A high erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) prior to nephrectomy for clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is associated with worse survival after surgery, according to a new study. In addition, preoperative anemia is associated with an increased risk of death from other illnesses.

Hyun-Moo Lee, MD, of Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea, and colleagues analyzed survival outcomes among 1,307 patients with clear-cell RCC who underwent nephrectomy during 1994-2008. After a median follow-up of 43 months, patients with preoperative high levels of ESR had a twofold greater risk of dying from RCC compared with patients who had preoperative levels in the normal range, researchers reported in the British Journal of Cancer. The study also demonstrated that preoperative anemia, as assessed by hemoglobin and hematocrit, had a threefold and sixfold increased risk of dying from other illnesses, respectively, compared with patients who did not have anemia.

Previous studies has suggest that alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was a prognostic biomarker in RCC patients, but the new study found no association between ALP levels and and cancer-specific survival.

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