Tumor-associated macrophages have been well-characterized in solid malignancies, including renal cell carcinoma and generally correlate with poor prognosis. However, the molecular mechanisms which govern intratumoral macrophage behavior and patient outcome are unclear. Here, we investigated whether alterations in macrophage expression of the transcriptional regulator for myeloid commitment and function, interferon regulatory factor-8 (IRF8), could predict survival of clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients. Transcriptional analysis of publicly available data revealed elevated IRF8 expression was associated with prolonged disease-free survival. Evaluation of protein expression within histologic sections of primary clear cell renal cell carcinoma patient samples showed intensity of IRF8 by CD68+ macrophages correlated inversely with stage. Survival outcomes of patients with primary or metastatic disease could be stratified on the basis of IRF8 levels by macrophages. Patients with high levels of IRF8 expression within metastatic sites had prolonged overall survival (log-rank P < 0.01, HR = 0.44, 95% C.I.: 0.23-0.84) compared to patients with low levels of IRF8 expression. When patient cohorts were further separated based on macrophage infiltration within metastatic lesions, patients with a macrophagelo IRF8hi profile had a more than 10 year increase in median overall survival compared to patients with a macrophagelo IRF8lo profile (log-rank, P < 0.001). In summary, we report that macrophage expression of IRF8 is inversely correlated with tumor mass and directly related to survival outcome. These findings support the utilization of IRF8 expression by macrophages to predict patient outcome, which may have important implications for guiding treatment decisions for renal cell carcinoma patients with metastatic disease.
Journal for immunotherapy of cancer. 2019 Jun 20*** epublish ***
Jason B Muhitch, Nicholas C Hoffend, Gissou Azabdaftari, Austin Miller, Wiam Bshara, Carl D Morrison, Thomas Schwaab, Scott I Abrams
Department of Urology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York, USA., Department of Pathology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York, USA., Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York, USA., Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York, USA. .