Elevated preoperative C-reactive protein predicts poor cancer specific survival in patients undergoing resection for non-small cell lung cancer

J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Jul;5(7):988-92. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181da78f9.


Background: Although only the minority of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are suitable for surgical resection, it offers the best possibility of cure. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the clinicopathological status, the preoperative systemic inflammatory response, and survival in patients undergoing potentially curative resection for NSCLC.

Methods: Data from 96 patients who underwent resection of NSCLC between 2000 and 2003 were collected retrospectively and that for 2004-2006 prospectively.

Results: All patients had Eastern cooperative oncology group performance status 0 or 1. No patient had T4, unresectable nodal or metastatic disease, and all macroscopic tumors were removed, with subsequent negative surgical margins. The majority of patients were older than 60 years (71%), men (57%), underwent a lobectomy (65%), and had tumor, node, metastasis stage I disease (66%). Of the markers of the systemic inflammatory response, white cell count, C-reactive protein, and albumin, only an elevated C-reactive protein (>10 mg/L) was associated with cancer-specific survival. On multivariate analysis, only tumor, node, metastasis stage (hazard ratio 1.88, 95% confidence interval 1.34-2.63, p < 0.001) and preoperative C-reactive protein (hazard ratio 1.67, 95% confidence interval 1.01-2.83, p < 0.05) retained independent significance. Those patients with a preoperative C-reactive protein concentration >10 mg/L had a median survival of 26.2 months compared with 75.9 months in those patients with a C-reactive protein < or =10 mg/L (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that the presence of a systemic inflammatory response predicts poor outcome in patients who have undergone potentially curative resection for lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / immunology
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • C-Reactive Protein