(MedPage Today) — Women who have high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) at the time of breast cancer diagnosis may have worse outcomes, researchers say.
Those with the greatest concentrations of the inflammatory marker had significantly reduced overall and disease-free survival and a higher risk of death from breast cancer than did those with the lowest concentrations, Kristine Allin, MD, of Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues reported in BMC’s Breast Cancer Research.
“Measuring CRP levels for breast cancer patients seems to be an easy way to predict the severity of the patient’s disease,” Allin said in a statement. “This may allow clinicians to alter their treatment tactics and improve cancer survival rates.”
CRP plasma concentrations rise quickly in response to acute inflammation, infection, and tissue damage, and are moderately elevated during chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer, the researchers said.
Some evidence has suggested that inflammatory pathways play an important role in breast cancer progression in particular.
So to evaluate whether levels of the protein at diagnosis of breast cancer are associated with overall survival, disease-free survival, death from breast cancer, and recurrence, the researchers looked at 2,910 women from the Copenhagen Breast Cancer Study.