Recent studies have indicated that inflammation-based prognostic scores, such as the Glasgow Prognostic Score (GPS), modified GPS (mGPS) and C-reactive protein/Albumin (CRP/Alb) ratio, platelet–lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (NLR), have been reported to have prognostic value in patients with many types of cancer, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). In this study, we proposed a novel inflammation-based stage, named I stage, for patients with NPC. A retrospective study of 409 newly-diagnosed cases of NPC was conducted. The prognostic factors (GPS, mGPS, CRP/Alb ratios, PLR, and NLR) were evaluated using univariate and multivariate analyses. Then, according to the results of the multivariate analyses, we proposed a I stage combination of independent risk factors (CRP/Alb ratio and PLR). The I stage was calculated as follows: patients with high levels of CRP/Alb ratio (>0.03) and PLR (>146.2) were defined as I2; patients with one or no abnormal values were defined as I1 or I0, respectively. The relationships between the I stage and clinicopathological variables and overall survival (OS) were evaluated. In addition, the discriminatory ability of the I stage with other inflammation-based prognostic scores was assessed using the AUCs (areas under the curves) analyzed by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves. The p
value of <0.05 was considered to be significant. A total of 409 patients with NPC were enrolled in this study. Multivariate analyses revealed that only the CRP/Alb ratio (Hazard ratio (HR) = 2.093; 95% Confidence interval (CI): 1.222–3.587; p
= 0.007) and PLR (HR: 2.003; 95% CI: 1.177–3.410; p
= 0.010) were independent prognostic factors in patients with NPC. The five-year overall survival rates for patients with I0, I1, and I2 were 92.1% ± 2.9%, 83.3% ± 2.6%, and 63.1% ± 4.6%, respectively (p
< 0.001). The I stage had a higher area under the curve value (0.670) compared with other systemic inflammation-based prognostic scores (p
< 0.001). The I stage is a novel and useful predictive factor for OS in patients with NPC.
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