BackgroundThe classifications and counts of white blood cells (WBCs) have been proved to be able to be used as prognostic markers in cancer cases. The present study investigated the potential values of the classifications and counts of WBC, including lymphocyte (LY), monocyte (MO), neutrophil (NE), eosinophil (EO), and basophil (BA) in the prognosis of resectable gastric cancers (GCs).MethodsThis retrospective study recruited 104 resectable GC cases which were pathologically confirmed. The patients were divided into two groups according to the median pre-treatment values. To evaluate the changes in WBC counts and classification after treatment, we introduced the concept of post/pre-treatment ratios (≤ 1 indicated count was not increased after therapy, while > 1 suggested increased count).ResultsPre-treatment NE and total WBC counts were negatively correlated with overall survival (OS). Surgery significantly decreased the level of NE count, but increased the level of EO, whereas had no effect on the levels of LY, MO, BAor total WBC. Adjuvant chemotherapy significantly decreased the level of BA. Whole course of treatment (surgery combined with adjuvant chemotherapy) had no significant effect on the counts of LY, MO, NE, EO, BA or total WBC. Post/pre-treatment ratios of LY, MO NE, EO, BA and total WBC levels had no effects on OS. Univariate analysis indicated that AJCC stage (III) and higher level of pre-treatment total WBC count were prognostic factors affecting OS. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that AJCC stage (III) and higher level of pre-treatment total WBC count were independent prognostic factors.ConclusionsPre-treatment NE count and pre-treatment total WBC count may be potential prognostic factors for the prognostic evaluation of GCs.