Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 5791–5799 | Cite as

Galectin-9 predicts postoperative recurrence and survival of patients with clear-cell renal cell carcinoma

  • Hangcheng Fu
  • Yidong Liu
  • Le Xu
  • Weisi Liu
  • Qiang Fu
  • Haiou Liu
  • Weijuan Zhang
  • Jiejie Xu
Research Article


Galectin-9 (Gal-9), a member of animal lectin family with evolutionary conserved carbohydrate recognition domains, has been reported to exert a large variety of functional roles in tumorigenesis due to its β-galactoside-binding affinity. The aim of this study is to evaluate the expression and prognostic significance of Gal-9 in patients with clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). The expression of Gal-9 was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 196 patients with ccRCC who underwent nephrectomy. In the cohort, 48 patients died and 61 patients suffered recurrence. Kaplan–Meier method with log–rank test was applied to compare survival curves. The authors employed univariate and multivariate Cox regression models to evaluate the prognostic value of Gal-9 expression in overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS). In patients with ccRCC, Gal-9 expression, which was positively associated with tumor size (P = 0.014), Fuhrman grade (P = 0.010), and necrosis (P = 0.025), was determined to be an independent prognostic indicator for OS (hazard ratio [HR] 2.394; P = 0.005) and RFS (HR 2.096; P = 0.006). High expression of Gal-9 was associated with poor survival (P = 0.001) and early recurrence (P = 0.006). Furthermore, Gal-9 expression could significantly stratify the patients in early (grades I + II) tumor, node, and metastasis (TNM) stage (OS: P = 0.005; RFS: P = 0.041) and low (grades 1 + 2) Fuhrman grade (OS: P = 0.004; RFS: P = 0.006). The prognostic accuracy of TNM, SSIGN, and UISS prognostic models was improved when Gal-9 expression was added. Gal-9 expression is a potential independent prognostic factor for OS and RFS in patients with ccRCC.


Clear-cell renal cell carcinoma Galectin-9 Overall survival Prognostic biomarker Recurrence-free survival 



We thank Ms. Haiying Zeng of the Department of Pathology, Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University (Shanghai, China) for technical assistance. This study was funded by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China (2012CB822104), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31100629, 31270863, 81471621, 81472227, and 81402085), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-13-0146), and the Shanghai Rising-Star Program (13QA1400300). All these study sponsors have no roles in the study design and in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. This study was allowed by the Research Medical Ethics Committee of Fudan University. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

13277_2015_3248_Fig5_ESM.gif (306 kb)
Fig. S1

The comparison of results between immunohistochemical analysis and immunoblot analysis. a Immunohistochemical analysis of tumor tissues from five patients with ccRCC; b Immunoblot analysis of tumor tissues from the corresponding five patients (GIF 306 kb)

13277_2015_3248_MOESM1_ESM.tif (15.8 mb)
High Resolution (TIFF 16185 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medical SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Urology, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Shanghai Medical College of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  5. 5.Shanghai Medical College of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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