The impact of systemic inflammatory response (SIR) on prognostic and predictive outcome in rectal cancer after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) has not been fully investigated. This retrospective study enrolled 89 patients with locally advanced rectal cancer who underwent neoadjuvant CRT and for whom platelet (PLT) counts and SIR status [neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR)] were available. Both clinical values of PLT and SIR status in rectal cancer patients were investigated. Elevated PLT, NLR, PLR, and pathologic TNM stage III [ypN(+)] were associated with significantly poor overall survival (OS). Elevated PLT, NLR, and ypN(+) were shown to independently predict OS. Elevated PLT and ypN(+) significantly predicted poor disease-free survival (DFS). Elevated PLT was identified as the only independent predictor of DFS. PLT counts are a promising pre-CRT biomarker for predicting recurrence and poor prognosis in rectal cancer.
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