Published online Aug 15, 2015. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v7.i8.111
Peer-review started: January 16, 2015
First decision: April 24, 2015
Revised: April 30, 2015
Accepted: July 7, 2015
Article in press: July 8, 2015
Published online: August 15, 2015
Several parameters for predicting survival in patients with colorectal cancer have been identified, including the performance status, age, gender and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Although the TNM stage is important and useful for predicting the prognosis and determining the appropriate treatment, it is well known that the survival time varies widely, even in patients with the same stage of disease. Therefore, the identification of new parameters capable of more precisely predicting patient survival is needed to help select the optimal treatment, especially in patients in the advanced stage of disease. Although the TNM stage reflects the tumor characteristics, cancer progression and survival are not determined solely based on the local characteristics of the tumor, but also the host systemic immune/inflammatory response. Therefore, using a combination of parameters that reflect both tumor characteristics and the host systemic inflammatory status is thought to be important for accurately predicting patient survival.
Core tip: Recently, it has become clear that an elevated systemic inflammatory response is consistently associated with a poor outcome, independent of the tumor stage. The inflammatory response is represented by the levels of serum neutrophils, lymphocytes and platelet s as well as acute-phase proteins and their combinations. These parameters are simple and easy to measure using widely available standardized assays. In this review, we discuss the prognostic value of various inflammation-based factors in patients with colorectal cancer.