The role of C-reactive protein as a prognostic indicator in advanced cancer

Curr Oncol Rep. 2002 May;4(3):250-5. doi: 10.1007/s11912-002-0023-1.


C-reactive protein (CRP) is a nonspecific but sensitive marker of inflammation. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1, and tumor necrosis factor alpha induce the synthesis of CRP in hepatocytes. Increased CRP level is considered to be an important risk factor for atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, and ischemic stroke. It is positively correlated with weight loss, anorexia-cachexia syndrome, extent of disease, and recurrence in advanced cancer. Its role as a predictor of survival has been shown in multiple myeloma, melanoma, lymphoma, ovarian, renal, pancreatic, and gastrointestinal tumors. Measurement of CRP is simple, cheap, and routine and provides valuable information in palliative care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Cachexia / blood
  • Cachexia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Palliative Care*
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein