Open Access Open Badges Research article

Preoperative serum C- reactive protein: a prognostic marker in patients with upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma

Barbara Stein1, Andres Jan Schrader2, Gerd Wegener3, Christoph Seidel4, Markus A Kuczyk1 and Sandra Steffens1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Urology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, Hannover, D-30625, Germany

2 Department of Urology, Ulm Medical School, Ulm, Germany

3 Cancer Center, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

4 Department of Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2013, 13:101  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-101

Published: 6 March 2013



To analyse the prognostic significance of preoperative C-reactive protein (CRP) serum level in patients with upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UUT-UC).


We evaluated 158 UUT-UC patients who had undergone surgery in the University Hospital of Hannover (MHH). 143 (89.4%) suffered from cancer in the renal pelvis, 13 (8.1%) patients presented with tumour located in the ureter. A preoperative CRP value was available for 115 patients. The mean (median) follow-up for these patients was 28.3 (15.1) months.


The median (mean) CRP value of all evaluable patients was 10.0 (40.7) mg/l. The CRP-level, stratified into two subgroups (CRP ≤5 vs. >5 mg/l), correlated significantly with muscle invasive tumour stage (36.4 vs. 78.9%; p<0.001), the risk of presenting nodal disease (4.5 vs. 26.8%; p=0.002) and distant metastasis (2.3 vs. 16.9%; p<0.016). The Kaplan-Meier 5-year cancer specific survival (CSS) rates were 54.2 and 26.4% for patients with preoperative CRP levels ≤ and >5 mg/l, respectively (p<0.006). Next to age and the presence of metastasis, multivariate analysis also identified CRP as a continuous variable as an independent prognosticator for CSS.


A high preoperative serum CRP level is associated with locally advanced and metastatic disease in patients with UUT-UC. Its routine use could allow better risk stratification and risk-adjusted follow-up of UUT-UC patients.

UUT-UC; Biomarker; C-reactive protein; Aggressivness; Prognosis; Survival