An analysis of the data collected during the S-TRAC study, in which patients with high-risk, localised renal cell carcinoma (RCC) were treated with adjuvant sunitinib (after surgery), showed that sunitinib improved disease-free survival over placebo, but not overall survival. Researchers decided to look at biomarkers for disease-free survival in this study.

In this study, a lower neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio at baseline (<3) was associated with better disease-free survival from sunitinib. Additionally, a 25% or more decrease in neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio from baseline to week 4 was associated with longer disease-free survival than a stable neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio.

In conclusion, a number of studies have previously shown a link between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and different clinical outcomes in RCC. This study provides strong evidence of the role of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in the prediction of a longer disease-free survival with adjuvant sunitinib in patients with RCC.

Read more in Clinical Cancer Research here