Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with sarcomatoid differentiation is a relatively rare tumor containing both carcinoma and sarcomatoid components. However, there has not been a systemic study on immunophenotypes of renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid differentiation, especially using some renal specific immunohistochemical markers. In this study, we aimed to comprehensively investigate the distinct immunophenotypes of RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation to analyze the pathogenesis of sarcomatoid differentiation and identify new prognostic factors in RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation.
A total of 42 cases of RCCs with sarcomatoid differentiation were enrolled into the study. Immunohistochemistry study was performed on tissue microarrays to evaluate the expressions of 19 immunohistochemical markers including a series of epithelial, mesenchymal markers and RCC specific markers. Kaplan-Meier method was applied to assess the prognostic values of CD10, CAIX, p53 and Bcl-2.
Histologically, 42 cases of RCCs with sarcomatoid differentiation presented with different proportions of carcinoma and sarcomatoid components. The cohort contained 35 cases of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) and 7 cases of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (ChRCC) based on the carcinoma components. Immunohistochemically, all cases were positive for vimentin, and 80% of cases showed immunostaining for at least one epithelial marker, such as CK, EMA, CK7 and CK18. Notably, the expression rates of CAIX, CD10 and PAX8 in sarcomatoid cells were 76%, 76% and 64%, respectively. The carcinoma component of the tumors showed differentient labeling for CAIX, CD10, vimentin, CK7 and CD117 in CCRCC vs ChRCC, but the sarcomatoid component lost the specificity for these markers ( p < 0.05). Patients with positive expressions of CAIX, p53 and Bcl-2 had a poor prognosis.
The sarcomatoid cells in RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation express both epithelial and mesenchymal markers, supporting their epithelial origin. PAX8, CAIX and CD10 could be used as the reliable and useful markers to determine the renal origin of sarcomatoid cells such as in fine needle aspiration cases and metastatic RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation. CAIX, p53 and Bcl-2 might play important roles in the transformation from renal cell carcinoma to high malignant sarcomatoid differentiation, and these three immunohistochemical markers are adverse prognostic factors for the survival of patients with RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation.
BMC cancer. 2017 Apr 27*** epublish ***
Wenjuan Yu, Yuewei Wang, Yanxia Jiang, Wei Zhang, Yujun Li
Department of Pathology, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, 16 Jiangsu Road, Qingdao, 266003, China., Department of Vascular Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, 266003, China., Department of Pathology, 401 Hospital of People's Liberation Army, 22 Minjiang Rd, Qingdao, 266071, China. ., Department of Pathology, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, 16 Jiangsu Road, Qingdao, 266003, China. .