Sarcopenia, inflammation doubles death risk for CRC patients — 4 insights

A study, published in JAMA Oncology, examined how inflammation and sarcopenia could identify patients with early-stage colorectal cancer with high mortality risk.

Elizabeth Cespedes, ScD, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues examined 2,470 Kaiser Permanente patients with CRC between stage I and stage III from 2006 through 2011. Approximately 1,219 patients were female with a mean age of 63 years.

Researchers measured for neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. The control group had a ratio under three, which indicated low or no inflammation.

Here's what they found:

1. A NLR ratio of 3 or greater and sarcopenia was common.

2. Over six years, 656 patients died with 357 deaths from CRC.

3. Researchers found NLR was associated with sarcopenia in a dose-response manner.

4. When a patient had a NLR of three or greater and exhibited sarcopenia independently, patients were two times more likely to die.

Researchers concluded, "Prediagnosis inflammation was associated with at-diagnosis sarcopenia. Sarcopenia combined with inflammation nearly doubled risk of death, suggesting that these commonly collected biomarkers could enhance prognostication. A better understanding of how the host inflammatory/immune response influences changes in skeletal muscle may open new therapeutic avenues to improve cancer outcomes."

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