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Cancer. 1995 Jun 1;75(11):2714-9.

Proliferation of renal cell carcinoma assessed by fixation-resistant polyclonal Ki-67 antibody labeling. Correlation with clinical outcome.

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Department of Pathology, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand.



Although tumor staging is an important prognostic parameter for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), postnephrectomy survival interval is often difficult to predict for individual patients. This is the result of varied growth characteristics, which in tumors of similar stage govern both time to recurrence and rate of tumor dissemination. Polyclonal Ki-67 antibody labels a proliferation-specific antigen expressed in actively proliferating cells and is applicable to formalin fixed paraffin embedded archival tissue. This study was designed to test the prognostic utility of Ki-67 antigen labeling in a series of RCC and to compare the data with those derived from other markers of cell proliferation.


Polyclonal Ki-67 antibody staining of 206 cases of RCC was undertaken using the streptavidin-biotin method. Cases were grouped according to Ki-67 indices and Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed. Groups were compared in terms of survival for all cases and for each of Robson's stages using the log rank test. Further sections were stained for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and silver-staining nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs). The prognostic significance of Ki-67 antigen, PCNA and AgNOR staining, histologic grade, and tumor stage were compared using Cox's proportional hazard model.


Ki-67 immunostaining was achieved for 173 cases with indices ranging from 0.1% to 30.4%. Division of tumors with indices 6% or less and greater than 6% showed a significant difference in survival between groups for all cases and for each Robson stage. Ki-67 and PCNA indices, AgNOR scores, and tumor dissemination (Robson Stage 3 and 4) retained a significant association with survival on multivariate analysis.


Polyclonal Ki-67 antibody immunostaining provides significant survival information that complements that derived by other markers of cell proliferation and tumor staging.

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