Retrospective Study to Examine Prognostic Value of C-Reactive Protein in Patients with Surgically Resectable Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Clinical Lung Cancer, 2023


This study evaluated the association between elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and clinical outcomes among adults treated with surgery for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the US.

Materials and methods

Adults with NSCLC who underwent lung cancer surgery and had ≥1 CRP measurement prior to, or >1 month following, index surgery were identified in the Optum Clinformatics claims database. The association between elevated CRP (>10 mg/L) and risk of NSCLC recurrence/death was assessed separately during the 6 months before surgery (pre surgery cohort) and 2 years following surgery (post-surgery cohort) using multivariate regressions and Kaplan-Meier analysis.


After adjusting for baseline demographic and clinical characteristics among patients in the pre surgery cohort with index surgery between 2016 to 2020 (n = 104), the incidence rate ratio (IRR) for NSCLC recurrence between elevated vs. non-elevated CRP was 2.17 (95% confidence interval [CI]=1.03-4.60; P = .04). In the post surgery cohort (n = 264), the adjusted IRR for disease recurrence (elevated vs. non-elevated CRP) was 2.22 (95% CI=1.05-4.70; P = .04). In the pre surgery cohort, the odds of death were nearly two-fold (odds ratio [OR]=1.91; 95% CI=1.06-3.42; P = .03) among patients with elevated CRP. In the post surgery cohort, the OR was 1.62 (95% CI=0.88-2.97; P = .12). Among those with persistently elevated CRP prior to surgery, there was a significant overall trend of increased CRP over the 5-year period.


These results support the association between elevated CRP and a higher risk of NSCLC recurrence/death in pre- and postsurgery cohorts. This study may shed lights on inflammation-suppressing treatments in patients with NSCLC.

View abstract


Azzoli C, Huynh L, Yi D, Duh MS, Cai B