There is increasing evidence that both local and systemic inflammatory responses play an important role in the progression of a variety of common solid tumours.
Dr McMillan and colleagues from Scotland examined the relationship between tumour T-lymphocyte subset infiltration, the systemic inflammatory response and cancer-specific survival in patients with colorectal cancer.
The research team studied 147 patients undergoing potentially curative resection for colorectal cancer.
Circulating concentrations of C-reactive protein were measured prior to surgery.
|C-reactive protein and percentage tumour volume of CD4+ T-lymphocytes were associated with survival|
|British Journal of Cancer|
The researchers also assessed CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocyte infiltration of the tumour using immunohistochemistry and a point counting technique.
The team found that when patients were grouped according to the percentage tumour volume of CD4+ T-lymphocytes, there was no difference in terms of age, sex, tumour site, stage and tumour characteristics.
However, the researchers noted an inverse relationship between percentage tumour CD4+ T-lymphocytes and C-reactive protein.
The investigators used univariate analysis, which showed that both C-reactive protein concentrations and percentage tumour volume of CD4+ T-lymphocytes were associated with cancer-specific survival.
Dr McMillan concluded, “The results of the present study show that low tumour CD4+ T-lymphocyte infiltration is associated with elevated C-reactive protein concentrations and both predict poor cancer-specific survival.”