Loss of BAP1 protein expression is an independent marker of poor prognosis in patients with low-risk clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Richard W Joseph, Payal Kapur, Daniel J Serie, Jeanette E Eckel-Passow, Mansi Parasramka, Thai Ho, John C Cheville, Eugene Frenkel, Dinesh Rakheja, James Brugarolas, Alexander Parker
Cancer 2014 April 1, 120 (7): 1059-67

BACKGROUND: The majority of patients diagnosed with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) have low-risk disease with a < 10% chance of ccRCC-specific death. DNA sequencing revealed that mutations in BAP1 (BRCA1 associated protein-1) occur in 5% to 15% of ccRCC cases and are associated with poor outcomes. The vast majority of BAP1 mutations abolish protein expression. In this study, we used a highly sensitive and specific immunohistochemistry (IHC) assay to test whether BAP1 expression is an independent marker of ccRCC-specific survival, particularly in patients with low-risk disease.

METHODS: BAP1 expression was assessed, using IHC, in 1479 patients who underwent nephrectomy to treat clinically localized ccRCC. A centralized pathologist dichotomized patients as either BAP1-positive or BAP1-negative. The authors employed Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression models to associate BAP1 expression with cancer-specific survival.

RESULTS: A total of 10.5% of tumors were BAP1-negative, 84.8% of tumors were BAP1-positive, and 4.6% of tumors had ambiguous staining for BAP1. Patients with BAP1-negative tumors have an increased risk of ccRCC-related death (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.06; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.28-4.10; P = 6.77 × 10(-14) ). BAP1 expression remained an independent marker of prognosis after adjusting for the UCLA integrated staging system (UISS) (HR = 1.67; 95% CI = 1.24-2.25; P < .001). Finally, BAP1 was an independent prognostic marker in low-risk patients with a Mayo Clinic stage, size, grade, and necrosis (SSIGN) score of ≤ 3 (HR = 3.24; 95% CI = 1.26-8.33; P = .015).

CONCLUSIONS: This study used a large patient cohort to demonstrate that BAP1 expression is an independent marker of prognosis in patients with low-risk (SSIGN≤ 3) ccRCC.

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