C-reactive protein was recently identified as a prognostic factor for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after surgical resection.
Dr Sakae Nagaoka and colleagues from Japan investigated the relationship between the serum levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) and the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma patients.
|The prognosis of C-reactive protein-positive patients was poorer|
The team conducted a cohort study of 90 hepatocellular carcinoma patients enrolled from 1997 to 1998.
All patients were treated and followed for a mean period of 3 years.
Clinical variables were compared between 47 patients positive for C-reactive protein, and 43 patients negative for C-reactive protein.
The team also determined the relationship between serum C-reactive protein and prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.
The researchers found the survival rate of patients of the C-reactive protein-positive group was lower than that of C-reactive protein-negative patients.
The team noted that tumor stages 3 or 4, total bilirubin of 1.2 mg/dL, albumin less than 3.5 g/dL, and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin of 40 mAU/mL were poor prognostic indicators.
Positive C-reactive protein and initial treatment were identified as significant poor prognostic factors by univariate analysis.
Using multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, C-reactive protein, albumin less than 3.5 g/dL, tumor stage and initial treatment were considered to be significant determinants of poor prognosis.
Dr Nagaoka's team concluded, "The prognosis of C-reactive protein-positive patients was poorer compared with C-reactive protein-negative patients."
"This study confirmed that C-reactive protein is a marker of poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma patients."