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C-reactive protein


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http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 202407B243

March 12 2006 at 07:05PM

New York - Measuring blood levels of C-reactive protein - a marker of inflammation- may help identifying smokers with abnormal lesions in their airways that are likely to progress, new research suggests.

CRP levels are commonly used to gauge inflammation, which is thought to play a role in the development of abnormal airway lesions and lung cancer. Still, it was unclear if CRP testing could predict when such lesions are likely to progress to more advanced stages.

Dr Stephen Lam, from the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues measured plasma levels of CRP and other inflammatory biomarkers in 65 ex- and current smokers with at least one bronchial "dysplastic" lesion measuring greater than 1,2 millimetres in diameter. Repeat bronchial biopsies were performed 6 months later to assess lesion progression.

During follow-up, half of the subjects developed progressive dysplastic (abnormal) lesions, the authors report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

These subjects had CRP levels that were 64 percent higher than those of subjects lacking such lesions.

Of the eight subjects with CRP levels no greater than 0,5 mg/L, just one developed progressive disease. By contrast, of the 57 patients with higher levels, 31 showed lesion progression.

Thus, patients with increased CRP levels were nearly 10-times more likely to develop progressive disease than those with lower levels.

"These data will be helpful in the design of future chemoprevention and early detection studies by identifying high-risk subjects for non-small-cell lung cancer," the authors conclude. Still, further studies are needed to pinpoint exactly how CRP and other markers influence the pathogenesis of lung cancer.

SOURCE: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, March 2006.

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