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Exp Ther Med. 2012 May;3(5):811-817. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

CD44 is associated with tumor recurrence and is an independent poor prognostic factor for patients with localized clear cell renal cell carcinoma after nephrectomy.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Cancer Research Institute and Infection Signaling Network Research Center.


CD44 has been implicated in tumor development and progression in several types of cancer. CD44 expression is altered in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and has been suggested as a useful prognostic marker, but its prognostic role in RCC remains controversial. We investigated the expression of CD44 in a large homogeneous set of localized clear cell RCC to determine its potential prognostic value. We examined 110 patients with localized clear cell RCC who underwent nephrectomy. The clinicopathological data were obtained retrospectively and the expression level of CD44 was studied by immunohistochemistry. Correlations between CD44 expression and clinical parameters as well as survival were determined. The CD44-high expression group (HEG) was significantly associated with a higher nuclear grade (P=0.014) and tumor recurrence (P<0.001) when compared with the CD44-low expression group (LEG). Concerning survival, the 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates for the CD44-HEG and CD44-LEG groups were 38.9 and 91.3%, respectively (P<0.001), and the 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) rates for the CD44-HEG and CD44-LEG groups were 55.6 and 94.6%, respectively (P<0.001). Multivariate analyses showed that CD44 expression [hazard ratio (HR), 9.204; P<0.001] was an independent risk factor predicting RFS in patients with clear cell RCC. CD44 expression remained an independent prognostic factor for DSS (P=0.002). In conclusion, these data indicate that CD44 expression is associated with the progression of clear cell RCC and is an independent poor prognostic factor for tumor recurrence and survival, suggesting that CD44 may serve as a useful molecular marker.

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