The predictive value of immunohistochemical markers in untreated Wilms' tumour: are they useful?
Purpose: This study reevaluates the potential role of different tumour markers as prognostic indicators in untreated nephroblastoma. Methods: Expression of a broad panel of tumour markers was investigated by means of immunohistochemical analysis in 43 WT patients. Patients were treated by radical nephrectomy and had a mean follow-up of 11.9 years. Results: Generally, all the tumour markers studied were expressed in normal kidney tissue and at variable levels in the three cell types of WT (blastema, epithelium and stroma). Immunoreactive blastemal (Bcl-X, Bcl-2 and CD44s) and epithelial (Bcl-X, Bcl-2 and MIB-1) cells were present in the majority of tumours. No correlation was found between their expression and pathological stages. Univariate analysis showed that blastemal WT-1, TGF-α, VEGF, MIB-1 and p27 Kip1 were indicative for clinical progression. In a multivariate analysis, WT-1 protein expression by blastemal cells was an independent prognostic marker for clinical progression. Conclusions: The blastemal WT-1, TGF-α, VEGF, MIB-1 and p27Kip1 expression correlate with clinical progression in untreated nephroblastoma. Therefore, their expression may be of value in identifying patients with a high propensity to develop distant metastases.