State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou 510060, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Background: Many studies have shown the prognostic value of inflammation based factors in different cancers. This work aimed to explore the prognostic value of pretreatment C-reactive protein/albumin (CRP/Alb) ratio in patients with cervical cancer, and compared to other inflammatory prognostic factors, such as neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio(NLR), Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS), prognostic index (PI), platelet/lymphocyte ratio (PLR), prognostic nutritional index (PNI), clinicopathological parameter and squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag).
Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of the data related to 229 patients with newly diagnosed cervical cancer. The potential prognostic factors were evaluated by univariate and multivariate survival analysis. The correlation between CRP/Alb ratio and other prognostic factors were analyzed by Chi-Square or Fisher's exact test.
Results: Multivariate analyses showed that CRP/Alb ratio was an independent predictor of overall survival (OS) in cervical squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (HR, hazard ratio = 2.529; p = 0.045), but not in all cases of cervical cancer. However, NLR was a prognostic factor in the whole cervical cancer (HR = 2.47; p = 0.020) as well as in SCC subgroup (HR = 2.28; p = 0.038). Spearman's rank correlation analysis revealed that NLR showed a positive correlation with CRP/Alb ratio (p < 0.001). The combined index of NLR and CRP/Alb ratio could enhance the prognostic value compared to NLR or CRP/Alb ratio alone. Moreover, a high CRP/Alb ratio > 0.022 was associated with older patients (p < 0.001) and more advanced International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stages (p < 0.001). In addition, NLR and CRP/Alb ratio were associated with SCC-Ag concentration in SCC. Furthermore, CRP/Alb ratio was a superior prognosis factor than mGPS, PI, PLR and PNI in SCC. Moreover, positive correlation was present among SCC-Ag, NLR and CRP/Alb ratio.
Conclusions: CRP/Alb ratio might be considered as a novel prognosis factor and combined with NLR could improve the accuracy of OS prediction in patients with cervical cancer as well as its most common histological SCC subtypes.
Keywords: Cervical cancer, inflammation based factors, C-reactive protein/albumin ratio, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio(NLR), overall survival