Low White Blood Cell Count May Help Predict Some Ovarian Cancer Outcomes

Low White Blood Cell Count May Help Predict Some Ovarian Cancer Outcomes
A reduced number of lymphocytes — one of the main types of immune cells — in advanced ovarian cancer patients before treatment is linked with a higher risk of disease worsening and shorter overall survival, according to a South Korean study. The study, “Pretreatment lymphocytopenia is an adverse prognostic biomarker in advanced‐stage ovarian cancer,” was published in the journal Cancer Medicine. Lymphocytes, which mostly include T-cells and B-cells, play a key role in the fight against foreign substances and external threats. That's why a patient's immune response often is measured by the amount of these cells in circulation. Research suggests that lymphocytopenia (a lower-than-normal number of lymphocytes in the blood) before surgery is an independent prognostic factor in several cancers, including kidney, bladder, and colorectal cancers. But it is not known if the same is true for ovarian cancer. Aiming to address that, a team of Korean researchers examined data from 506 advanced ovarian cancer patients, followed from 2006 to 2017 at the Yonsei Cancer Hospital, Seoul, South Korea. Patients were divided into two groups: those who had been treated with neoadjuvant (pre-surgery) chemotherapy (247 patients), and those who had been submitted to debulking surgery (a survival intervention to remove as much of the tumor as possible) followed by chemotherapy (259 patients). The researchers started by establishing the optimal cutoff value of lymphocyte count — 1,490 million per
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