In Early Breast Cancer, the Ratios of Neutrophils, Platelets and Monocytes to Lymphocytes Significantly Correlate with the Presence of Subsets of Circulating Tumor Cells but Not with Disseminated Tumor Cells

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) crosstalk with different blood cells before a few of them settle down as disseminated tumor cells (DTCs). We evaluated the correlation between CTC subtypes, DTCs and the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and monocyte to lymphocyte ratio (MLR) for better prognostication of 171 early staged diagnosed breast cancer (BC) patients. -Clinical data and blood values before treatment were retrospectively recorded, representing the 75% percentile, resulting in 3.13 for NLR, 222.3 for PLR and 0.39 for MLR, respectively. DTCs were analyzed by immunocytochemistry using the pan-cytokeratin antibodyA45-B/B3. CTCs were determined applying the AdnaTests BreastCancerDetect and EMT (Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition) Detect. -Reduced lymphocyte (p = 0.007) and monocyte counts (p = 0.012), an elevated NLR (p = 0.003) and PLR (p = 0.001) significantly correlated with the presence of epithelial CTCs while a reduced MLR was related to EMT-CTCs (p = 0.045). PLR (p = 0.029) and MLR (p = 0.041) significantly related to lymph node involvement and monocyte counts significantly correlated with OS (p = 0.034). No correlations were found for NLR, PLR and MLR with DTCs, however, DTC-positive patients, harboring a lower PLR, had a significant shorter OS (p = 0.043). -Pro-inflammatory markers are closely related to different CTC subsets. This knowledge might improve risk prognostication of these patients.


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