September 14, 1984

Utility of Differential Leukocyte Counts in Cancer Management

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Studies Section, Clinical Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute (Dr Li), and the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dr Gelman and Ms Danahy), Boston.

JAMA. 1984;252(10):1312-1314. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350100042027

In 1,811 adult patients receiving diverse treatments for cancers other than leukemia, the absolute neutrophil count closely paralleled the total leukocyte (WBC) count. All of the 1,260 patients with WBC counts higher than 5,000/cu mm had more than 1,500 neutrophils per cubic millimeter. Routine differential leukocyte counts are rarely useful in managing the cancer therapy for patients with a WBC count greater than 5,000/cu mm, and only add to the cost of their care.

(JAMA 1984;252:1312-1314)