The aim of this study was to determine whether the level of circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) before treatment predicted overall disease-specific survival and local tumour control in patients with a sarcoma of bone.
We retrospectively reviewed 318 patients who presented with a primary sarcoma of bone between 2003 and 2010. Those who presented with metastases and/or local recurrence were excluded.
Elevated CRP levels were seen in 84 patients before treatment; these patients had a poorer disease-specific survival (57% at five years) than patients with a normal CRP (79% at five years) (p < 0.0001). They were also less likely to be free of recurrence (71% at five years) than patients with a normal CRP (79% at five years) (p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis showed the pre-operative CRP level to be an independent predictor of survival and local control. Patients with a Ewing's sarcoma or chondrosarcoma who had an elevated CRP before their treatment started had a significantly poorer disease-specific survival than patients with a normal CRP (p = 0.02 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Patients with a conventional osteosarcoma and a raised CRP were at an increased risk of poorer local control.
We recommend that CRP levels are measured routinely in patients with a suspected sarcoma of bone as a further prognostic indicator of survival.