Severe Treatment-Related Lymphopenia in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Rectal Cancer

Jian L. Campian, Xiaobu Ye, Guneet Sarai, Joseph Herman, Stuart A. Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Although treatment-related lymphopenia (TRL) is common in many cancers no data exists in rectal cancer. Methods: Serial lymphocyte counts were analyzed retrospectively in patients with newly diagnosed rectal cancer, serial blood counts, and complete records at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Results: Fifty-seven patients with normal pretreatment lymphocyte counts were studied. Two months after beginning chemoradiation, 35% of these patients developed grade III-IV lymphopenia [median lymphocyte counts fell from 1590 to 490 cell/mm3 (p < 0.001)] which persisted throughout one year of observation. Conclusion: Severe and prolonged TRL is common in rectal cancer. Further studies are required to determine TRL’s relationship to survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-361
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Lymphopenia
  • Radiation
  • Rectal cancer


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