Immunohistochemical analysis of beta-catenin expression: a probable prognostic marker and potential therapeutic target in renal cell carcinoma
Background and aims. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) seems to be the most aggressive type of genitourinary neoplasm. Down regulation of normal beta-catenin expression contributes to development of RCC, reflecting the role of beta-catenin/Wnt signaling pathway in pathogenesis. This study aims to evaluate the significance of beta-catenin expression and its correlation with the prognostic parameters.
Methods. A cross-sectional observational study was carried out in a tertiary care center on 58 RCC cases using variables like histological grade and type, tumor stage, necrosis. Formalin fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks were evaluated for beta-catenin expression by immunohistochemistry using scoring system. Data were analyzed by mean ± SD, χ2 test, Pearson’s correlation test.
Results. Membranous score (MS) had a strong negative correlation with tumor stage (r = -0.407, p = 0.044) and grade (r = -0.787, p = <0.001). Mean membranous score difference between low (Stage 1 and 2) vs. high stage (Stage 3 and 4) and low (Grade 1 and 2) vs. high grade (Grade 3 and 4) was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Cytoplasmic score (CS) had positive correlation with tumor stage (r = 0.586; p = 0.002). No significant correlation was evident between cytoplasmic scores and tumor grade, however the mean cytoplasmic score difference between low grade vs. high grade was statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Conclusion. Beta-catenin may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of RCC and has a positive correlation with the biological behavior of this tumor. The important role of beta-catenin as a prognostic parameter and probably a critical evaluator of targeted chemotherapy cannot be overemphasized.