Background: The acute-phase protein C-reactive protein (CRP) is used as a diagnostic and prognostic marker in humans with various neoplasias, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Objective: To evaluate if CRP could be used to detect different remission states in dogs with lymphoma.
Animals: Twenty-two dogs with untreated multicentric lymphoma.
Methods: Prospective observational study. Blood samples were collected at the time of diagnosis, before each chemotherapy session, and at follow-up visits, resulting in 287 serum samples.
Results: Before therapy, a statistically significant majority of the dogs (P= .0019) had CRP concentrations above the reference range (68%, 15/22). After achieving complete remission 90% (18/20) of the dogs had CRP concentrations within the reference range, and the difference in values before and after treatment was statistically significant (P < .001). CRP concentrations of dogs in complete remission (median, 1.91; range, 0.2–103) were significantly different (P= .031) from those of dogs with partial remission (median, 2.48; range, 0–89), stable disease (median, 1.77; range, 1.03–42.65), or progressive disease (median, 8.7; range, 0–82.5). There was profound variation of CRP measurements within each dog.
Conclusions: CRP is useful in determining complete remission status after treatment with cytotoxic drugs. However, the individual variation between dogs means CRP concentration is not sufficiently different in other remission states to permit its use in monitoring progression of the disease. Greater reliability in determining remission status might be achieved by combining CRP concentration with other serum markers.