Background: Recently, it has been hypothesized that inflammation increases the risk of colorectal cancer. We investigated whether serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation, are associated with colorectal cancer, using serum samples collected in the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study (JACC Study).
Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study in the JACC Study, investigating the relationship between the risk for colorectal cancer and serum levels of CRP determined by a high-sensitivity CRP enzyme immunoassay. The subjects recruited were 141 patients with colorectal cancer (63 males and 78 females) and 327 controls with no history of cancer (148 males and 179 females). Each case of colorectal cancer was matched for sex, age and participating institution to 2 or 3 controls. We used ttest to analyze mean differences in CRP levels between colorectal cancer cases and controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a conditional logistic regression model after adjusting for the potential confounding factors.
Results: Serum CRP levels were not clearly associated with the risk of colorectal cancer. The OR of the highest serum CRP levels was 1.18 (95% CI: 0.68-2.06) for colorectal cancer and 1.42 (95% CI: 0.73-2.74) for colon cancer, compared to subjects with lowest serum levels. The OR for incidence of colorectal cancer showed a similar trend, but the difference was not significant. Thus, high serum CRP levels did not appear to increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Conclusions: The present results suggest that high serum CRP levels are not associated with the risk of colorectal cancer in the JACC Study.