More Study Needed on Protein-Cancer Link
A preliminary study suggests that persistent inflammation, as indicated by increased levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, is a risk factor for the development of colon cancer.
However, according to an editorial by Feinberg School of Medicine researcher Boris C. Pasche, MD, the link between chronic inflammation and colon cancer must be further explored before C-reactive protein is confirmed as a risk predictor.
The study and editorial appear in the February 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Pasche, a hematologist/oncologist, is assistant professor of medicine at the medical school and director of cancer genetics at The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Dr. Pasche’s co-author on the editorial was Charles N. Serhan, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.
C-reactive protein is produced primarily in the liver and is a marker of inflammation. It was discovered about 70 years ago as a marker of infection in patients with pneumonia. Recent studies have shown that increased levels of C-reactive protein may also be predictive of heart attack and other cardiovascular events and may play a role in the development of some forms of cancer, including colon cancer.