Background: The natural history and prognosis of renal cell carcinoma cannot be predicted. Based on the Japanese classification system, the value of nuclear grade were assessed as a possible prognostic factor for renal cell carcinomas.
Methods: In this retrospective study of 116 patients with renal cell carcinoma, radical nephrectomy was performed. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate analysis was performed using Cox's proportional hazard model.
Results: Distribution by stage and grade in the population of renal cell carcinomas was as follows: pT1 in 13 cases (11.3%), pT2 in 65 cases (56.5%), pT3 in 36 cases (31.3%) and pT4 in one case (0.9%) and grade 1, 28 (24.1%), grade 2, 69 (59.5%) and grade 3, 16 (13.8%). Three cases could not be determined because of pre-operative embolization of the renal cell carcinomas. Nuclear grade was correlated with stage (P=0.0002), the presence of perirenal fat involvement (P=0.003) and metastases (P=0.007). A significant difference in survival was found between grades 1 and 3 (P=0.0001) and grades 2 and 3 (P=0.0001), respectively. Survival was significantly correlated with sex (P=0.0125), tumor size (P=0.0001), the presence of lymph node metastasis (P=0.0001), renal vein involvement (P=0.0001), perirenal fat involvement (P=0.002) or distant metastasis (P=0.0001). The multivariate analysis showed that the occurrence of tumor grade (P=0.0006) or distant metastasis were independent prognostic values.
Conclusion: The observations lead us to conclude that the nuclear grade according to the Japanese classification system appears to be of reliable prognostic value for renal cell carcinomas.