I have not had even two seconds to write about anything I saw at the AACR meeting. It will take me a few days to decompress and process my experience. In the mean time I thought I would share the following with you about inflammation and its role in survival and cancer:

Researchers from the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Oregon Health and Science University (Sam Jackson Park Rd.), Portland, have previously reported that higher serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with shorter survival in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

They confirmed these prior finding using an independent data set of 119 CRPC men enrolled in 6 phase II clinical trials. They examined the relationship of CRP, alkaline phosphatase, hemoglobin, age, ECOG PS, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) with survival. Median follow-up was 19.7 months (0.9-98.5 months), and 89% have died. After analyzing the form of the risk function using the generalized additive model method, univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess associations between baseline individual categorical and continuous variables. Quartiles of CRP were: 0-1.0, 1.1-4.9, 5.0-17.0, and 17.1-311 mg/L. In a Cox multivariate model, log(2) (CRP) (HR 1.106, P = 0.013) as well as hemoglobin and alkaline phosphatase were independently associated with survival, confirming that higher CRP is associated with shorter survival in CRPC.

CRP is a marker of inflammation in the body. This finding suggests that inflammation may play an important role in the natural history of advanced prostate cancer. CRP is a readily measurable biomarker (a simple blood test) that might have the potential to improve our prognostic models.

Additionally, better control of internal inflammation might help to extend life. If your CRP measurement is high you should talk with your doctor and evaluate what you could do to lower it. There is some indication that exercise and a better diet could lower inflammation levels. If your CRP is very high you can ask about the merits of taking some non-steroidal i=anti-inflammatory medication.

These results should be validated in a prospective clinical trial.

Urol Oncol. 2010 Mar 5. Epub ahead of print.
doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2009.11.012; Prins RC, Rademacher BL, Mongoue-Tchokote S, Alumkal JJ, Graff JN, Eilers KM, Beer TM.

PubMed Abstract

Joel T Nowak, MA, MSW