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A biomarker is a biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues. It is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or a condition or disease. Biomarkers may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment, or to predict the course of a disease or condition.
This study looked at levels of a biomarker called C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood to try to predict the outcome of a type of kidney cancer called papillary kidney cancer. A CRP test is used to see if you have symptoms of inflammation. Doctors also use CRP levels to guide treatment of a bacterial infection or to monitor inflammatory processes that occur in some autoimmune diseases.
Patients with papillary kidney cancer that had not spread (metastasised) had their kidney removed with surgery. Overall, 400 patients from a database were looked at. Of these, 48 had raised levels of CRP in their blood.
Patients were followed for an average of 5 years. Patients with raised CRP levels in their blood had a worse 5-year survival rate than those without raised CRP levels.
This study shows that CRP can be used to follow-up papillary kidney cancer patients after surgery and screen for recurrence of the disease.