Background: Inflammation-related parameters based on blood cells, including white blood cell (WBC) count, neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio, platelet count, and red cell distribution width (RDW), have been shown to be associated with prognosis in many cancers. However, no previous study evaluated these inflammation-associated markers simultaneously in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). Methods: A total of 195 patients with UTUC who received radical nephroureterectomy between 2005 and 2010 were included retrospectively as the derivation cohort to investigate the impact of inflammation markers on overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS). In turn, another independent set of 225 patients were used for validation. Finally, we performed survival analysis in the combined cohort consisting of 420 UTUC patients. Results: The predictive value of RDW and WBC count on outcome was replicable in different cohorts. Multivariate analysis showed high RDW was independently associated with poor OS (P < 0.001), and WBC count was a significant prognosticator for both OS and CSS (both P < 0.001). In subgroup analysis, we found the prognostic significance of RDW for OS was limited in organ-confined disease (≤pT2 without pN+). More importantly, a clear survival difference can be demonstrated by combining RDW and WBC count with other known prognostic factors in the risk stratification model. Conclusions: RDW and WBC count have the advantage of their common accessibility and are useful markers to predict outcome of UTUC in the preoperative setting. RDW and WBC count could provide additional prognostic value and help physicians identify patients at high risk for mortality and formulate individualized treatment strategy.
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