Table of Contents
SRX Medicine
Volume 2010, Article ID 812304, 8 pages
Review Article

Is Absolute Lymphocyte Count Just Another Prognostic Factor in Cancer?

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Received 24 November 2009; Revised 12 January 2010; Accepted 27 January 2010

Copyright © 2010 Luis F. Porrata and Svetomir N. Markovic. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of host immunity in cancer clinical outcomes has been wellestablished in animal models. In humans, the impact of the immune system as a therapeutic maneuver to treat malignancies has been proven by the development of graft-versus-tumor effect observed in the allogeneic stem cell transplantation. However, with few notable exceptions, no definitive conclusions have been reached as to the role of host immunity in humans and its impact on cancer outcomes. This article reviews the clinical evidence of how human immunity can affect cancer clinical outcomes using the absolute lymphocyte count as a surrogate maker of host immune competence.