Inflammatory Marker Tied to Colorectal Cancer Risk

Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce colorectal cancer risk in women with high baseline sTNFR-2 levels

FRIDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Higher plasma levels of the soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (sTNFR-2) appear to be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) among women, with anti-inflammatory drugs reducing the risk of CRC among women with high baseline sTNFR-2 levels, according to a study published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

Andrew T. Chan, M.D., M.P.H., of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues measured levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, and sTNFR-2 in blood samples from 32,826 women, collected between 1989 and 1990.

The investigators found that women in the highest quartile of plasma levels of sTNFR-2 had an increased risk of CRC (multivariate relative risk [RR], 1.67), compared to women in the lowest quartile. Women with high baseline levels of sTNFR-2 who initiated aspirin/nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use after blood collection had significant reductions in the subsequent risk of CRC (multivariate RR, 0.39). However, initiation of aspirin/NSAID use among women with low baseline levels of sTNFR-2 did not significantly reduce the subsequent risk of CRC. The investigators also found that plasma levels of CRP and IL-6 were not significantly associated with CRC risk.

"Our results show an association between baseline plasma sTNFR-2 level, but not CRP or IL-6 level, and subsequent risk of CRC. Moreover, the inverse association between regular aspirin and NSAID use on risk of CRC appeared to be restricted to women with high baseline levels of sTNFR-2," the authors write.

One author disclosed serving as a consultant for Bayer Healthcare.

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Updated on June 06, 2022

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