Introduction: Efforts to improve clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) mortality have focused primarily on evaluating prognostic biomarkers in primary tumors in order to identify indicators of response to treatment and targets for novel therapies. To date little attention has been paid to the status of these biomarkers in the more therapeutically-relevant metastatic tumor. Thus, we evaluated concordance of expression of four key prognostic ccRCC biomarkers (BAP1, PBRM1, Ki-67 and TOPOIIa) in a large cohort of patient-matched primary ccRCC and metastatic tumors.

Methods: We identified 114 patients treated surgically for ccRCC between 1990 and 2005 who had synchronous (M1) or metachronous (M0) metastases, underwent metastasectomy for at least one metastatic lesion and had archived tissue available from the primary and at least one metastatic tumor. We performed IHC on all primary and metastatic tumors for BAP1, PBRM1, Ki-67, and TOPOIIa using previously-published protocols. BAP1 and PBRM1 expression was categorized as positive or negative and Ki-67 and TOPOIIa was quantified as the number of positive cells per mm2. For BAP1 and PBRM1, we calculated the concordance between patient-matched primary and metastatic tumors as the percentage of pairs where the primary and metastatic tumor had the same designation (i.e., positive or negative). For TOPOIIa and Ki-67, we assessed concordance using Spearman correlation coefficient. Analysis of variance was used to evaluate if concordance between primary-metastatic tumor pairs for TOPOIIa and Ki-67 was associated with metastatic site, metastatic timing (M0/M1), metastatic tumor grade, metastatic tumor necrosis, and metastatic tumor sarcomatoid differentiation.

Results: There were a total of 161 patient-matched metastatic tumors available for the 114 patients: 78 patients had only a single metastasis while 36 patients had two or more metastases. While sites of metastases varied, pulmonary metastases were the most common (44% of all metastases). Loss of BAP1 expression was observed in19% of the primary ccRCC and 98.6% of the tumor pairs had concordant BAP1 status between the paired primary and metastatic tumors. Loss of PBRM1 was observed in 56% of the primary ccRCC tumors and 89.3% of tumor pairs showed concordant PBRM1 status. By comparison, median expression of Ki-67 was 65.0mm2 in the primary ccRCC tumors and the Pearson correlation with the patient-matched metastatic tumors was 0.43. The difference in Ki-67 expression between primary-metastatic tumor pairs was associated with necrosis in the metastatic tumor (p=0.014). Median expression of TOPOIIa was 2.6mm2 in the primary ccRCC tumors and the Pearson correlation with the patient-matched metastatic tumors was 0.25. The difference in TOPOIIa expression between primary-metastatic tumor pairs was associated with metastatic site (p=0.0006) and metastases to the heart were significantly different than pulmonary metastases (p<0.0001). Additionally, synchronous metastases had larger differences from their patient-matched primary tumors in comparison to metachronous metastases (p=0.012), as did necrotic metastases (p=0.028).

Conclusion: We observed high concordance for loss of BAP1 and PBRM1 expression between primary ccRCC and metastatic tumors in the same patient. Conversely, we noted high discordance in protein expression of Ki-67 and TOPOIIa between patient-matched primary-metastatic tumor pairs. Moreover, this discordance varied by key pathological features. Our results suggest that using the status of a biomarker in primary ccRCC as a guide for the status in metastatic tumors is not always appropriate and needs to be evaluated on a marker-by-marker basis.

Citation Format: Jeanette E. Eckel-Passow, Daniel J. Serie, John C. Cheville, Thai H. Ho, Sue M. Harrington, Tracy Hilton, Christine Lohse, Amanda Shreders, Payal Kapur, James Brugarolas, R Houston Thompson, Bradley C. Leibovich, Eugene D. Kwon, Richard W. Joseph, Alexander S. Parker. Concordance of BAP1, PBRM1, Ki-67, and TOPOIIa protein expression in primary clear cell renal cell carcinoma tumors and patient-matched metastatic tumors. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Precision Medicine Series: Integrating Clinical Genomics and Cancer Therapy; Jun 13-16, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Clin Cancer Res 2016;22(1_Suppl):Abstract nr 10.