Changes in pre-diagnostic serum C-reactive protein concentrations and ovarian cancer risk: A longitudinal study

A. T. Toriola, K. Grankvist, C. B. Agborsangaya, A. Lukanova, M. Lehtinen, H. M. Surcel

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54 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence suggests that inflammation may be associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer but there is paucity of studies investigating this association, especially using over-time changes in inflammatory biomarkers. Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective population-based case-control study nested within the Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC). Within the FMC, 170 women with ovarian cancer who had donated serum samples to the cohort twice, ≥1 year apart, before cancer diagnoses were identified. One control per case was matched for age, parity and sampling date. Results: Comparing the highest with lowest tertiles, the odds ratio (OR) of ovarian cancer using the first set of serum samples (mean lag time to cancer diagnosis 9.0 years) was 1.62 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93-2.83]. However, analysis conducted using the second set of serum samples donated closer to cancer diagnosis (mean lag time 6.4 years) revealed a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer comparing extreme tertiles of C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations; OR 1.96 (95% CI 1.11-3.4). Over time, increases in individuals' CRP concentrations were also associated with increased risk; OR 1.90 (95% CI 1.12-3.23). Conclusion: The results suggest that inflammation may precede ovarian cancer since increasing CRP concentrations, both across tertiles and longitudinally at the individual level, were associated with increased risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1916-1921
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Biobanks
  • C-reactive protein
  • Inflammation
  • Longitudinal study
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prospective study


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