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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 27;8(11):e81484. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081484. eCollection 2013.

Prognostic value of EZH2 expression and activity in renal cell carcinoma: a prospective study.

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Department of Urology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


Increased expression of EZH2 correlates with aggressive clinical behavior in various malignancies. In this study, we aim to investigate the clinical and prognostic values of EZH2 expression and activity in tumor tissues and improve the risk stratification in patients with renal cell carcinoma after surgery. We analyzed EZH2 expression and its activity as indicated by H3K27me3 levels comprising 373 patients with renal cell carcinoma in our institute. Outcome was assessed as overall survival and disease free survival using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Prognostic values of EZH2 and H3K27me3 expression for clinical outcomes were evaluated by Cox regression analysis. We used receiver operating characteristic to calculate diagnostic accuracy. High EZH2 expression correlates with poor overall survival in all patients, especially in advanced RCC, which is an independent prognostic factor in disease free survival and overall survival. Compared with EZH2, H3K27me3 expression is not an independent prognostic factor. The expressions of H3K27me3 and EZH2 are not completely consistent, which might be due to complicated interaction of Polycomb Repressor Complex 2. A combination of EZH2 expression and TNM stage could have better prognostic value than do TNM stage or EZH2 expression alone in both sets for disease free survival and overall survival. These results imply that evaluating intratumoral EZH2 density might improve prognostic value to the TNM staging system and inform treatment decisions for patients with late-stage renal cell carcinoma.

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