Cytoplasmic expression of B7-H3 and membranous EpCAM expression are associated with higher grade and survival outcomes in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2020 Jun:46:151483. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2020.151483. Epub 2020 Feb 25.


B7-H3 and EpCAM are overexpressed in cancer and play a role in tumorigenesis and metastasis. In this study, the membranous, cytoplasmic and nuclear expression levels of B7-H3 and EpCAM biomarkers were mapped in three major subtypes of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Expression of B7-H3 and EpCAM were evaluated using immunohistochemistry in RCC samples on tissue microarrays (TMAs), including clear cell RCCs (ccRCCs), type I and II papillary RCCs (pRCCs), and chromophobe RCCs (chRCCs). The association between B7-H3 and EpCAM expression and clinicopathological features as well as survival outcomes was determined. There was a statistically significant difference between B7-H3 and EpCAM expression among the different RCC subtypes. In ccRCC, higher cytoplasmic expression of B7-H3 was significantly associated with increase in nucleolar grade, lymph node invasion (LNI), invasion of the Gerota's fascia, and tumor necrosis, while no association was found with the membranous and nuclear expression. Moreover tumors with cytoplasmic expression of B7-H3 tended to have a worse prognosis for disease-specific survival (DSS) than those with membranous expression. In case of EpCAM, increased membranous expression of EpCAM was associated with nucleolar grade and tumor necrosis in ccRCC. Additionally, membranous EpCAM expression added prognostic value in patients with ccRCC who had high nucleolar grade versus low nucleolar grade. Moreover, membranous EpCAM expression was found to be an independent favorable prognostic marker for progression-free survival (PFS) in ccRCC. Our results demonstrated that higher cytoplasmic B7-H3 and membranous EpCAM expression are clinically significant in ccRCC and are associated with more aggressiveness tumor behavior.

Keywords: B7-H3; EpCAM; Renal cell carcinoma (RCC); Tissue microarray (TMA).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • B7 Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis


  • B7 Antigens
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD276 protein, human
  • EPCAM protein, human
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule