C-reactive protein: A biomarker of survival in patients with localized upper tract urothelial carcinoma treated with radical nephroureterectomy

Jun Obata, Eiji Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Kazuhiro Matsumoto, Nozomi Hayakawa, Hiroki Ide, Akira Miyajima, Ken Nakagawa, Mototsugu Oya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective: Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) is one particular marker of systemic inflammation, and an elevated CRP level is associated with poor outcome in various malignancies. While the clinical value of CRP levels in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) has not yet been fully evaluated, we investigated the impact of CRP elevation as a biomarker of patient prognosis in UTUC. Materials and methods: A total of 183 patients who underwent radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for localized UTUC (pTa-4N0M0) were identified between 1993 and 2009. The associations between the levels of serum CRP and patient outcome were analyzed. Results: Thirty-three patients experienced disease recurrence, and 28 died of the disease during the median follow-up period of 39 months. Using the defined cutoff level of CRP >0.5 mg/dl as elevated, preoperative CRP (pre-CRP) levels were elevated in 42 patients (23.0%). Kaplan-Meier curves revealed that subsequent tumor recurrences and worse cancer-specific survival could be significantly predicted in the elevated pre-CRP group. The 5-year recurrence-free survival rate was 63.6% in the elevated pre-CRP group and 83.4% in their counterparts (P < 0.001), and the 5-year cancer-specific survival rate was 64.7% in the elevated pre-CRP group and 84.3% in their counterparts (P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that elevated pre-CRP, in addition to pathologic T stage, was an independent risk factor for subsequent disease recurrence (P = 0.003, hazard ration (HR) = 2.83), and the decrease in cancer-specific survival (P = 0.012, HR = 2.65). In subgroup analysis using patients with pT3 tumors or greater, multivariate analysis also showed that elevated pre-CRP was an independent risk factor for a decrease in both recurrence-free and cancer-specific survival. Conclusions: Pre-CRP level was an independent predictor of patient survival in localized advanced UTUC. Patients with pre-CRP >0.5 mg/dl were strongly predicted to have worse prognostic outcomes following RNU. Due to its low cost and easy accessibility, CRP may be a useful biomarker for localized UTUC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1725-1730
Number of pages6
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov


  • C-reactive protein
  • Cancer
  • Prognosis
  • Survival
  • Upper tract urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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