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Researchers discover that lymphocyte count indicates prognosis of patients with renal cell carcinoma
Date:5/18/2011

CHICAGO, IL (May 18, 2011)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 countwhich is routinely measured in laboratory testsis a simple and effective prognostic indicator in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

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 RCCcalled clear cell RCCwho 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
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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