• Combination of GP88 Expression in Tumor Cells and Tumor-Infiltrating Immune Cells Is an Independent Prognostic Factor for Bladder Cancer Patients

      Eckstein, Markus; Lieb, Verena; Jung, Rudolf; Sikic, Danijel; Weigelt, Katrin; Stöhr, Robert; Geppert, Carol; Weyerer, Veronika; Bertz, Simone; Serrero, Ginette; et al. (MDPI AG, 2021-07-15)
      Urothelial bladder cancer (BCa) is the ninth most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide and accounts for approximately 3% of global cancer diagnoses. We are interested in prognostic markers that may characterize tumor cells (TCs) and immune cells (ICs) and their relationship in BCa. A potential candidate marker that meets these criteria is progranulin (GP88), which is expressed separately in TCs and ICs. We analyzed GP88 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 196 muscle-invasive BCa samples using a tissue microarray. The immunoreactive score for GP88 staining in TCs and the percentage of GP88-positive ICs was determined. An easy cutoff for the staining status of TCs (positive vs. negative) and ICs (0% vs. >0%) and, more generally, negative vs. positive GP88 staining could be applied. We detected 93 patients (47.4%) and 92 patients (46.9%) with GP88-positive TCs or ICs, respectively. The IHC results were correlated with clinicopathological and survival data. Positive GP88 staining in TCs appeared to be an independent poor prognostic factor for disease-specific survival (DSS) (RR (relative risk) = 1.74; p = 0.009) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) (RR = 1.92; p = 0.002). In contrast, negative GP88 staining in ICs was an independent negative predictor for overall survival (OS) (RR = 2.18; p < 0.001), DSS (RR = 2.84; p < 0.001) and RFS (RR = 2.91; p < 0.001) in multivariate Cox's regression analysis. When combining GP88 staining in TCs and ICs, a specific combination of GP88-positive TCs and GP88-negative ICs was associated with a 2.54-fold increased risk of death, a 4.21-fold increased risk of disease-specific death and a 4.81-fold increased risk of recurrence compared to GP88-negative TCs and GP88-positive ICs. In summary, GP88 positivity in TCs is a negative prognostic factor for DSS and RFS. In addition, GP88 positivity can mark ICs that are associated with a good prognosis (OS, DSS and RFS). The combination of GP88 staining in TCs and ICs appears to be a significant independent prognostic biomarker in muscle-invasive BCa.
    • Expression of AR-V7 (Androgen receptor variant 7) protein in granular cytoplasmic structures is an independent prognostic factor in prostate cancer patients

      König, Paul; Eckstein, Markus; Jung, Rudolf; Abdulrahman, Amer; Guzman, Juan; Weigelt, Katrin; Serrero, Ginette; Hayashi, Jun; Geppert, Carol; Stöhr, Robert; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-09-01)
      Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer, causing morbidity and mortality among men world-wide. The expression of the androgen receptor (AR) and its splice variants is a crucial factor of prostate cancer biology that has not been comprehensively studied in PCa tumors. The aim of this study was to characterize the protein expression of the AR and its splice variant, AR-V7, and their subcellular distributions in PCa by immunohistochemistry and to correlate the results to the clinicopathological data and prognosis. Immunohistochemical staining for AR and AR-V7 was performed on a tissue microarray (TMA) with specimens from 410 PCa patients using an immunoreactive score (IRS) or only the percentage of AR-V7 staining in cytoplasmic granules. Nuclear or cytoplasmic AR staining was not associated with prognosis. AR-V7 staining was only occasionally observed in the nucleus. However, AR-V7 staining in the cytoplasm or in cytoplasmic granules was associated with relapse-free survival (RFS). AR-V7 staining of the cytoplasm was associated with a shorter RFS, whereas AR-V7 staining of cytoplasmic granules was associated with a longer RFS. In a multivariate Cox’s regression analysis, only negative (<5%) AR-V7 staining of cytoplasmic granules remained an independent prognostic factor for RFS (HR = 5.3; p = 0.006). In a further subgroup analysis by multivariate Cox’s regression analysis, AR-V7 was an independent prognostic factor in the following groups: age ≤ 65 (HR = 9.7; p = 0.029), negative CK20 staining (HR = 7.0; p = 0.008), and positive perineural invasion (HR = 3.7; p = 0.034). Altogether, AR-V7 protein in granular cytoplasmic structures is an independent prognostic factor for RFS in PCa patients.