BACKGROUND The neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been found to be predictive of survival outcome in a range of tumors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of pretreatment (NLR) in patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). METHODS A retrospective analysis of 140 patients with laryngeal SCC treated between 2005 and 2010 in the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust was carried out. Patient records were evaluated and both pretreatment neutrophil and lymphocyte counts were documented together with survival data, sex, smoking status, nodal classification, and disease staging. RESULTS An elevated NLR was significantly associated with advanced disease stage (eg, node-positive and tumors stage III and IV). In addition, a high NLR was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS) but not disease-free survival (DFS) on multivariate analysis, with the greatest significance seen in patients with the highest NLR. CONCLUSION Pretreatment NLR may serve as a useful prognostic marker in laryngeal SCC; however, a large prospective study is required to determine an optimal NLR cutoff value. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E1903-E1908, 2016.