A protein identifiable through the use of a blood test could help doctors as they assess prostate cancer patients' survival hopes, it has been revealed.
Research conducted at the Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU) Cancer Institute shows that the liver produces more C-reactive protein (CRP) in the presence of inflammation.
Previous studies have shown that cancer provokes an inflammatory response, which propagates cancer progression and hardens resistance to therapy.
As inflammatory cells are attracted to cancer sites detection is possible through the identification of markers like CRP.
"This could mean that a simple blood test that is already available could help in clinical decision making and patient counseling. Patients and doctors would know better what to expect from the prostate cancer they are facing," explained Dr Tomasz Beer, director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program at the OHSU Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine (hematology/medical oncology) at the OHSU School of Medicine.
Researchers found that CRP is linked to shorter survival and a reduced chance of chemotherapy efficacy.
"If confirmed, besides providing useful information for the patient, this finding could also provide us with vital insight into the fundamental role of inflammation in the progression of advanced prostate cancer. A better understanding of this process could provide us with novel therapeutic interventions for control of this disease and its symptoms," Dr Beer said.
Independent advice on private healthcare