Prognostic impact of Urokinase-type plasminogen activator system components in clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients without distant metastasis

Susanne Fuessel, Kati Erdmann, Helge Taubert, Andrea Lohse-Fischer, Stefan Zastrow, Matthias Meinhardt, Karen Bluemke, Lorenz Hofbauer, Paolo Fornara, Bernd Wullich, Gustavo Baretton, Viktor Magdolen, Manfred P. Wirth, Matthias Kotzsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Members of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) system including uPA, its receptor uPAR and the plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) play an important role in tumour invasion and progression in a variety of tumour types. Since the majority of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) shows distant metastasis at time of diagnosis or later, the interplay of uPA, uPAR and PAI-1 might be of importance in this process determining the patients' outcome. Methods: Corresponding pairs of malignant and non-malignant renal tissue specimens were obtained from 112 ccRCC patients without distant metastasis who underwent tumour nephrectomy. Tissue extracts prepared from fresh-frozen tissue samples by detergent extraction were used for the determination of antigen levels of uPA, uPAR and PAI-1 by ELISA. Antigen levels were normalised to protein concentrations and expressed as ng per mg of total protein. Results: Antigen levels of uPA, uPAR, and PAI-1 correlated with each other in the malignant tissue specimens (rs=0.51-0.65; all P<0.001). Antigen levels of uPA system components were significantly higher in tissue extracts of non-organ confined tumours (pT3+4) compared to organ-confined tumours (pT1+2; all P<0.05). Significantly elevated levels of uPAR and PAI-1 were also observed in high grade ccRCC. When using median antigen levels as cut-off points, all three uPA system factors were significant predictors for disease-specific survival (DSS) in univariate Cox's regression analyses. High levels of uPA and uPAR remained independent predictors for DSS with HR=2.86 (95% CI 1.07-7.67, P=0.037) and HR=4.70 (95% CI 1.51-14.6, P=0.008), respectively, in multivariate Cox's regression analyses. A combination of high antigen levels of uPA and/or uPAR further improved the prediction of DSS in multivariate analysis (HR=14.5, 95% CI 1.88-111.1, P=0.010). Moreover, high uPA and/or uPAR levels defined a patient subgroup of high risk for tumour-related death in ccRCC patients with organ-confined disease (pT1+2) (HR=9.83, 95% CI 1.21-79.6, P=0.032). Conclusions: High levels of uPA and uPAR in tumour tissue extracts are associated with a significantly shorter DSS of ccRCC patients without distant metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number974
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 18 Dec 2014


  • PAI-1
  • Prognostic biomarker
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • uPA
  • uPA system
  • uPAR


Dive into the research topics of 'Prognostic impact of Urokinase-type plasminogen activator system components in clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients without distant metastasis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this