NY-ESO-1 as a potential immunotherapeutic target in renal cell carcinoma.

PMID 24970819


Novel immune therapies targeting tumor specific antigens are being developed. Our purpose was to determine expression of the cancer testes antigen NY-ESO-1 in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), as NY-ESO-1 targeting approaches, particularly adoptive cell therapy, have not been evaluated in this disease. We employed tissue microarrays containing >300 unique RCC cases and adjacent benign renal tissue to determine NY-ESO-1 expression using a quantitative immunofluorescence method. In addition, we studied NY-ESO-1 expression in 35 matched primary and metastatic RCC specimens to assess concordance between different tumor sites. NY-ESO-1 was highly expressed in a subset of RCCs. Expression in primary RCC specimens was significantly higher than adjacent normal renal tissue (P<0.0001) and higher in clear cell carcinomas than papillary RCC (P<0.0001). Expression levels in metastatic specimens were higher than in matched primary samples (P=0.0018), and the correlation between the two sites was modest (χ2=3.5, p=0.06). Aberrant NY-ESO-1 expression seen in clear cell RCC suggests that NY-ESO-1 targeting approaches should be studied in this disease. Expression is higher in metastatic sites, and discordance between primary and metastatic sites in some patients suggests that patient selection for these therapies should be based on expression in metastatic rather than nephrectomy specimens.