Chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in kidney tumors: molecular profiling of histological subtypes and association with metastasis.


PURPOSE Molecular characterization of renal cell carcinoma may help differentiate benign oncocytoma from malignant renal cell carcinoma subtypes and predict metastasis. Chemokines, eg IL-8 and chemokine receptors such as CXCR4 and 7, promote inflammation and metastasis. SDF-1 is a CXCR4 and 7 ligand with 6 known isoforms. We evaluated the expression of these chemokines and chemokine receptors in kidney specimens. MATERIALS AND METHODS Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction we measured mRNA levels of IL-8, CXCR4 and 7, and SDF1 isoforms α, β and γ in a total of 166 specimens from 86 patients, including 86 tumor samples and 80 matched normal kidney samples. Mean ± SD followup was 18.9 ± 12 months (median 19.5). Renal cell carcinoma specimens included the clear cell, papillary and chromophobe subtype in 65, 10 and 5 cases, respectively, and oncocytoma in 6. A total of 17 cases were positive for metastasis. RESULTS Median CXCR4 and 7, and SFD1-γ levels were increased twofold to tenfold. SDF1-α and β were unchanged or lower in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and papillary tumors than in normal tissue. Median SDF1-γ, IL-8, and CXCR4 and 7 were increased threefold to fortyfold in chromophobe tumors compared to oncocytoma. CXCR4 and 7 were increased in tumors less than 4 cm (mean 3,057 ± 2,230 and 806 ± 691) compared to oncocytoma (336 ± 325 and 201 ± 281, respectively, p ≤0.016). On multivariate analysis CXCR4 (p = 0.01), CXCR7 (p = 0.02) and SDF1-β (p = 0.005) were independently associated with metastasis. Combined CXCR7 plus SDF1-α and CXCR7 plus IL-8 markers showed the highest sensitivity (71% to 81%) and specificity (75% to 80%) of all individual or combined markers. CONCLUSIONS Chemokines and chemokine receptors differentiate renal cell carcinoma and oncocytoma. Combined SDF1-α plus CXCR7 and IL-8 plus CXCR7 markers have about 80% accuracy for predicting renal cell carcinoma metastasis.

DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.10.150