The Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte Ratio as a Prognostic Factor for Patients with Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder Following Radical Cystectomy: Validation and Meta-analysis

Ilaria Lucca, Patrice Jichlinski, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Morgan Rouprêt, Malte Rieken, Luis A. Kluth, Michael Rink, Romain Mathieu, Aurelie Mbeutcha, Agnes Maj-Hes, Harun Fajkovic, Alberto Briganti, Christian Seitz, Pierre I. Karakiewicz, Michela de Martino, Yair Lotan, Marko Babjuk, Tobias Klatte

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13 Scopus citations


Background The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) as a marker of systemic inflammatory response has been proposed as a prognostic factor for patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) following radical cystectomy (RC). Objective To validate NLR as a prognostic biomarker and to perform a pooled meta-analysis. Design, setting, and participants The NLR was assessed in 4061 patients within 30 days before RC. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken using electronic databases. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis Associations with overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were evaluated using Cox models. Hazard ratios (HRs) were pooled in a meta-analysis using random-effects modeling. Results and limitations A high NLR (≥2.7) was associated with advanced pathological tumor stages (p < 0.001), lymph node involvement (p < 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (p = 0.008), and positive soft0tissue surgical margins (p = 0.001). In multivariate analyses, a high NLR was independently associated with both OS (HR 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.22; p = 0.029) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.07–1.37, p = 0.003). The discrimination of the multivariate models increased by 0.2% on inclusion of NLR. Five studies were included in the meta-analysis. The HR for NLR greater than the cutoff was 1.46 (95% CI 1.01–1.92) for OS and 1.51 (95% CI 1.17–1.85) for CSS. Limitations include the retrospective study design and the lack of standardized follow-up. Conclusion In patients with UCB treated with RC, a high preoperative NLR is associated with more advanced tumor stage, lymph node metastasis, and worse prognosis. The NLR may be a readily available and useful biomarker for preoperative prognostic stratification. Patient summary We investigated the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) as a prognostic marker in patients with bladder cancer treated with radical cystectomy. We found that a high NLR is associated with worse oncologic outcomes, suggesting it could play a role in risk stratification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016



  • Meta-analysis
  • Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio
  • Radical cystectomy
  • Survival
  • Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Cite this

Lucca, I., Jichlinski, P., Shariat, S. F., Rouprêt, M., Rieken, M., Kluth, L. A., Rink, M., Mathieu, R., Mbeutcha, A., Maj-Hes, A., Fajkovic, H., Briganti, A., Seitz, C., Karakiewicz, P. I., de Martino, M., Lotan, Y., Babjuk, M., & Klatte, T. (2016). The Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte Ratio as a Prognostic Factor for Patients with Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder Following Radical Cystectomy: Validation and Meta-analysis. European Urology Focus, 2(1), 79-85.