Expression of CD44 variant isoform including exon 6 has been associated to tumour progression in several carcinomas. However, no studies have been performed to assess the prognostic value of the expression of this marker in renal cell tumours.
METHODS AND RESULTS
We studied 58 renal cell tumours. All patients were followed up for at least 3 years after nephrectomy. Tumours were analysed for expression of CD44v6 assessed by two isoform-specific monoclonal antibodies. RT-PCR was performed to detect CD44 variant transcripts in 10 cases in which immunohistochemistry was negative. Twenty-two tumours showed reactivity in at least 1% cells for both antibodies with a strong membrane pattern. RT-PCR did not show CD44v6 transcripts in any of 10 studied tumours. Immunohistochemical staining was more frequent in perivascular areas or in areas of vascular invasion. In fact, CD44v6 expression correlated well with nuclear grade (P = 0.009), stage at diagnosis (P = 0.04) and appearance of metastasis after nephrectomy (P = 0.007). Although univariate survival analysis showed stage (P < 0.001), grade (P = 0.009) and CD44v6 expression (P = 0.04) to be significant predictive factors, only stage remained significant (P = 0.0013) in the multivariate analysis.
CD44v6 expression, assessed immunohistochemically, is related to tumour progression. However, its prognostic value in renal cell tumours is dependent on tumour stage at diagnosis.
CITATION Histopathology. 1998 Jul;33(1):39-45
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