Inflammation may play a role in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer.
In this study, physicians from the United States determined the risk of incident colon and rectal cancer associated with elevated baseline plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein.
The team performed a prospective, nested case-control study which included 22,887 adults. Participants were enrolled in the study in 1989 and were followed up to 2000.
The physicians identified 172 cases of colorectal cancer.
|Plasma C-reactive protein concentrations were higher in the cases.|
|Journal of the American Medical Association|
The team then selected 342 matched controls from the cohort.
They found that plasma C-reactive protein concentrations were higher in the cases compared to the controls. The highest concentration was found in participants who developed colon cancer.
However, in rectal cancer cases C-reactive protein concentrations were the same as for the controls.
The team determined that the risk of colon cancer was highest in participants in the highest quartile of C-reactive protein (OR 2.55). In nonsmokers this association was found to be stronger (OR 3.51).
Dr Thomas Erlinger's team concluded, ""Plasma C-reactive protein concentrations are elevated among persons who subsequently develop colon cancer".
"These data support the hypothesis that inflammation is a risk factor for the development of colon cancer in average-risk individuals".