Increased expression of caveolin-1 and microvessel density correlates with metastasis and poor prognosis in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

BJU Int. 2004 Feb;93(3):291-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410x.2004.04604.x.


Objective: To investigate the relationship of caveolin-1 expression and microvessel density (MVD), a reflection of angiogenesis, with metastasis and prognosis in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Patients and methods: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of clear cell RCC from 67 patients who had undergone radical nephrectomy were stained immunohistochemically with specific antibodies against caveolin-1 and CD34. Caveolin-1 immunostaining was semi-quantitatively estimated based on the proportion (percentage of positive cells) and intensity. MVD was determined with CD34-stained slides. The expression pattern of caveolin-1 and MVD was compared with the clinicopathological variables.

Results: Eighteen patients had either synchronous or metachronous metastases and 11 died during the follow-up. Caveolin-1 intensity was significantly correlated with tumour size (P = 0.005), TNM stage (P = 0.028), M stage (P = 0.012), grade (P = 0.015), and metastasis (synchronous or metachronous; P < 0.001). The caveolin-1 proportion (P = 0.037) and MVD (P = 0.011) were significantly correlated with metastasis. MVD was correlated with caveolin-1 intensity (r = 0.385, P = 0.001) and caveolin-1 proportion (r = 0.388, P = 0.001). There was no difference in the expression of caveolin-1 and MVD between primary and metastatic sites. The survival of patients with higher caveolin-1 intensity was significantly worse than that of patients with lower caveolin-1 intensity. Multivariate analyses indicated that only M-stage was an independent prognostic factor for cancer-specific survival and caveolin-1 expression was not an independent factor.

Conclusions: Increased expression of caveolin-1 and MVD is associated with metastasis and a worse prognosis in clear cell RCC. Caveolin-1 expression is correlated with MVD. These results suggest that caveolin-1 may be important in the progression of clear cell RCC and angiogenesis may be affected by caveolin-1 during the progression of RCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / blood supply
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary
  • Caveolin 1
  • Caveolins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Prognosis


  • CAV1 protein, human
  • Caveolin 1
  • Caveolins
  • Neoplasm Proteins