1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Jikei University Daisan Hospital, Komae-Shi, Tokyo, Japan, email@example.com.
The C-reactive protein/albumin (CRP/Alb) ratio is associated with outcomes in septic patients. We investigated the prognostic value of the CRP/Alb ratio in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
We retrospectively evaluated 186 newly diagnosed HCC patients and investigated the correlations among the pretreatment CRP/Alb ratio, clinicopathological parameters, and overall survival (OS). Multivariate analyses were performed to identify the clinicopathological parameters associated with OS. Subsequently, we evaluated the prognostic value of the CRP/Alb ratio compared with other inflammation-based prognostic scores [Glasgow Prognostic Score (GPS), modified GPS (mGPS), and neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR)] using the area under the curve (AUC).
The optimal cutoff level for the CRP/Alb ratio was 0.037. An elevated CRP/Alb ratio (≥0.037) was associated with tumor progression and reduced liver functional reserve. In the multivariate analysis, the CRP/Alb ratio [hazard ratio (HR) 3.394; p < 0.0001], Cancer Liver Italian Program score (HR 2.686; 95 % CI 2.122-3.401; p < 0.0001), and vascular invasion (HR 3.376; 95 % CI 1.594-7.151; p = 0.001) were independently associated with OS (HR 3.394; p < 0.0001). The CRP/Alb ratio had higher AUC values at 6 months (0.844), 12 months (0.863), and 24 months (0.82) compared with the GPS, mGPS, and NLR.
The CRP/Alb ratio might be an independent prognostic marker in patients with HCC, and may have comparable prognostic ability to other established inflammation-based prognostic scores. The prognostic value of this novel inflammation-based prognostic score needs to be verified in patients with other types of cancer.