Objectives: To assess the expression of livin, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family, in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and to determine its prognostic relevance.
Methods: Immunohistochemical staining for livin was performed using paraffin-embedded tissues from 45 cases of RCC. Then we assessed anti-livin antibodies (Abs) in patient sera by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting. Disease-specific survival of patients was assessed, and differences between the immunohistologically livin-positive and livin-negative groups and between the anti-livin Ab-positive and anti-livin Ab-negative groups were compared with recurrence-free survival using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test.
Results: Of the 45 RCC specimens, 26 (57.8%) showed positive staining of livin immunohistochemically. In the RCC patients, anti-livin antibodies were detected and their levels were significantly higher than those in healthy volunteers. However, there was no difference in disease-specific survival between the livin-positive and livin-negative patients or between the anti-livin-positive and anti-livin-negative patients.
Conclusions: Although livin expression may not provide predictive information, it may be recognized as a tumor antigen by the immune system in RCC patients.