The prognostic value of pretreatment platelet count in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Laura Pardo, Cristina Valero, Montserrat López, Jacinto García, Mercedes Camacho, Miquel Quer, Xavier León

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13 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd Objective Thrombocytosis is commonly observed in patients with solid tumors. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic role of circulating pretreatment platelet count in a large series of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Methods We retrospectively studied 824 patients with HNSCC treated at a single institution from 2000 to 2012. Disease-specific survival and local, regional, and distant recurrence-free survival were analyzed according to the distribution of the platelet count. Results By defining the platelet count 250.05 × 109/L as a cut-off point with the best predictive capacity, we classified the patients into two groups: those with a high platelet count (n = 378, 45.9%), and those with a low platelet count (n = 446, 54.1%). On univariate analysis, there were significant differences in disease-specific survival depending on pretreatment platelet count (P = 0.001). The 5-year specific survival rates were 74.1% (CI 95%: 69.8–78.4%) and 61.6% (CI 95%: 56.4–66.8%) for patients with a low and high platelet count, respectively. According to the results of a multivariate analysis, patients with a high count of platelets had a tendency to a lower disease-specific survival, but the hazard ratio did not reach statistically significant differences (HR 1.24, CI 95%: 0.97–1.61, P = 0.085). Conclusion Platelet count was significantly associated with survival in univariate analysis. However, in a multivariate analysis it lost its prognostic capacity, limiting its utility as a prognostic marker in patients with HNSCC. Considering separately each primary tumor location, patients with hypopharyngeal cancer and a high platelet count had a significant decrease of disease-specific survival.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-318
JournalAuris Nasus Larynx
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Platelets
  • Prognostic value
  • Thrombocytosis


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