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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Oct;141(3):485-93. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2694-8. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Post-surgical highly sensitive C-reactive protein and prognosis in early-stage breast cancer.

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Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, 1284-600 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X5, Canada.


Obesity, associated with inflammation, has been linked to poor prognosis in breast cancer. Research investigating the potential role of C-reactive protein (CRP), an obesity-associated systemic marker of inflammation, as a mediator of adverse prognostic effects of obesity has yielded inconsistent results. We examined the association of highly sensitive CRP (hsCRP) with obesity-related factors and breast cancer outcome. A cohort of 535 non-diabetic women diagnosed with T1-3, N0-1, M0 breast cancer, was assembled between 1989 and 1996 and followed prospectively. Circulating levels of hsCRP were analyzed on blood obtained postoperatively, prior to systemic therapy, in 501 women. Correlations and prognostic associations were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance, Spearman's rank correlation coefficients (r) and Cox models. hsCRP was significantly correlated with body mass index (r = 0.60), insulin (r = 0.44), leptin (r = 0.54), and lipids, but not T or N stage, grade or estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor. At a median follow-up of 12 years, hsCRP was not associated with distant disease-free survival or overall survival in univariable [Q4 vs. Q1 hazard ratio (HR) 1.03, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.69-1.52, P = 0.9 and HR 1.27, 95 % CI 0.86-1.86, P = 0.24, respectively] or multivariable [Q4 vs Q1 HR 1.02, 95 % CI 0.66-1.59, P = 0.93 and HR 1.17, 95 % CI 0.76-1.81, P = 0.48 respectively] analyses. hsCRP was associated with age, comorbidities, and the insulin resistance syndrome but not with breast cancer outcome.

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