COX-2 Expression in Renal Cell Carcinoma and Correlations with Tumor Grade, Stage and Patient Prognosis


Background: Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is important as an enzyme in the pathway leading to the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and arachidonic acid. This pathway is known to play a role in inflammation, tumor growth, invasiveness and metastasis, inhibition of apoptosis and angiogenesis. Inhibition of COX-2 has been shown to be a promising antitumor and antiangiogenic strategy in several tumor types, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Therefore, we decided to evaluate the immunohistochemical expression of this marker and its association with several clinicopathological characteristics in a series of cases. Materials and
Methods: COX-2 expression was examined immunohistochemically in tumor tissues obtained from 96 patients who underwent radical (94 cases) or partial (2 cases) nephrectomy. Correlations between COX-2 expression and clinicopathologic findings including pathologic stage, nuclear grade and other indicator of prognosis were examined.
Results: Of 96 tumors, 20.9% were positive for COX-2 expression. A correlation was found between COX-2 expression and tumor histological subtype (P=0.03).The papillary subtype showed maximum expression of this marker (43.8%) and the clear subtype minimum (14.7%). There were also possible links between COX-2 expression and pathologic stage, nuclear grade and nodal involvement but the results were not statistically significant (P=0.8, P= 0.14 and P=0.06, respectively). No correlation was found between COX2 expression and patient age, gender, tumor size, metastasis or survival.
Conclusions: In our study, COX-2 expression was correlated with the histological subtype of RCC. Additional research is required to determine the link between COX-2 expression and prognosis and also evaluation of probable effectiveness of COX-2 inhibitor drugs in treatment of RCC patients.