Two proteins could become important prognostic markers for long-term survival in breast cancer patients, according to researchers at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The proteins, C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA), are associated with chronic inflammation, known to contribute to cancer development and progression. Cornelia Ulrich, PhD, and colleagues measured the levels of CRP and SAA in 734 breast cancer patients at 31 months after diagnosis. They found elevated levels of CRP and SAA are associated with reduced overall breast cancer survival, regardless of patient age, tumor stage, race, and body mass index (J Clin Oncol online, May 26, 2009).
Women in the highest third of SAA levels were three times more likely to die from breast cancer within seven years than patients in the lowest third. Women in the highest third of CRP levels had a twofold increased risk of death.