1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Canton, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China.
2. Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Canton, People's Republic of China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Background: The prognostic value of C-reactive protein/albumin ratio (CRP/Alb), a novel inflammation-based marker, remains unknown in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 1572 consecutive patients with non-metastatic NPC. Patients were randomly divided into a training set (n = 514) and validation set (n = 1058). The prognostic value of the CRP/Alb ratio and the modified Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS; a well-recognized inflammation-based score) was assessed. Results: Receiver-operating characteristic analysis identified 0.05 as the optimal CRP/Alb cut-off value for disease failure in the training set. Patients with a CRP/Alb > 0.05 had poorer overall survival (OS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in the training set (all P < 0.05). These results were confirmed in the validation set (all P < 0.05) and the whole cohort (all P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis of the entire cohort, the pretreatment CRP/Alb ratio was an independent prognostic factor for OS (HR, 1.394; 95% CI, 1.004-1.937; P = 0.048) and DMFS (HR, 1.545; 95% CI, 1.124-2.122; P = 0.007), but not for DFS (P = 0.083). The mGPS had no significant independent prognostic value for any end-point. Conclusion: CRP/Alb ratio is an useful prognostic indicator in patients with NPC, independent of disease stage.
Keywords: C-reactive protein, albumin, modified Glasgow prognostic score, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, prognosis.