Prognostic nomograms are used increasingly in clinical trials and to guide surveillance for patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). An elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) reportedly has been associated with a poor prognosis among patients with RCC, but the ESR is not incorporated into existing nomograms. Hence, the current study was conducted to expand on prior observations pertaining to the ESR as a prognostic indicator in patients with RCC.
The authors identified 3008 patients who underwent nephrectomy for RCC between 1970 and 2002. Disease-specific survival was estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method, and its association with the ESR and other clinical and pathologic features was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.
A preoperative ESR was available for 1075 patients (35.7%), 501 of whom (46.6%) exhibited an elevated ESR, including 437 of 881 patients (49.2%) with clear cell RCC, 41 of 134 patients (30.6%) with papillary RCC, and 20 of 48 patients (41.7%) with chromophobe RCC. An elevated ESR was associated with adverse clinical, laboratory, and pathologic profiles for all three histologic subtypes. The risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for death because of clear cell RCC, papillary RCC, and chromophobe RCC for patients with an elevated ESR were 3.6 (95% CI, 1.1–1.9), 3.8 (95% CI, 1.4–10.6), and 10.3 (95% CI, 1.2–89.5), respectively. The association between an elevated ESR and death from clear cell RCC persisted even after multivariate analysis (RR of 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2–2.0).
An elevated ESR in patients with RCC suggested the presence of aggressive disease and poorer outcomes after surgical treatment. For patients with clear cell RCC, the ESR provided useful information above and beyond traditional prognostic algorithms, and it may be valuable for preoperative prognostication. Cancer 2006. © 2005 American Cancer Society.