Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio and breast cancer risk: analysis by subtype and potential interactions

Multiple studies have found the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) to be associated with adverse breast cancer (BC) prognosis and survival. Very limited data exist on the role of NLR and risk of BC. The BREOGAN study is a population-based case–control study conducted in Galicia, Spain. We examined the WBC- and NLR-BC relationships. The risk of BC increased with increasing levels of neutrophils percentage (NE%) (multivariable OR for the highest category (95% CI) = 2.14 (1.39–3.32), P-trend < 0.001) and of the NLR (multivariable OR for the highest category (95% CI) = 1.93 (1.26–2.97), P-trend < 0.001). Lymphocytes absolute (L#) and percentage (L%) were associated with a decreased risk of BC (multivariable OR for the highest category (95% CI) = 0.54 (0.35–0.83), and 0.51 (0.33–0.79), P-trend = 0.001 and < 0.001, respectively). The NLR-BC association was more pronounced among Luminal A BC (multivariable OR for the highest category (95% CI) = 2.00 (1.17–3.45), P-trend < 0.001), HER2-negative BC (multivariable OR for the highest category (95% CI) = 1.87 (1.16–3.02), P-trend < 0.001), and those with high total cholesterol and low H2O2 levels.