Expression of PD-1 and CTLA-4 Are Negative Prognostic Markers in Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Immuno-oncological therapy with checkpoint inhibition (CI) has become a new standard treatment in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but the prognostic value of the expression of CI therapy target molecules is still controversial. 342 unselected consecutive RCC tumor samples were analyzed regarding their PD-1, PD-L1, and CTLA-4 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The prognostic values for cancer-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed for those not exposed to CI therapy. The expression of PD-1 in tumor-infiltrating mononuclear cells (TIMC) and PD-L1 in tumor cells was detected in 9.4% and 12.3%, respectively (Immune reactive score (IRS) > 0). Furthermore, PD-L1 expression in TIMC (IRS > 0) and CTLA-4 expression in TIMC (>1% positive cells) was detected in 4.8% and 6.3%. PD-1 expression and CTLA-4 expression were significantly associated with a worse OS and CSS in log rank survival analysis and univariate Cox regression analysis. CTLA-4 expression is a prognostic marker that is independently associated with a worse outcome in multivariate Cox regression analysis in the whole cohort (OS: p = 0.013; CSS: p = 0.048) as well as in a non-metastatic subgroup analysis (OS: p = 0.028; CSS: p = 0.022). Patients with combined CTLA-4 expression and PD-1-expression are at highest risk in OS and CSS. In RCC patients, PD-1 expression in TIMC and CTLA-4 expression in TIMC are associated with a worse OS and CSS. The combination of PD-1 expression in TIMC and CTLA-4 expression in TIMC might identify high risk patients. This is, to our knowledge, the first description of CTLA-4 expression to be a prognostic marker in RCC.

Journal of clinical medicine. 2019 May 24*** epublish ***

Andreas Kahlmeyer, Christine G Stöhr, Arndt Hartmann, Peter J Goebell, Bernd Wullich, Sven Wach, Helge Taubert, Franziska Erlmeier

Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. ., Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. ., Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. ., Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. ., Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. ., Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. ., Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. ., Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. .

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