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Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in Prostate cancer | 1 comment

In a nutshell

The authors determined whether immune cell levels influenced overall survival (patients still alive following treatment) in prostate cancer patients following radiotherapy. 

Some background

Radiotherapy is a common treatment for localized prostate cancer (cancer contained within the prostate gland). It involves directing a beam of radiation at the tumor site to kill the cancer cells present. White blood cells are immune cells found in the body. Neutrophils and lymphocytes are different types of white blood cell.  Both cell types fight against disease and infection in the body. Some studies suggest that white blood cell count in the body can affect overall survival in prostate cancer patients.

Further studies are needed to determine whether white blood cell levels can influence survival in prostate cancer.  

Methods & findings

The aim of this study was to determine whether immune cell levels influenced overall survival in prostate cancer patients following radiotherapy.

1772 patients were included in this study. The median (mid-point) follow up was 44 months. The majority of patients had comorbidities (diseases in addition to prostate cancer). 15.1% of patients had diabetes. 34.6% of patients had heart disease. 45.7% had high blood pressure. Data from 950 patients were analyzed.

5-year overall survival was 93% for all patients. 5-year biochemical recurrence-free survival (BRFS) was 95%. Biochemical recurrence is an increase in prostate specific antigen levels (PSA – protein elevated in the blood when prostate cancer is present) indicating that the cancer has returned. BRFS indicates patients who did not experience biochemical recurrence after treatment. Neutrophil countage and Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment scores (CAPRA – scoring system that uses prostate cancer indicators to measure patient risk) were identified as independent predictors of overall survival. Age and CAPRA score were associated with BRFS

The bottom line

The authors concluded that neutrophil count was identified as an independent predicting factor for overall mortality in localized prostate cancer. 

The fine print

Further studies are needed to validate the results presented. 

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

Aug 26, 2015

Original Title :

Neutrophil count is associated with survival in localized prostate cancer.

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