A prospective study of tumor recurrence and the acute-phase response after apparently curative colorectal cancer surgery

Am J Surg. 1995 Oct;170(4):319-22. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(99)80296-7.


Background: Approximately 70% of patients who are going to develop tumor recurrence following curative colorectal surgery do so within 24 months of surgery.

Patients and methods: The relationship was prospectively examined between an ongoing acute-phase response and subsequent clinical relapse in 36 colorectal cancer patients who had undergone a curative resection. Approximately 4 months after their operation, patients were grouped according to the presence (n = 15) or absence (n = 21) of an acute-phase response (C-reactive protein > 5 mg/L) and were followed-up for a minimum of 24 months.

Results: Age, tumor site, and serum carcinoembryonic antigen concentrations were similar in both groups. There was a significantly higher recurrence rate in patients with an acute-phase response (11 of 15) compared to those with no acute-phase response (2 of 21, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: These results are consistent with the presence of an acute-phase response being an important predictive factor in the early stages of tumor recurrence in patients who have had apparently curative colorectal surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / analysis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local* / blood
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • C-Reactive Protein