- and postoperative NLRs appears to be useful for predicting the prognosis of gastric cancer patients.
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