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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Baseline and Postoperative C-reactive Protein Levels Predict Long-Term Survival After Lung Metastasectomy

Ugo Pastorino MD, Daniele Morelli MD, Giovanni Leuzzi MD, Luigi Rolli MD, Paola Suatoni BS, Francesca Taverna PhD, Elena Bertocchi BL, Mattia Boeri PhD, Gabriella Sozzi PhD, Anna Cantarutti PhD, Giovanni Corrao PhD, Alessandro Gronchi MD
Thoracic Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 3 / March , 2019



Blood level of C-reactive protein (CRP) at diagnosis is a well-know prognostic bio-marker in different primary tumors, but its role has not been investigated in resectable lung metastases. The aim of our study is to assess the predictive value of baseline (CRP0) and 3rd postoperative day (CRP3) levels on long-term survival of patients undergoing lung metastasectomy.


A total of 846 consecutive patients underwent the first pulmonary resection for lung metastases between January 2003 and December 2015, including 611 (72%) single surgical procedures, 235 (28%) multiple metastasectomies, 501 (59%) epithelial primary tumors, 276 (33%) sarcomas, 66 (8%) melanomas, 286 (33.8%) with 0 risk factors (CRP0 ≤ 2 and CRP3 ≤ 84 mg/L) and 560 (66.2%) with ≥ 1 risk factor (CRP0 > 2 and/or CRP3 > 84 mg/L).


Cumulative 5-year survival was 57% in patients with low CRP (0 risk factors) versus 43% in high CRP (≥ 1 risk factor, p < 0.0002), 62% versus 50% respectively for epithelial tumors (p < 0.0140), and 51% versus 34% for sarcomas (p < 0.0111). Multivariable Cox analysis confirmed a mortality hazard ratio of 2.5 at 1-year and 1.5 at 5-years in patients with high CRP.


Baseline and postoperative CRP levels predict survival of patients with resectable lung metastases. These data provide a rationale for prospective clinical trials testing the efficacy of anti-inflammatory or immune-modulating agents as “adjuvant” therapy after lung metastasectomy, in patients with elevated pre- and/or postoperative CRP levels.

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