BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate the impact of absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) on clinical outcomes in patients treated with adjuvant RT with or without chemotherapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. METHODS: From 2001 to 2015, 68 patients underwent curative surgery followed by adjuvant RT. Chemotherapy was administered concurrently or sequentially with RT. We analyzed the clinical impact of the initial ALC level on locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS). RESULTS: With a median follow-up of 13.7 months (range: 3.1-61.3), the 3 year OS, LRRFS, and DMFS are 25.4%, 40.0%, and 26.6%, respectively. The OS and LRRFS of the high initial ALC group (>/= 1540 x 10(6)/L) are significantly higher than that of the group with lower initial ALC (3 year OS: 32.6% vs. 18.6%, p = 0.036; 3 year LRRFS: 53.5% vs. 27.0%, p = 0.031). In multivariable analyses, initial ALC level is the significant prognostic factor affecting LRRFS (HR = 0.457, p = 0.028) and OS (HR = 0.473, p = 0.026). CONCLUSIONS: Initial ALC could have potential prognostic significance in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma receiving adjuvant RT with or without chemotherapy. Further studies are warranted to investigate the role of adjuvant RT, considering the initial ALC.
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