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CD40 expression in renal cell carcinoma correlates with tumor apoptosis, CD8 T cell frequency and patient survival


To investigate the relationship between tumor-associated CD40 expression, RCC patient survival and tumor stage.

Experimental design

The expression of CD40, TUNEL and CD8 in human renal cell carcinomas was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Computer-assisted quantitation of protein expression was used to correlate results with patient survival and tumor stage.


We show for the first time that tumor-associated CD40 expression correlates with prolonged survival in RCC patients. CD40 also correlated with TUNEL and CD8 staining in tumor tissues. No correlation was observed between CD40 and tumor stage.


Our results suggest CD40 may be a prognostic biomarker indicative of prolonged RCC patient survival. Strategies that up-regulate CD40 expression in some RCC patients might lead to improved survival. The further development and use of agonistic CD40 antibodies for treatment of RCC is warranted.

Author information

Correspondence to Jonathan M Weiss.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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About this article


  • Carcinoma
  • Protein Expression
  • Tumor Tissue
  • Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Patient Survival