Introduction/aims There is increasing evidence that an ongoing systemic inflammatory response is associated with poor outcome in cancer patients. The object of this study was to assess whether an inflammation-based prognostic score (Glasgow Prognostic score, GPS) was associated with survival in patients admitted to a specialist palliative care unit.
Methods The GPS scores were constructed as follows: patients with both an elevated C reactive protein level (>10 mg/l) and hypoalbuminemia (<35 g/l) were allocated a GPS score of 2. Patients who had only one of these two biochemical abnormalities were allocated a GPS of 1. Patients with neither abnormality were allocated a GPS of 0. This GPS was prospectively calculated in patients (n=77) over a period of 4 months. The date of admission to date of death (or censor date if death had not occurred by end of study) was also calculated for each patient.
Results Using Kaplan Meier survival curves, it was highlighted that patients with a higher GPS score had a shorter survival time than those with a lower GPS score (p=0.001). Specifically, patients with a GPS score of 2 had a much shorter survival than those with a lower GPS score of 0 or 1(p<0.001). Furthermore, patients with a GPS score of 1 or 2 had a shorter survival than those with a GPS of 0 (p=0.012).
Conclusion The presence of a systemic inflammatory response (GPS) is significantly associated with cancer-specific survival and may be a useful indicator of poor outcome in cancer patients in the hospice setting.
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