Serum CRP and IL-6, genetic variants and risk of colorectal adenoma in a multiethnic population

Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Jul;21(7):1131-8. doi: 10.1007/s10552-010-9540-7. Epub 2010 Mar 24.


Chronic inflammation, which is suspected to play a role in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC), has rarely been studied in colorectal adenoma. We investigated the inter-relationships of serum levels of the inflammatory proteins CRP and in IL-6, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CRP (rs1205, rs1130864, rs1800947) and IL6 (rs1800795) genes, and lifestyle factors with colorectal adenoma in a sigmoidoscopy-based case-control study of 271 adenoma cases and 539 age-, sex-, and race/ethnicity-matched controls in Hawaii. We found no association of serum CRP or IL-6 levels with the risk of adenoma. A multiple regression with stepwise selection identified elevated BMI, Caucasian and Native Hawaiian versus Japanese race/ethnicity, and current smoking as being associated with significantly higher serum CRP and IL-6 levels. Female versus male gender was also associated with higher CRP levels and older age with higher IL-6 levels. The C allele of rs1205 and the A allele of rs1130864 were significantly associated with higher serum CRP levels (p (trend): 0.0002 and 0.01, respectively), as well as with a decreased adenoma risk [rs1205: OR for CT and CC vs. TT = 0.69 (95% CI: 0.48-0.98) and 0.53 (0.34-0.83), respectively, p (trend) = 0.008; rs1130864: OR for GA and AA versus GG = 0.65 (0.45-0.93) and 0.74 (0.31-1.76), respectively, p (trend) = 0.04]. The findings of lower serum CRP and IL-6 levels in Japanese (a group with a high CRC risk) and of a decreased adenoma risk observed for alleles associated with higher circulating CRP levels suggest a protective effect for CRP in early colorectal neoplasia that warrants further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / blood*
  • Adenoma / ethnology
  • Adenoma / genetics
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • C-Reactive Protein / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Hawaii / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Sigmoidoscopy


  • Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein