Introduction: A selective combination of C-reactive protein and albumin (termed the modified Glasgow Prognostic Score, mGPS) has been shown to have prognostic value, independent of tumour stage, in lung, gastrointestinal and renal cancers. It is also of interest that liver function tests such as bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase and γ-glutamyl transferase, as well as serum calcium, have also been reported to predict cancer survival. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between an inflammation-based prognostic score (mGPS), biochemical parameters, tumour site and survival in a large cohort of patients with cancer.
Methods: Patients (n=21,669) who had an incidental blood sample taken between 2000 and 2006 for C-reactive protein, albumin and calcium (and liver function tests where available) and a diagnosis of cancer were identified. Of this group 9608 patients who had an ongoing malignant process were studied (sampled within 2 years before diagnosis). Also a subgroup of 5397 sampled at the time of diagnosis (sampled within 2 months prior to diagnosis) were examined. Cancers were grouped by tumour site in accordance with International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD 10).
Results: On follow up, there were 6005 (63%) deaths of which 5122 (53%) were cancer deaths. The median time from blood sampling to diagnosis was 1.4 months. Increasing age, male gender and increasing deprivation was associated with a reduced 5-year overall and cancer-specific survival (all P<0.001). An elevated mGPS, adjusted calcium, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase and γ-glutamyl transferase were associated with a reduced 5-year overall and cancer-specific survival (independent of age, sex and deprivation in all patients sampled), as well as within the time of diagnosis subgroup (all P<0.001). An increasing mGPS was predictive of a reduced cancer-specific survival in all cancers (all P<0.001).
Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that the mGPS is a powerful prognostic factor when compared with other biochemical parameters and independent of tumour site in patients with cancer.