BAP1 immunohistochemistry predicts outcomes in a multi-institutional cohort with clear cell renal cell carcinoma

J Urol. 2014 Mar;191(3):603-10. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.09.041. Epub 2013 Sep 25.


Purpose: Mutations in the tumor suppressor gene BAP1 occur in approximately 15% of clear cell renal cell carcinoma cases. Sequencing efforts demonstrated worse outcomes in patients with BAP1 mutated clear cell renal cell carcinoma. We investigated the clinicopathological significance and oncologic outcomes of BAP1 loss using a previously validated immunohistochemical assay.

Materials and methods: Immunohistochemistry for BAP1 was performed on tissue microarray sections from 559 nonmetastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma cases treated with nephrectomy at multiple institutions. The association of BAP1 expression with clinicopathological parameters was analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank sum and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests. Survival was assessed by Cox regression analysis, which also identified independent predictors of time dependent outcomes.

Results: At a median followup of 50 months (range 0 to 183) 86 of 483 patients (17.8%) experienced recurrence and 121 of 559 (21.6%) had died. BAP1 was negative in 82 of 559 tumors (14.7%). BAP1 loss was associated with adverse clinicopathological variables, including high Fuhrman grade (p <0.0001), advanced pT stage (p = 0.0021), sarcomatoid dedifferentiation (p = 0.0001) and necrosis (p <0.0001). Cox regression revealed that patients with BAP1 negative tumors had significantly worse disease-free survival (HR 2.9, 95% CI 1.8-4.7, p <0.0001) and overall survival (HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3-3.1, p = 0.0010) than patients with BAP1 positive tumors.

Conclusions: Immunohistochemistry for BAP1 serves as a powerful marker to predict poor oncologic outcomes and adverse clinicopathological features in patients with nonmetastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma. BAP1 assessment using immunohistochemistry on needle biopsy may benefit preoperative risk stratification and guide treatment planning in the future.

Keywords: BAP1 protein; carcinoma; human; kidney; prognosis; renal cell; risk.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase / genetics*


  • BAP1 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase