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Cancer. 1992 Sep 15;70(6):1556-63.

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate as a tumor marker in human prostatic cancer. An analysis of prognostic factors in 300 population-based consecutive cases.

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1
Department of Urology, Orebro Medical Centre Hospital, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The natural history of prostatic cancer is variable. Our knowledge of prognostic factors is limited; therefore, research is needed.

METHODS:

The cases of 300 population-based consecutive patients with a diagnosis of cancer of the prostate were analyzed regarding different prognostic factors (but with special reference to the erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR]).

RESULTS:

After a mean observation time of 100 months, M category, ESR, grade, performance status, hemoglobin level, and T category were found to correlate with disease-specific death using multivariate analysis. The variables correlating with progression in the multivariate model were M category, ESR, T category, grade, treatment, and age. Patients treated with estrogen had a significantly lower risk (relative hazard, 0.3) of relapse. ESR was highly statistically significant (P less than 0.0001) as a prognostic factor. With the variable in linear form, a 20-mm/h higher level suggested a 29% increased risk, on average, for dying of prostatic cancer (using a best-fit multivariate model). However, the relationship was not linear. After correcting for the effect of other factors, the risk for dying of prostatic cancer was lowest when the ESR was 40-50 mm/h and highest when its values were highest.

CONCLUSIONS:

ESR is an indicator of increased risk of progression and death in prostatic cancer. Other prognostic factors such as M and T categories, grade, performance status, hemoglobin level, and age currently are more important when planning treatment. It is possible that the ESR reflects aspects of tumor-host relationship and that both a low and high ESR are markers for patients with receding host defence mechanism.

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