Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lymphocyte count indicates prognosis of patients with renal cell carcinoma, researchers find

Date:
May 18, 2011
Source:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Summary:
Each year, kidney cancer is diagnosed in nearly 60,000 people in the US. Patients undergo surgery to remove the affected kidney, but this procedure can be risky. Unfortunately, the prognosis of kidney cancer patients often cannot be determined until tumor samples are surgically removed and evaluated. Now, researchers have discovered that the lymphocyte count is a simple and effective prognostic indicator in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Each year, kidney cancer is diagnosed in nearly 60,000 people in the U.S. Many of these patients undergo surgery to remove the affected kidney, but this procedure can be risky for the elderly and those who have other health problems. Unfortunately, the prognosis of kidney cancer patients often cannot be determined until tumor samples are surgically removed and evaluated. Now, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have discovered that the lymphocyte count--which is routinely measured in laboratory tests--is a simple and effective prognostic indicator in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Related Articles


Sunil Saroha, MD, medical oncology fellow at Fox Chase and lead author on the study, will be presenting the findings at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Sunday, June 5.

"There has been this need for looking at prognostic markers that are available prior to surgical procedures," says Saroha. "It would be nice to know before the surgery if the tumor is going to be aggressive and how aggressive we need to be, with the goal of individualizing therapies."

The level of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, was one possible prognostic indicator considered by Saroha, Tahseen Al-Saleem, MD, a cancer pathologist at Fox Chase, and their colleagues. RCC patients generally have a worse prognosis if they have a suppressed immune system, which is indicated by low lymphocyte levels.

By evaluating data from more than 500 patients with the most common form of RCC -- called clear cell RCC -- who had their kidneys surgically removed at Fox Chase between 1994 and 2009, Al-Saleem and his colleagues found a clear relationship between low lymphocyte counts within three months prior to surgery and a poor prognosis.

The researchers found that lower lymphocyte levels were associated with a higher tumor grade, a higher pathologic tumor stage, the presence of distant metastases, and a higher TNM stage -- a combined indicator of tumor stage, spread to regional lymph nodes, and distant metastasis. They also found that low counts were associated with a lower overall survival rate, even when they accounted for patient age, tumor stage and metastasis.

Although these findings should be explored further in prospective research studies, the researchers suggest that the lymphocyte count could factor into doctors' treatment decisions. "This simple test can really help us identify patients at the outset who are at risk of very aggressive disease and who may not do well with current therapies," Saroha says. For example, if a young RCC patient has a low lymphocyte count but is otherwise healthy, a doctor may decide to pursue more aggressive therapies, such as surgery and chemotherapy.

"On the other hand, the test may also identify patients who may not need as aggressive therapies as usual," Saroha adds. For example, about half of RCC patients are over 60 years old, and if one of these patients has other health problems and a normal lymphocyte count, a doctor may decide to monitor the patient rather than perform surgery. "The test may help individualize therapies, change clinical decisions and add therapies before or after the surgery," Saroha says.

Saroha also emphasizes the need for more studies that focus on only one subtype of RCC, as in this study. Previous studies have clumped together different subtypes of RCC patients, even though there could be significant differences between them.

Co-authors on the study include Robert Uzzo, Gary Hudes, Elizabeth Plimack, and Karen Ruth from Fox Chase.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Lymphocyte count indicates prognosis of patients with renal cell carcinoma, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110518181302.htm>.
Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2011, May 18). Lymphocyte count indicates prognosis of patients with renal cell carcinoma, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110518181302.htm
Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Lymphocyte count indicates prognosis of patients with renal cell carcinoma, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110518181302.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins