Preoperative C-Reactive Protein as a Prognostic and Therapeutic Marker for Colorectal Cancer

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Background and Objectives:

This study aimed to evaluate the significance of preoperative C-reactive protein (CRP) as a prognostic marker for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-independent stage I or II colorectal cancer (CRC) patients.


Preoperative CRP was measured in 300 CRC patients to assess its relationships with clinicopathological factors and long-term survival. Based on the results of the initial study, the relationship between preoperative CRP and long-term survival was evaluated with reference to adjuvant 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapy in a further 128 stage II patients.


CRP was associated with disease progression and factors reflecting nutritional depletion such as serum albumin, lymphocyte count and body weight loss ratio. In stage I or II patients, CRP could predict early disease recurrence, even when a CEA test could not. Multivariate analyses revealed that CRP was an independent prognostic variable in stage I or II patients. In the additional 128 stage II patients, CRP-positive patients showed a 3-year survival rate of only 55% without adjuvant chemotherapy, but this increased to 90% with adjuvant chemotherapy.


CRP may be a potent prognostic and therapeutic indicator that provides valuable information for determining the need for adjuvant chemotherapy in stage II CRC patients.

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