Open Access Research article

RASSF1A protein expression and correlation with clinicopathological parameters in renal cell carcinoma

Hossein Tezval1, Axel S Merseburger1, Ira Matuschek1, Stefan Machtens2, Markus A Kuczyk1 and Jürgen Serth1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany

2 Department of Urology, Marien-Krankenhaus, Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany

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BMC Urology 2008, 8:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-8-12

Published: 26 September 2008

Abstract

Background

Epigenetic silencing of RAS association family 1A (RASSF1A) tumor suppressor gene occurs in various histological subtypes of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) but RASSF1A protein expression in clear cell RCC as well as a possible correlation with clinicopathological parameters of patients has not been analyzed at yet.

Methods

318 primary clear cell carcinomas were analyzed using tissue microarray analysis and immunohistochemistry. Survival analysis was carried out for 187 patients considering a follow-up period of 2–240 month.

Results

Expression of RASSF1A was found to be significantly decreased in tumoral cells when compared to normal tubular epithelial cells. RASSF1A immunopositivity was significantly associated with pT stage, group stage and histological grade of tumors and showed a tendency for impaired survival in Kaplan-Meier analysis.

Conclusion

While most tumors demonstrate a loss of RASSF1A protein, a subset of tumors was identified to exhibit substantial RASSF1A protein expression and show increased tumor progression. Thus RCC tumorigenesis without depletion of RASSF1A may be associated with an adverse clinical outcome.