The search for a suitable biomarker which indicates immune system responses in cancer patients has been long and arduous, but a widely known biomarker has emerged as a potential candidate for this purpose. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an acute-phase plasma protein that can be used as a marker for activation of the immune system. The short plasma half-life and relatively robust and reliable response to inflammation, make CRP an ideal candidate marker for inflammation. The high- sensitivity test for CRP, termed Low-Reactive Protein (LRP, L-CRP or hs-CRP), measures very low levels of CRP more accurately, and is even more reliable than standard CRP for this purpose. Usually, static sampling of CRP has been used for clinical studies and these can predict disease presence or recurrence, notably for a number of cancers. We have used frequent serial L-CRP measurements across three clinical laboratories in two countries and for different advanced cancers, and have demonstrated similar, repeatable observations of a cyclical variation in CRP levels in these patients. We hypothesise that these L-CRP oscillations are part of a homeostatic immune response to advanced malignancy and have some preliminary data linking the timing of therapy to treatment success. This article reviews CRP, shows some of our data and advances the reasoning for the hypothesis that explains the CRP cycles in terms of homeostatic immune regulatory cycles. This knowledge might also open the way for improved timing of treatment(s) for improved clinical efficacy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)