Aim: Immunomodulatory mechanisms contributing to angiogenic inhibition in renal tumors are not well characterized. We report associations between efficacy and tumor-associated immune cells and mRNA/miRNA expression in patients from AXIS. Materials & methods: Immunohistochemistry (n = 52) and mRNA/miRNA expression analyses (n = 72) were performed on tumor samples. Results: In axitinib-treated patients, higher CXCR4 and TLR3 expression, respectively, was associated with longer progression-free survival (hazard ratio; 95% CI: 0.3; 0.1-0.8 and 0.4; 0.2-0.9) and showed interaction with treatment (p = 0.029 and p < 0.001); lower CCR7 expression was associated with objective response (odds ratio: 0.1; 95% CI: 0.01-1.0) and longer overall survival (hazard ratio: 3.9; 95% CI: 1.4-10.3). Conclusion: CCR7, CXCR4 and TLR3 expression levels may be prognostic/predictive of clinical benefit with axitinib. Clinical trial identifier: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00678392.
Keywords: axitinib; biomarker; renal cell carcinoma; sorafenib; survival; tumor response.