Immunoexpression status and prognostic value of mammalian target of rapamycin and hypoxia-induced pathway members in papillary cell renal cell carcinomas.
ABSTRACT Dysregulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin and hypoxia-induced pathways has been consistently identified in clear cell renal cell carcinomas. However, experience with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma subtypes is scant. In this study, we evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of upstream (PTEN and phosphorylated AKT) and downstream (phosphorylated S6 and 4EBP1) effectors of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway, as well as related cell-cycle proteins (p27 and c-MYC), and a member of the hypoxia-induced pathway (HIF-1α) in 54 patients with papillary renal cell carcinoma treated by nephrectomy. PTEN was lower in tumor than in normal kidney, and loss of PTEN expression was found in 48% of the patients. In tumor tissues, phosphorylated S6, 4EBP1, and HIF-1α were higher than in normal kidney. Conversely, scores of p27 were lower in tumor than in normal kidney. Finally, scores of c-MYC and phosphorylated AKT were similar in tumor and in normal kidney. Overall mortality and cancer-specific mortality were 24% and 11%, respectively. Tumor progression was observed in 17% of the patients. None of the tested biomarkers predicted cancer-specific mortality or tumor progression. As expected, patients with high T-stage tumors had higher hazard ratios for cancer-specific mortality (hazard ratio, 6.9) and tumor progression (hazard ratio, 6.7). Patients with higher Fuhrman grades also had higher risks for cancer-specific mortality (hazard ratio, 11.4) and tumor progression (hazard ratio, 4.5). In summary, our study provides evidence of dysregulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin and hypoxia-induced pathways in papillary renal cell carcinoma. Immunohistochemistry for members of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway and for HIF-1α lacked prognostic significance in our cohort.