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Blood Compound Won't Predict Colon Cancer Risk

C-reactive protein fails to meet expectations, study finds

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- While levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are increasingly used as an inflammation marker for cardiovascular disease, they won't help predict colorectal cancer risk in women, researchers find.

Reporting in the current issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, say their study of more than 27,000 people found that CRP levels were also of no help in predicting increased risks for developing a certain location or stage of colorectal cancer.

"There was hope based on earlier studies that CRP may be a useful predictor of colorectal cancer risk, in many of the same ways it has been proven to identify individuals at risk for heart disease," study author Dr. Shumin Zhang said in a prepared statement.

"Instead, our findings suggest that low-grade inflammation may not be as important to this disease as we thought, and clinicians will need to keep looking for new ways to predict who is most likely to develop colorectal cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States," Zhang said.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about colorectal cancer prevention.

SOURCE: Brigham and Women's Hospital, news release, March 14, 2005
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