Clin Transl Oncol. 2023 Sep 11. doi: 10.1007/s12094-023-03317-z. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: This study investigated the prognostic potential of baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and early CRP kinetics in a real-world cohort of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) under first-line (1L) therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors (CPI).
METHODS/PATIENTS: Analyses were performed retrospectively in a cohort of 61 mRCC patients under CPI-based 1L therapy. Patients were stratified based on baseline CRP (< 10 vs ≥ 10 mg/l) and CRP change within the initial three months of CPI therapy (normal: baseline < 10 mg/l, normalized: baseline ≥ 10 mg/l and nadir < 10 mg/l, non-normalized: baseline and nadir ≥ 10 mg/l). Finally, the association of baseline CRP and CRP change with progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was evaluated.
RESULTS: Baseline CRP was not significantly associated with both PFS (p = 0.666) and OS (p = 0.143). Following stratification according to early CRP kinetics, 23, 25 and 13 patients exhibited normal, normalized and non-normalized CRP levels, respectively. Patients with normal and normalized CRP had a markedly prolonged PFS (p = 0.091) and OS (p = 0.008) compared to patients with non-normalized CRP. Consequently, significantly better PFS (p = 0.031) and OS (p = 0.002) were observed for the combined normal-normalized group. In multivariate analysis including ECOG and IMDC risk, normalized CRP kinetics alone or in combination with the normal group was identified as significant independent risk factor for OS, whereas a statistical trend was observed for PFS.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study emphasizes the prognostic potential of early CRP kinetics in CPI-treated mRCC. As a standard laboratory parameter, CRP can be easily implemented into clinical routine to facilitate therapy monitoring.