Correlation of CD44S expression in renal clear cell carcinomas with subsequent tumor progression or recurrence

Michael Z. Gilcrease, Manuel Guzman-Paz, Gloria Niehans, David Cherwitz, James B Mc Carthy, Jorge Albores-Saavedra

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36 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Recent reports have shown altered expression of CD44 in renal cell carcinomas. However, to the authors' knowledge there are no data correlating CD44 expression in renal cell carcinomas with subsequent tumor progression or recurrence, nor is there information about the presence of particular splice variants of CD44 in these tumors. METHODS. The authors examined the immunohistochemical expression of CD44S, the standard isoform of CD44, in renal cell carcinomas from 43 patients using 2 different monoclonal antibodies, Mab2137 and Hermes-3. In addition, they stained the renal cell carcinomas with antibodies to 2 splice variants of CD44, CD44v3 and CD44v6. RESULTS. Increased staining of renal clear cell carcinomas with Mab2137 was observed in high grade versus low grade tumors (45% vs. 0%, P = 0.013), whereas increased staining of clear cell carcinomas with Hermes-3 was noted in high stage versus low stage tumors (40% vs. 0%, P = 0.006). Few tumors stained with antibodies to CD44v3. Although increased expression of the splice variant CD44v6 was noted in papillary versus clear cell carcinomas, and increased staining of papillary carcinomas with Mab2137 and with antibodies to CD44v6 was noted for low stage versus high stage tumors, these differences did not achieve statistical significance. Clinical follow-up of at least 43 months was available for 26 patients. Six of these patients (five with clear cell carcinoma and one with papillary carcinoma) developed progressive or recurrent disease. The primary tumors from all 5 patients with progressive or recurrent clear cell carcinoma showed staining with Mab2137, whereas the primary tumors from only 2 of the 15 patients with at least 43 months follow-up and no evidence of progressive or recurrent clear cell carcinoma (13%) showed staining with Mab2137 (P = 0.001). Alternatively, 5 of 7 clear cell carcinomas (71%) that stained with Mab2137 were from patients who subsequently developed recurrence or progression, compared with 0 of 13 clear cell carcinomas that did not stain. Similar findings were not observed for papillary carcinomas, which appeared to be biologically distinct from clear cell carcinomas. CONCLUSIONS. CD44S staining with Mab2137 correlates with progression or recurrence of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. CD44S may, therefore, play a pathogenetic role in tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2320-2326
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


  • CD44S
  • CD44v3
  • CD44v6
  • Clear cell carcinoma
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Tumor progression
  • Tumor recurrence


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