Medical Oncology

, 34:15 | Cite as

c-Met in chromophobe renal cell carcinoma

  • Franziska ErlmeierEmail author
  • Philipp Ivanyi
  • Arndt Hartmann
  • Michael Autenrieth
  • Max Wiedemann
  • Wilko Weichert
  • Sandra Steffens
Original Paper


c-Met plays a role as a prognostic marker in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. In addition, recently the tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib targeting c-Met was approved for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In contrast to clear cell RCC, little is known about c-Met expression patterns in rarer RCC subtypes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, distribution and prognostic impact of c-Met expression on chromophobe (ch)RCC. Patients who underwent renal surgery due to chRCC were retrospectively evaluated. Tumor specimens were analyzed for c-Met expression by immunohistochemistry. Expression data were associated with clinicopathological parameters including patient survival. Eighty-one chRCC patients were eligible for analysis. Twenty-four (29.6%) patients showed a high c-Met expression (c-Methigh, staining intensity higher than median). Our results showed an association between c-Methigh expression and the existence of lymph node metastasis (p = 0.007). No further significant clinicopathological associations with c-Met were identified, also regarding c-Met expression and overall survival. In conclusion, to our knowledge this is the first study evaluating the prognostic impact of c-Met in a considerably large cohort of chRCC. High c-Met expression is associated with the occurrence of lymph node metastasis. This indicates that c-Met might be implicated into metastatic progression in chRCC.


Renal cell carcinoma c-Met Epithelial-mesenchymal transition Chromophobe histology Chromophobe subtype Survival 



Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma


Clear cell renal cell carcinoma


Circulating tumor cells


Epithelial-mesenchymal transition


Hepatocyte growth/scatter factor




Lymph node metastasis


Mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor


Overall survival


Renal cell carcinoma


Tissue microarray


Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor



The authors would like to thank Ulrike Muehlthaler for her assistance with the c-Met immunohistochemistry.

Authors contribution

FE and SS participated in the data interpretation and drafting of the manuscript. PI and SS performed the statistical analysis. MW carried out clinical data acquisition. FE carried out the pathological data acquisition. WW, AH, MA and PI contributed to data interpretation and revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This work was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (Grant Number ER 795/1-1, Franziska Erlmeier) and by a grant from the Niedersächsische Krebsgesellschaft e.V. (Philipp Ivanyi and Sandra Steffens).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standard

All procedures have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Informed consent was assessed prior to intervention. Analyzes were performed in concordance with local ethic committee recommendations and ethic comity approval (384/13). Details that disclose the identity of the subjects under study were omitted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franziska Erlmeier
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Philipp Ivanyi
    • 3
  • Arndt Hartmann
    • 2
    • 4
  • Michael Autenrieth
    • 5
  • Max Wiedemann
    • 6
  • Wilko Weichert
    • 1
    • 7
  • Sandra Steffens
    • 2
    • 8
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyTechnical University Munich (TUM)MunichGermany
  2. 2.German Renal Cell Tumor ConsortiumJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of Hematology, Hemostasis, Oncology and Stem Cell TransplantationHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  4. 4.Institute of PathologyUniversity Hospital of ErlangenErlangenGermany
  5. 5.Department of UrologyTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany
  6. 6.The Munich Cancer Registry of the Tumorzentrum Munich, Institute of Medical Information Processing, Biometry and EpidemiologyLudwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany
  7. 7.German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)HeidelbergGermany
  8. 8.Clinic for UrologyUniversity Hospital MuensterMuensterGermany

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